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Energy limitation of sensor nodes is the main constraint to be addressed while designing and implementing algorithms for wireless sensor networks (WSN). Recently, to mitigate battery depletion problem and extend network lifetime, wireless passive sensor networks (WPSN) have become a new field of interest. Modulated backscattering is an important communication technique for WPSN to enable unlimited lifetime for sensor nodes. Determination of required number and power level of RF sources for wireless power transfer to sensor nodes is crucial for energy-efficient distributed sensing operation. Furthermore, deployed RF sources can share spectrum opportunistically via incorporation of cognitive radio capability such that desired distributed estimation distortion can be achieved with minimum spectrum utilization by WPSN. Employment of RF sources that radiate power only when spectrum opportunities are available unveils passive opportunistic distributed sensing (PODS). In this paper, first, we model intercepted power by passive sensor from RF sources and reflected power by passive sensor at the sink, and effect of opportunistic access to licensed spectrum bands on instantaneous throughput of sensor nodes. Then, a power level control scheme for RF sources is proposed to achieve desired distortion level with minimum energy consumption while using opportunistic distributed sensing in WPSN. Achieved estimation distortion at sink with respect to number and power level of RF sources, and available spectrum opportunities is investigated, and energy saving provided by proposed power control scheme is assessed for various distortion requirements, channel noise levels, and available spectrum opportunities via simulation experiments.
Date of Conference: 1-4 July 2012