Remotely powered underwater acoustic sensor networks

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2013
Bereketli, Alper
The lifetime of underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASN) is constrained primarily by the power available to the battery-operated sensor nodes. Therefore, power efficiency has become a major design goal for UASN solutions thus far. To eliminate this challenge on the design of UASN, power harvesting is a promising solution, in which Remotely Powered UASN (RPUASN) nodes harvest and store the power available from a powerful external underwater acoustic source. In this study, the novel RPUASN paradigm is introduced and developed. The characteristics of the power harvested from the external acoustic source are analyzed in terms of RPUASN design parameters. The contribution of the ambient noise is investigated in accordance with environmental conditions. Channel characteristics arising from the remote powering configuration are analyzed. Existing MAC, routing, and transport layer protocols proposed for UASN are classified and reviewed. A novel cross-layer protocol, essentially based on CSMA/CA but exploiting the power differential among different RPUASN nodes, is proposed and evaluated comparatively with alternative MAC and routing protocols. It is shown that this new protocol, X-PACCA, achieves acceptable, and under various configurations, superior performance to major competitors. Feasibility is illustrated with realistic examples observing commercial availability of components as a strict constraint. Open research issues are pointed out for reliable communication in RPUASN.