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In mobile sensor networks, sensor measurements as well as control commands are transmitted over wireless time-varying links. It then becomes considerably important to address the impact of imperfect communication on the overall performance. In this paper, we study the effect of time-varying communication links on the control performance of a mobile sensor node. In particular, we investigate the impact of fading. We derive a key performance measure parameter to evaluate the overall feedback control performance over narrowband channels. We show that fading can result in considerable delay and/or poor performance of the mobile sensor depending on the system requirements. To improve the performance, we then show how the application layer can use the channel status information of the physical layer to adapt control commands accordingly. We show that sharing information across layers can improve the overall performance considerably. We verify our analytical results by simulating a wireless location and speed control problem.
Date of Conference: 4-7 Oct. 2004