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With the proliferation of mobile devices, an increasing number of sensing applications are using mobile sensor networks. These mobile networks are severely energy-constrained, and energy usage is one of the most common causes of failure in their deployments. In these networks, nodes that exhaust their energy before the targeted system lifetime degrade system performance; nodes that run past the system lifetime cannot fully utilize their stored energy. Although much work has focused on policies to reduce and regulate energy usage in fixed and dense networks, intermittently connected networks have been largely overlooked. Due to variations in hardware, software, node mobility, and environment, it is especially difficult for intermittently connected mobile networks to improve operations collectively in a dynamic environment. Here, we present and evaluate Collaborative Adaptive Targeted System Lifetime (CA-TSL), an adaptive policy that enforces a system-wide targeted lifetime in an intermittently connected system by adapting node energy usage to an estimated desired energy profile. For evaluation, we present both real-system and large-scale simulated results. Our approach improves sink data reception by an average of 50 percent, and an additional 30 percent when a density estimation technique is also employed. In addition, it reduces system lifetime variations by up to 5.5 ×.