Energy-efficient optical acquisition schemes in wireless sensor networks

Debbie Kedar, Shlomi Dolev, Shlomi Arnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Energy-efficiency is an essential feature of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) where the longevity of autonomous sensor nodes is limited by their battery life and/or energy-harvesting capability. Base-station-initiated optical wireless communication with nodes equipped with a passive optical transmitter in the form of a corner cube retroreflector (CCR) provides sensor acquisition with no energy expenditure on the part of the sensor node itself and is therefore an attractive option for WSN. However, the return signal from an illuminated sensor node is a stochastic variable dependant on fabrication parameters, ambient conditions and receiver noise so that the sensor acquisition process is inherently error-prone. In this paper we propose an energy-aware, base station-initiated interrogation scheme based on exponentially increasing beam scan areas, that takes into consideration the error-prone trait of CCR-outfitted sensor nodes. We analyse the scheme performance subject to different values of signal variance and various cost functions. We extend the analysis to address the circumstance of a spatially-limited sensorfailure event, such as may be caused by deliberate tampering or by environmental factors. We show that agile beam-steering on the basis of accrued knowledge of contaminated sensor distributions promotes energy-conserving acquisition. The validity of a Poisson spatial distribution model for the sensor dispersion is discussed and the impact of this initial assumption on acquisition error is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1809-1819
Number of pages11
JournalWireless Networks
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • Corner cube retroreflector (CCR)
  • Optical wireless communication
  • Poisson spatial distribution
  • Wireless sensor networks (WSNs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Energy-efficient optical acquisition schemes in wireless sensor networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this