| Carl-Friedrich-Gauß-Faculty | Computer Science

Robust, Energy Efficient Wireless Sensor Networks for Outdoor Scenarios by Adaption of Operation Parameters

The opportunities for Wireless Sensor Networks are as well various and challenging. In agriculture, e.g., distributed sensors can be used to measure plant growth or for soil analysis. Here, robustness of single nodes and the whole network is of major importance for successful projects or smart farming approaches. Almost every environmental impact has also direct or indirect influence on the lifetime of the nodes or the network, whereby also huge deviations in environmental conditions occur. Provoked by sun exposure, a single sensor node can show a difference in temperature of 56°C in just one day. Additionally, there is an intense heterogeneity in temperature between the particular nodes within the network.

To enable a long-term operation of sensor networks under such conditions they should be very robust against such influences and energy supply has to be ensured. Besides other things, robustness can be achieved by reducing the energy requirements of the node, respectively by adapting the requirements to the generation or vice versa. Additionally, some tasks (e.g., record, store, or process data) can be postponed or relocated in order to adapt them in the temporal or the spatial dimension, on a single node and/or within the network, and to adjust them to the specific environmental or energy conditions. So, especially in outdoor scenarios we have the situation that a.) Some nodes may work more energy efficient than others - due to their temperature and their individual characteristics (heterogeneity within the network) and b.) Changing environmental conditions (over time - e.g. direct sunlight / shadow or day / night) lead to dynamic shift of the energy efficiency of single nodes or the whole network. Opportunities for Energy Harvesting share this dynamics, as well.

Monitoring the changing environmental conditions allows to benefit from the systems dynamics. Realistic models for energy and reliability will be derived from these measurements. Combined with the knowledge about the characteristics of the nodes in the network, this information can, e.g., be used for routing decisions, task scheduling, and processing within the network. By predicting the environmental variables, a suitable time for performing intensive computations or forwarding data in delay tolerant networks can be determined. Specific scheduling and routing protocols will be developed to achieve a robust wireless sensor network under dynamic conditions. The investigated relations and the implemented algorithms will be evaluated continuously in a real environment.


  • Jana Huchtkötter, Andreas Reinhardt and Ulf Kulau: PulseHV: Opportunistic Data Transmissions over High Voltage Pulses for Smart Farming Applications, in Proceedings of the 14th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems, DCoSS 2018, New York, USA, June 2018 (Kulau:DCOSS2018, BibTeX, accepted for publication)
  • Laura Feeney, Robert Hartung, Christian Rohner, Ulf Kulau, Lars Wolf and Per Gunningberg: Poster: Towards realistic lifetime estimation in battery-powered IoT devices, in Proceedings of the 15th annual international conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, Delft, The Netherlands, ACM, November 2017 (Hartung:Sensys:2017:BatteryPoster, BibTeX, accepted for publication)
  • Robert Hartung, Ulf Kulau and Lars Wolf: Adaptive Wireless Sensor Networks: Robust but Efficient, in Proc. IDEA League Doctoral School on Transiently Powered Computing, Delft, The Netherlands, IDEA League (TU Delft, RWTH Aachen University, ETH Zurich, Chalmers University, Politecnico di Milano), November 2017 (hartung:tpc2017, BibTeX)
  • Ulf Kulau, Daniel Bräckelmann, Felix Büsching, Sebastian Schildt and Lars Wolf: REAPer - Adaptive Micro-Source Energy-Harvester for Wireless Sensor Nodes, in Twelfth IEEE Workshop on Practical Issues in Building Sensor Network Applications 2017 (IEEE SenseApp 2017), Singapore, October 2017 (kulau:SenseApp:2017, BibTeX, Slides)
  • Ulf Kulau, Silas Müller, Sebastian Schildt, Arthur Martens, Felix Büsching and Lars Wolf: Energy Efficiency Impact of Transient Node Failures when using RPL, in Proceedings of the 18th IEEE International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks, WoWMoM 2017, Macau, China, June 2017 (Kulau:WOWMOM2017, BibTeX, Slides, accepted for publication)
  • Ulf Kulau, Stephan Rottmann and Lars Wolf: Demo: Brzzz - A Simplistic but Highly Useful Secondary Channel for WSNs, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Embedded Wireless Systems and Networks, EWSN 2017, Uppsala, Sweden, February 2017 (Kulau:EWSN2017, BibTeX, Slides, Poster, Best Demo Award)
  • Robert Hartung, Ulf Kulau, Björn Gernert, Stephan Rottmann and Lars Wolf: On the Experiences with Testbeds and Applications in Precision Farming, in Proceedings of the First ACM International Workshop on the Engineering of Reliable, Robust, and Secure Embedded Wireless Sensing Systems, FAILSAFE'17, Delft, The Netherlands, pages 54-61, ACM, 2017 (Hartung:Sensys:2017:FAILSAFE, DOI, BibTeX, Slides)
  • Ulf Kulau, Johannes van Balen, Sebastian Schildt, Felix Büsching and Lars Wolf: Dynamic Sample Rate Adaptation for Long-Term IoT Sensing Applications, in IEEE World Forum on Internet of Things 2016 (WF-IoT), Reston, USA, December 2016 (kulau:wf-iot:2016, BibTeX, Slides)
  • Georg von Zengen, Robert Hartung, Ulf Kulau, Felix Büsching and Lars Wolf: Low Cost Temperature Controlled Testbed for WSNs, Augsburg, Germany, September 2016 (FGSN:2016, BibTeX)
  • R. Hartung, U. Kulau and L. Wolf: Distributed Energy Measurement in WSNs for Outdoor Applications, in 2016 13th Annual IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication, and Networking (SECON), pages 1-9, June 2016 (Hartung:Secon:2016, DOI, BibTeX)
  • R. Hartung, U. Kulau and L. Wolf: Demo: PotatoScope - Scalable and Dependable Distributed Energy Measurement for WSNs, in 2016 13th Annual IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication, and Networking (SECON), pages 1-3, June 2016 (Hartung:Secon:2016:Demo, DOI, BibTeX)

