Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) is a promising technology to replenish energy of sensors in Rechargeable Wireless Sensor Networks (RWSN). In this paper, we investigate the mobile directional charging optimization problem in RWSN. Our problem is how to plan the moving path and charging direction of the Directional Charging Vehicle (DCV) in the 2D plane to replenish energy for RWSN. The objective is to optimize energy charging efficiency of the DCV while maintaining the sensor network working continuously. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to study the mobile directional charging problem in RWSN. We prove that the problem is NP-hard. Firstly, the coverage utility of the DCV’s directional charging is proposed. Then we design an approximation algorithm to determine the docking spots and their charging orientations while minimizing the number of the DCV’s docking spots and maximizing the charging coverage utility. Finally, we propose a moving path planning algorithm for the DCV’s mobile charging to optimize the DCV’s energy charging efficiency while ensuring the networks working continuously. We theoretically analyze the DCV’s charging service capability, and perform the comprehensive simulation experiments. The experiment results show the energy efficiency of the DCV is higher than the omnidirectional charging model in the sparse networks.
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