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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Energy Efficient Sensor Networks


The vision of ubiquitous computing requires the development of devices and technologies which can be pervasive without being intrusive. The basic components of such a smart environment will be small nodes with sensing and wireless communications capabilities, able to organize flexibly into a network for data collection and delivery. Realizing such a network presents many significant challenges, especially at the architectural and protocol / software level. Major steps forward are required in the field of communication protocols, data processing, and application support. The goal of the proposed effort is to develop the architecture and the technology which enables the creation of a new generation of sensors that can effectively network together so as to provide a flexible platform for the support of a large variety of mobile sensor network applications.

The EYES project will develop the architecture and the technology needed for building self-organizing and collaborative sensor networks using reconfigurable smart sensor nodes which are self-aware, self-reconfigurable and autonomous. This technology will enable the creation of a new generation of sensors, which can effectively network together so as to provide a flexible platform for the support of a large variety of mobile sensor network applications. The project will also show the feasibility of the concepts and technologies developed by means of a prototype in which a sizeable network of sensors will be built and some example applications demonstrated.

Work description:
The technical work in the proposed project will focus mostly on architectural, protocol and software issues. This area is in fact believed to be the true bottleneck in current sensor networks. The challenges to face in developing new technologies for sensor networks are the need for the nodes to be smart, self-configurable, capable of networking together, and the inherent poverty of resources of the nodes themselves. The main thrust of the work will therefore be directed towards the development of new architectural schemes and communication protocols and algorithms at multiple layers, taking into account those specific features. In particular, schemes which are able to work efficiently in the presence of limited energy, processing power and memory will be developed. In the proposed architecture, applications rely on a two-level structure. The lower layer deals with sensors and networking, whereas the upper layer provides distributed services to the application by using the networking and transport capabilities offered by the lower layer. Detailed architectural studies will be carried out during a system architecture workpackage (WP1), whose aim is to produce an open framework for flexible development of new applications. According to this architectural view, there are two main research workpackages. WP2 (sensors and networking) will develop technology for communications and networking, including internal sensor architecture, distributed wireless access, routing protocols, reliable end-to-end transport, synchronizaiton and localization of nodes. WP3 (distributed services) deals with the service layer which supports mobile sensor applications, and will address issues and services such as information collection, lookup, discovery, security. As a vehicle to show the usability of a sensor network, a large-scale sensor network (100+ nodes) will be built and some of the developed algorithms will be implemented and tested (WP4, proof-of-concept).

Both theoretical research results and the implementation of a prototype will be produced. Specifically, we will:
1) Create new technologies for communications, networking and service provision which take explicitly into account the constraints of sensor networks;
2) Propose and test a new architecture for flexible support of mobile sensor network applications;
3) Test ideas by building a prototype sensor network in which to implement the proposed schemes, thereby verifying their effectiveness.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Participants (5)