Project members at IBR

Dr. Ulf Kulaukulau[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de
Robert Hartunghartung[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de+49-531-3913264115
Dr. Felix Büschingbuesching[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de+49-531-3913289132
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lars Wolfwolf[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de+49-531-3913288138


Risk-oriented Task Scheduling for Wireless Sensor NodesBachelor Thesis, Master Thesis, Project ThesisDr. Ulf Kulauopen
Design, Implementation and Evaluation of an online-system for the INGA platform to learn temperature dependencyBachelor Thesis, Master ThesisRobert Hartungrunning
Design, Implementation and Evaluation of a RPL Objective Function for robust and energy efficient WSNsMaster ThesisRobert Hartungrunning
Evaluation von transienten Knotenausfällen im FIT/IoT-LabBachelor Thesis, Project ThesisDr. Ulf Kulaurunning
Development of a battery test card to measure temperature effects on batteriesMaster ThesisRobert Hartungfinished
Optimierung, Parallelisierung und Erweiterung des COOJA-SimulatorsTeam Project ThesisRobert Hartungfinished
Porting IdealVolting to the RIOT Operating System with respect to utilizing low power managementProject ThesisRobert Hartung, Dr. Ulf Kulaufinished
Entwicklung eines Micro-Source-Energy-Harvesters für SensorknotenMaster ThesisDr. Ulf Kulaufinished
Datenerhebung von IEEE 802.15.4 Radios unter verschiedenen TemperatureinflüssenBachelor ThesisDr. Ulf Kulau, Robert Hartungfinished
An adaptive prediction approach for low power WSNMaster ThesisDr. Ulf Kulaufinished
Abhärtung des RPL-Protokolls gegen transiente KnotenausfälleMaster ThesisDr. Ulf Kulaufinished
Energy Harvesting für Sensorknoten unter Nutzung der BodentemperaturBachelor ThesisDr. Ulf Kulaufinished

If you are interested in writing a thesis regarding this project, please feel free to contact Dr. Ulf Kulau.



DFG This research project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under grants no. BU 3282/2-1.

last changed 2017-02-01, 12:50 (dynamic content) by Dr. Ulf Kulau