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In wireless sensor networks, energy is commonly a scarce resource, which should be used as sparingly as possible to allow for long node lifetimes. It is therefore mandatory to put a focus on the development of energy-efficient applications. In this paper, the authors analyze the achievable energy gains when packet payloads are compressed prior to their transmission. As the radio transceiver chips are the predominant power consumers on most current sensor node platforms, they present how local compression of data can be successfully employed to preserve energy. They compare two lossless mechanisms to eliminate redundancies in the packets with regard to the overall energy savings.
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