Compressive sensing (CS) is a new technology in digital signal processing capable of high-resolution capture of physical signals from few measurements, which promises impressive improvements in the field of wireless sensor networks (WSNs). In this work, we extensively investigate the effectiveness of compressive sensing (CS) when real COTSresource-constrained sensor nodes are used for compression, evaluating how the different parameters can affect the energy consumption and the lifetime of the device. Using data from a real dataset, we compare an implementation of CS using dense encoding matrices, where samples are gathered at a Nyquist rate, with the reconstruction of signals sampled at a sub-Nyquist rate. The quality of recovery is addressed, and several algorithms are used for reconstruction exploiting the intra- and inter-signal correlation structures. We finally define an optimal under-sampling ratio and reconstruction algorithm capable of achieving the best reconstruction at the minimum energy spent for the compression. The results are verified against a set of different kinds of sensors on several nodes used for environmental monitoring.
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