Estimation Diversity and Energy Efficiency in Distributed Sensing
Distributed estimation based on measurements from multiple wireless sensors is investigated. It is assumed that a group of sensors observe the same quantity in independent additive observation noises with possibly different variances. The observations are transmitted using amplify-and-forward (analog) transmissions over non-ideal fading wireless channels from the sensors to a fusion center, where they are combined to generate an estimate of the observed quantity. Assuming that the Best Linear Unbiased Estimator (BLUE) is used by the fusion center, the equal-power transmission strategy is first discussed, where the system performance is analyzed by introducing the concept of estimation outage and estimation diversity, and it is shown that there is an achievable diversity gain on the order of the number of sensors.