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Wireless sensor networks have limited energy resource and therefore energy-efficient protocols are required to minimize the energy consumption. The virtual MIMO technique is considered as one of the new solutions to solve this problem. In this paper, in order to maximize the network lifetime, we propose a virtual MIMO transmission scheme coupled with multi-hop transmission. In our cross-layer design, the transmission rate, the number of clusters and the number of virtual antenna nodes are jointly optimized. Unlike existing work that is mostly based on Alamouti scheme, the proposed transmission scheme does not require transmitter-side cooperation (joint STBC encoding/decoding), making it more suitable for application in real wireless sensor networks. Simulation results show significant energy savings and lifetime maximization of the network.
Date of Conference: March 31 2008-April 3 2008