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A fundamental task in a wireless sensor network is to broadcast some measured data from an origin sensor to a destination sensor. Since the sensors are typically small, power limited, and low cost, they are only able to broadcast low-power signals. As a result, the propagation loss from the origin to the destination nodes can attenuate the signals beyond detection. One way to deal with this problem is to pass the transmitted signal through relay nodes. In this paper we propose and study two-hop multisensor relay strategies that achieve minimum mean-square-error (MSE) performance subject to either local or global power constraints. The capacity of the resulting relay link and its diversity order are studied. The effect of channel uncertainties on system performance is examined and a modified relay scheme is proposed.
Date of Publication: July 2007