EICO: Energy-Harvesting Long-Range Environmental Sensor Nodes with Energy-Information Dynamic Co-Optimization

Shitij Avlani, Donghyun Seo, Baibhab Chatterjee, Shreyas Sen

Intensive research on energy harvested sensor nodes with traditional battery powered devices has been driven by the challenges in achieving the stringent design goals of battery lifetime, information accuracy, transmission distance, and cost. This challenge is further amplified by the inherent power intensive nature of long-range communication when sensor networks are required to span vast areas such as agricultural fields and remote terrain. Solar power is a common energy source is wireless sensor nodes, however, it is not reliable due to fluctuations in power stemming from the changing seasons and weather conditions. This paper tackles these issues by presenting a perpetually-powered, energy-harvesting sensor node which utilizes a minimally sized solar cell and is capable of long range communication by dynamically co-optimizing energy consumption and information transfer, termed as Energy-Information Dynamic Co-Optimization (EICO). This energy-information intelligence is achieved by adaptive duty cycling of information transfer based on the total amount of energy available from the harvester and charge storage element to optimize the energy consumption of the sensor node, while employing in-sensor analytics (ISA) to minimize loss of information. This is the first reported sensor node < 35cm2 in dimension, which is capable of long-range communication over > 1Km at continuous information transfer rates of upto 1 packet/second which is enabled by EICO and ISA.

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