Skip to Main Content
Current expectations on sensor node in terms of size, cost, and energy efficiency have led to a severely limited design space on hardware and software. In this paper, we explore capabilities at the network edge for sensor networks, aiming to reduce the hardware and software complexity of a sensor node without sacrificing network performance. We present a novel edge-based routing protocol, nicknamed BeamStar, for wireless sensor networks. Under BeamStar, the base station exploits some nice properties associated with directional antenna and power control at the base station. We devise a simple protocol so that each sensor node can determine its location information passively with minimum control overhead. We also show how to design a robust routing protocol based on the location information at each sensor node. Under the proposed protocol, sensor nodes are relieved of the activities (or burdens) that are associated with control and routing, thus enabling much simpler hardware and software implementation at sensor nodes. Simulation results demonstrate that BeamStar achieves high reliability at comparable energy consumptions as compared with prior work. It is a viable approach to pursue size and cost reduction for future sensor node design.