| 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.


  • 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 15th annual international conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, Delft, The Netherlands, ACM, November 2017 (Hartung:Sensys:2017:FAILSAFE, BibTeX, accepted for publication)
  • Robert Hartung, Ulf Kulau and Lars Wolf: Adaptive Wireless Sensor Networks: Robust but Efficient, in IDEA League Doctoral School on Transiently Powered Computing, Delft, The Netherlands, November 2017 (hartung:tpc2017, BibTeX, accepted for publication)
  • 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, accepted for pubication)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Georg von Zengen, Yannic Schröder and Lars Wolf: InPhase: A Low Cost Indoor Localization System for IoT Devices, in Microsoft Indoor Localization Competition, Workshop at IPSN 2015, Seattle, WA ,USA, April 2015 (vonzengen:IPSN2015, BibTeX)

Project members at IBR

Name EMail Phone Room
Dr. Ulf Kulau kulau[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de +49-531-3913290 110
Robert Hartung hartung[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de +49-531-3913264 115
Dr. Felix Büsching buesching[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de +49-531-3913289 132
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lars Wolf wolf[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de +49-531-3913288 138


Title Type Supervisor Status
Porting IdealVolting to the RIOT Operating System with respect to utilizing low power management Project Thesis Robert Hartung, Dr. Ulf Kulau open
Design, Implementation and Evaluation of an online-system for the INGA platform to learn temperature dependency Bachelor Thesis, Master Thesis Robert Hartung open
Design, Implementation and Evaluation of a RPL Objective Function for robust and energy efficient WSNs Master Thesis Robert Hartung open
Optimierung, Parallelisierung und Erweiterung des COOJA-Simulators Team Project Thesis Robert Hartung open
Evaluation von transienten Knotenausfällen im FIT/IoT-Lab Bachelor Thesis, Project Thesis Dr. Ulf Kulau open
Risk-oriented Task Scheduling for Wireless Sensor Nodes Bachelor Thesis, Master Thesis, Project Thesis Dr. Ulf Kulau open
Development of a battery test card to measure temperature effects on batteries Master Thesis Robert Hartung running
An adaptative prediction approach for low power WSN Master Thesis Dr. Ulf Kulau running
Energy Harvesting für Sensorknoten unter Nutzung der Bodentemperatur Bachelor Thesis Dr. Ulf Kulau running
Entwicklung eines Micro-Source-Energy-Harvesters für Sensorknoten Master Thesis Dr. Ulf Kulau finished
Datenerhebung von IEEE 802.15.4 Radios unter verschiedenen Temperatureinflüssen Bachelor Thesis Dr. Ulf Kulau, Robert Hartung finished
Abhärtung des RPL-Protokolls gegen transiente Knotenausfälle Master Thesis Dr. Ulf Kulau finished

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