A Mobile WSN Sink Node Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Design And Experiment
Keywords:Mobile Wireless Sensor Networks, Unmanned aerial vehicles, Sink platform, Data analysis
In this paper, we construct a new type of mobile wireless data sinking platform for data collection based on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, which aims to address the increasing demand for wireless sensor network (WSN) distribution in different monitoring areas and enlarge the coverage for various application scenarios. A wireless environmental monitoring system is firstly studied, and then wireless communication capacity and data collection experiments are performed. The communication capacity test results show that when the RF modules operate with a transmission power above 1 dBm and a communication distance below 100 m, the UAV wireless sink node can maintain a high quality communication data link. Additionally, an outdoor data collection experiment is performed using this UAV platform within a mountainous area. In this outdoor experiment, the data analysis results show that the validity rate of the environmental data that is obtained from the WSN cluster head node on the ground is higher than 92%, and most of the missing data results from WSN communication failures. This experiment proves the feasibility of introducing UAV as a sink node in a clustering WSN. The overall contributions of this paper can provide guidance for building a UAV cooperative WSN system in future.
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