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We study sensor networks with energy harvesting nodes. The generated energy at a node can be stored in a buffer. A sensor node periodically senses a random field and generates a packet. These packets are stored in a queue and transmitted using the energy available at that time at the node. For such networks we develop efficient energy management policies. First, for a single node, we obtain policies that are throughput optimal, i.e., the data queue stays stable for the largest possible data rate. Next we obtain energy management policies which minimize the mean delay in the queue. We also compare performance of several easily implementable sub-optimal policies. A greedy policy is identified which, in low SNR regime, is throughput optimal and also minimizes mean delay. Next using the results for a single node, we develop efficient MAC policies.
Date of Conference: 23-26 Sept. 2008