Minimal infrastructure short range radar networks
Distributed networks of short-range radars offer the potential to observe winds and rainfall at high spatial resolution in volumes of the troposphere that are unobserved by today's long-range weather radars. One class of potential radar network designs includes Off-the-Grid (OTG) weather radar networks. These are envisioned as self-contained networks of small remote-sensing, communication, and computation nodes, each occupying a volume of 1 m 3 and capable of operating independent of the wired power and communication infrastructure. Independence of the wired infrastructure would allow OTG networks to be deployed in specific regions where sensing needs are greatest, such as mountain valleys prone to flash-flooding, geographic regions where the infrastructure is not available or susceptible to failure, certain high-population areas, and underdeveloped regions lacking built-up infrastructure.
OTG radar nodes would communicate wirelessly with one-another by operating as ad-hoc networks, and they would distribute computational functions among various points capable of computation throughout the network. The individual nodes derive energy from solar panels or other self-contained means and therefore OTG networks operate under a constraint of limited energy consumption. These systems would be required to exhibit the property of energy balance, meaning that they dynamically balance the allocation of energy consumed by different functions with the generation of power from the environment. This would be done through dynamic control decisions in order to operate over extended periods of time during severe and changing weather. Sensing, communicating, and computing tasks may be redistributed throughout the network as the storm cells migrate over the coverage area, in such a way that it maximizes the ratio of useful information collected to power consumed.
This dissertation focuses on power management and energy harvesting of OTG radar networks. A prototype OTG radar node was developed to obtain practical measurements of energy consumption. Experiences and data gained from the operation of the prototype nodes are used to develop a model of the OTG node for simulation. An OTG radar network simulator was developed experiment with potential OTG networks. These simulations are used to investigate the impact of geographic location, battery capacity, optimization of power consumption, and node density on the performance and operational lifetime of such a sensor network. Additionally we present the results from initial exploration of dynamic control in OTG networks.
0984: Computer science