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The generic autonomous platform for sensor systems (GAP4S) is a maintenance-free wireless sensor network in which the sensor node battery does not need to be replaced. Power is delivered to the sensor node via a microwave signal that is radiated by a base-station. The base-station also acts as the entry point to a wider communication network, e.g., the Internet. The paper describes an automatic repeat request (ARQ) protocol that may be used in GAP4S to yield reliable and fair data transmission from the sensor nodes to the base-station. The protocol takes advantage of cooperative communication, whereby neighboring sensor nodes help during the retransmission process. The transmission power level is optimized at each sensor node to increase the saturation throughput of the ARQ protocol.