A Flexible In Situ Power Monitoring Unit for Environmental Sensor Networks
Wireless radios are a great consumer of energy in sensor networks. Retrieving data from a remote deployment in an energy-efficient fashion is a difficult problem, and while solutions have been proposed in literature, real-world systems typically implement robust though inefficient methods. In an effort to bring efficient monitoring techniques to real-world environmental sensor networks, we seek to now quantify the performance brought by these algorithms in practical terms, i.e., by their resulting reduction in overall station energy consumption. To this end, we have developed a power monitoring extension board that integrates seamlessly with a commercial environmental sensor network platform. The board is capable of measuring all incoming and outgoing power for a station, and can disconnect subsystems, such as the solar panel or sensor bus, as necessary. The board is currently deployed on an outdoor network and is undergoing extensive testing.