An Optimization Framework for Mobile Data Collection in Energy-Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks

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Recent advances in environmental energy harvesting technologies
have provided great potentials for traditional battery-powered
sensor networks to achieve perpetual operations. Due to dynamics from the temporal profiles of ambient energy sources, most of the studies so far have focused on designing and optimizing energy management schemes on single sensor node, but overlooked the impact of spatial variations of energy distribution when sensors work together at different locations. To design a robust sensor network, in this paper, we use mobility to circumvent communication bottlenecks caused by spatial energy variations. We employ a mobile collector, called SenCar to collect
data from designated sensors and balance energy consumptions in the network. To show spatial-temporal energy variations, we first conduct a case study in a solar-powered network and analyze possible impact on network performance. Next, we present a two-step approach for mobile data collection. First, we adaptively select a subset of sensor locations where the SenCar stops to collect data packets in a multi-hop fashion. We develop an adaptive algorithm to search for nodes based on their energy and guarantee data collection tour length is bounded.
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