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Sensors 2014, 14(1), 22-51; doi:10.3390/s140100022
Article

Performance Evaluation and Comparative Analysis of SubCarrier Modulation Wake-up Radio Systems for Energy-Efficient Wireless Sensor Networks

1,2
, 1,2,* , 1,2
, 1,2
, 3
 and 3
1 Department of Telematics Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, C/Jordi Girona 1-3, Barcelona 08034, Spain 2 Fundació i2Cat, C/Gran Capità 2, Barcelona 08034, Spain 3 Institut für Mikrosystemtechnik—IMTEK, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Georges-Köhler-Allee 103, Freiburg 79110, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 October 2013 / Revised: 10 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 19 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)

Abstract

Energy-efficient communication is one of the main concerns of wireless sensor networks nowadays. A commonly employed approach for achieving energy efficiency has been the use of duty-cycled operation of the radio, where the node’s transceiver is turned off and on regularly, listening to the radio channel for possible incoming communication during its on-state. Nonetheless, such a paradigm performs poorly for scenarios of low or bursty traffic because of unnecessary activations of the radio transceiver. As an alternative technology, Wake-up Radio (WuR) systems present a promising energy-efficient network operation, where target devices are only activated in an on-demand fashion by means of a special radio signal and a WuR receiver. In this paper, we analyze a novel wake-up radio approach that integrates both data communication and wake-up functionalities into one platform, providing a reconfigurable radio operation. Through physical experiments, we characterize the delay, current consumption and overall operational range performance of this approach under different transmit power levels. We also present an actual single-hop WuR application scenario, as well as demonstrate the first true multi-hop capabilities of a WuR platform and simulate its performance in a multi-hop scenario. Finally, by thorough qualitative comparisons to the most relevant WuR proposals in the literature, we state that the proposed WuR system stands out as a strong candidate for any application requiring energy-efficient wireless sensor node communications.
Keywords: wake-up radio; wake-up receiver; wireless sensor networks; low-power communication; energy-efficient networking; performance analysis wake-up radio; wake-up receiver; wireless sensor networks; low-power communication; energy-efficient networking; performance analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Oller, J.; Demirkol, I.; Casademont, J.; Paradells, J.; Gamm, G.U.; Reindl, L. Performance Evaluation and Comparative Analysis of SubCarrier Modulation Wake-up Radio Systems for Energy-Efficient Wireless Sensor Networks. Sensors 2014, 14, 22-51.

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