An Energy-Flow Model for Self-Powered Routers in Rural Mesh Networks and its Application for Energy-Aware Routing
Proceedings ACM SOSP 2009 Workshop on Networked Systems for Developing Regions (NSDR '09)
Self-powered wireless mesh networks have gained popularity as a cheap alternative for providing Internet access in many rural areas of the developed and, especially, the developing world. The quality of service that these networks deliver is often bounded by such rudimentary issues as the unavailability of electrical energy. Dependence on renewable energy sources and variable power consumption make it difficult to predict the available energy and provide guarantees on communication performance. To facilitate energy trend estimation we develop an energy flow model that accounts for communication and energy harvesting equipment hardware specifications; high resolution, time-varying weather information; and the complex interaction among them. To show the model’s practical benefits, we introduce an energy-aware routing protocol, Lifetime Pattern-based Routing (LPR), specifically tailored for self-powered wireless networks. LPR’s routing decisions are based on energy level estimations provided by the energy flow model. Our protocol balances the available energy budget across all nodes; as a result, power failures are distributed among all participating parties. Using traces captured from a live network, we use simulation to show that LPR outperforms existing work in rural-area wireless network routing.