A study into prolonging Wireless Sensor Network lifetime during disaster scenarios
2015-06-19T14:08:49Z (GMT) by
A Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) has wide potential for many applications. It can be employed for normal monitoring applications, for example, the monitoring of environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, light intensity and pressure. A WSN is deployed in an area to sense these environmental conditions and send information about them to a sink. In certain locations, disasters such as forest fires, floods, volcanic eruptions and earth-quakes can happen in the monitoring area. During the disaster, the events being monitored have the potential to destroy the sensing devices; for example, they can be sunk in a flood, burnt in a fire, damaged in harmful chemicals, and burnt in volcano lava etc. There is an opportunity to exploit the energy of these nodes before they are totally destroyed to save the energy of the other nodes in the safe area. This can prolong WSN lifetime during the critical phase. In order to investigate this idea, this research proposes a new routing protocol called Maximise Unsafe Path (MUP) routing using Ipv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPAN). The routing protocol aims to exploit the energy of the nodes that are going to be destroyed soon due to the environment, by concentrating packets through these nodes. MUP adapts with the environmental conditions. This is achieved by classifying four different levels of threat based on the sensor reading information and neighbour node condition, and represents this as the node health status, which is included as one parameter in the routing decision. High priority is given to a node in an unsafe condition compared to another node in a safer condition. MUP does not allow packet routing through a node that is almost failed in order to avoid packet loss when the node fails. To avoid the energy wastage caused by selecting a route that requires a higher energy cost to deliver a packet to the sink, MUP always forwards packets through a node that has the minimum total path cost. MUP is designed as an extension of RPL, an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard routing protocol in a WSN, and is implemented in the Contiki Operating System (OS). The performance of MUP is evaluated using simulations and test-bed experiments. The results demonstrate that MUP provides a longer network lifetime during a critical phase of typically about 20\% when compared to RPL, but with a trade-off lower packet delivery ratio and end-to-end delay performances. This network lifetime improvement is crucial for the WSN to operate for as long as possible to detect and monitor the environment during a critical phase in order to save human life, minimise loss of property and save wildlife.