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A routing framework for energy harvesting wireless nanosensor networks in the Terahertz Band


Wireless NanoSensor Networks (WNSNs) will allow novel intelligent nanomaterial-based sensors, or nanosensors, to detect new types of events at the nanoscale in a distributed fashion over extended areas. Two main characteristics are expected to guide the design of WNSNs architectures and protocols, namely, their Terahertz Band wireless communication and their nanoscale energy harvesting process. In this paper, a routing framework for WNSNs is proposed to optimize the use of the harvested energy to guarantee the perpetual operation of the WNSN while, at the same time, increasing the overall network throughput. The proposed routing framework, which is based on a previously proposed medium access control protocol for the joint throughput and lifetime optimization in WNSNs, uses a hierarchical cluster-based architecture that offloads the network operation complexity from the individual nanosensors towards the cluster heads, or nano-controllers. This framework is based on the evaluation of the probability of saving energy through a multi-hop transmission, the tuning of the transmission power of each nanosensor for throughput and hop distance optimization, and the selection of the next hop nanosensor on the basis of their available energy and current load. The performance of this framework is also numerically evaluated in terms of energy, capacity, and delay, and compared to that of the single-hop communication for the same WNSN scenario. The results show how the energy per bit consumption and the achievable throughput can be jointly maximized by exploiting the peculiarities of this networking paradigm.

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The authors would like to thank Dr. Pu Wang and Dr. M. G. Abbas Malik for their invaluable support in the preparation of this paper. The material presented in this paper is based upon work funded by King Abdulaziz University, under Grant No. (11-15-1432/HiCi). The authors, therefore, acknowledge technical and financial support of KAU.

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Correspondence to Massimiliano Pierobon.

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Pierobon, M., Jornet, J.M., Akkari, N. et al. A routing framework for energy harvesting wireless nanosensor networks in the Terahertz Band. Wireless Netw 20, 1169–1183 (2014).

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