Distributed Wireless Sensor Networks for Long-term Deployments

Funding Agency: Department of Energy (DOE).

Award Number: DE-FG52-06NA27490.

Principal Investigators: Yannis Paschalidis and Christos Cassandras, Boston University.

Project Summary

The proposed research project aims at addressing a number of fundamental issues in Distributed Wireless Sensor Networks (DWSN), thus, contributing to the maturing of this technology so that it can be useful in long-term surveillance missions. First, recognizing the limited resources available to DWSN nodes, we will pursue a number of novel optimization-based control approaches aiming at (i) maximizing network throughput using joint routing, power control, and transmission scheduling policies, (ii) reducing network latency, (iii) maximizing network lifetime through dynamic control schemes, (iv) performing critical self-organization tasks, and (v) minimizing node energy consumption while guaranteeing real-time constraints. Second, we will develop localization and tracking capabilities in DWSNs where most nodes do not have access to a GPS system. In conjunction, we will develop strategies for coverage control, where (possibly mobile) DWSN nodes coordinate to position themselves in a given surveillance region so as to maximize the probability of detecting a variety of events. These main objectives will be aided by a number of supporting research tasks including (i) simulation-based on-line parameter adaptation methods enabling a network to automatically adjust crucial parameter settings in order to maintain a desirable level of performance; and (ii) statistical anomaly detection providing the capability to identify non-typical patterns in the set of environment variables the DWSN may monitor. Throughout our proposed research work, we will seek techniques that are scalable, implementable in distributed fashion, and computationally compatible with the limited processing capabilities of most network nodes we expect to be dealing with. The project will capitalize on the accumulated knowledge and resources of the Boston University Sensor Network Consortium (SNC) that the PIs have spearheaded and on a recently established small robot laboratory testbed with wireless sensing capabilities to implement and test several of the approaches to be developed. The proposing team commits to closely collaborate with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) researchers working on a DOE funded project entitled Distributed Sensor Networks with Collective Computation.