Analyzing Energy Efficiency of Sensor Networks on Distant Planets

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Dr. Huszák Árpád
Department of Networked Systems and Services

Nowadays wireless sensor networks are being used in many applications. These networks can be used in helthcare, agriculture, many sectors in industry and we can meet them in our everyday life. These networks have proved their effectiveness in many situations, and also they can be used under extreme conditions, therefore these may be suitable in space research. In a distant planet's surface limited resources are available to us, therefore the use of cost-effective methods is particularly important. In wireless sensor networks, with the help of thousands of cheap, tiny sensors new kind of measurement methods can be used. During a space missions, special attention should be paid to energy consumption. Human intervention is often not possible due to the great distances.

The first step of my work I researched, what is the energy cost of the processes, which the sensors are doing during measurement. Due to the absence of human intervention, it is not possible to change the batteries in sensors, therefore the used energy must be replenished. For this I studied various energy harvesting methods. After that, I created energy models for each energy consumption process. For modeling the sensor network, I developed a C simulation program. The simulation program has been created to resemble as closely as possible to a space mission, and the parameters were determined on this basis. I designed the simulation program in such a way that the different parameters can be adjustable, thus the effects of each parameter can be tested.


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