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Sensors 2010, 10(6), 5548-5568; doi:10.3390/s100605548

An Energy-efficient Rate Adaptive Media Access Protocol (RA-MAC) for Long-lived Sensor Networks

ICT Centre, CSIRO, Brisbane 4069, Australia
School of Computer Science and Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 April 2010 / Revised: 18 May 2010 / Accepted: 18 May 2010 / Published: 2 June 2010
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We introduce an energy-efficient Rate Adaptive Media Access Control (RA-MAC) algorithm for long-lived Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). Previous research shows that the dynamic and lossy nature of wireless communications is one of the major challenges to reliable data delivery in WSNs. RA-MAC achieves high link reliability in such situations by dynamically trading off data rate for channel gain. The extra gain that can be achieved reduces the packet loss rate which contributes to reduced energy expenditure through a reduced numbers of retransmissions. We achieve this at the expense of raw bit rate which generally far exceeds the application’s link requirement. To minimize communication energy consumption, RA-MAC selects the optimal data rate based on the estimated link quality at each data rate and an analytical model of the energy consumption. Our model shows how the selected data rate depends on different channel conditions in order to minimize energy consumption. We have implemented RA-MAC in TinyOS for an off-the-shelf sensor platform (the TinyNode) on top of a state-of-the-art WSN Media Access Control Protocol, SCP-MAC, and evaluated its performance by comparing our implementation with the original SCP-MAC using both simulation and experiment. View Full-Text
Keywords: wireless sensor networks; energy efficient; rate adaptive; performance evaluation wireless sensor networks; energy efficient; rate adaptive; performance evaluation

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Hu, W.; Chen, Q.; Corke, P.; O’Rourke, D. An Energy-efficient Rate Adaptive Media Access Protocol (RA-MAC) for Long-lived Sensor Networks. Sensors 2010, 10, 5548-5568.

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