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Sensors 2012, 12(11), 14570-14591; doi:10.3390/s121114570

Providing Self-Healing Ability for Wireless Sensor Node by Using Reconfigurable Hardware

The State Key Lab of Mechanics and Control of Mechanical Structures, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 29# Yu Dao Street, Nanjing 210016, China
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Received: 29 August 2012 / Revised: 20 September 2012 / Accepted: 24 October 2012 / Published: 29 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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Abstract

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have received tremendous attention over the past ten years. In engineering applications of WSNs, a number of sensor nodes are usually spread across some specific geographical area. Some of these nodes have to work in harsh environments. Dependability of the Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is very important for its successful applications in the engineering area. In ordinary research, when a node has a failure, it is usually discarded and the network is reorganized to ensure the normal operation of the WSN. Using appropriate WSN re-organization methods, though the sensor networks can be reorganized, this causes additional maintenance costs and sometimes still decreases the function of the networks. In those situations where the sensor networks cannot be reorganized, the performance of the whole WSN will surely be degraded. In order to ensure the reliable and low cost operation of WSNs, a method to develop a wireless sensor node with self-healing ability based on reconfigurable hardware is proposed in this paper. Two self-healing WSN node realization paradigms based on reconfigurable hardware are presented, including a redundancy-based self-healing paradigm and a whole FPAA/FPGA based self-healing paradigm. The nodes designed with the self-healing ability can dynamically change their node configurations to repair the nodes’ hardware failures. To demonstrate these two paradigms, a strain sensor node is adopted as an illustration to show the concepts. Two strain WSN sensor nodes with self-healing ability are developed respectively according to the proposed self-healing paradigms. Evaluation experiments on self-healing ability and power consumption are performed. Experimental results show that the developed nodes can self-diagnose the failures and recover to a normal state automatically. The research presented can improve the robustness of WSNs and reduce the maintenance cost of WSNs in engineering applications.
Keywords: wireless sensor node; self-healing; reconfigurable hardware; dynamical reconfiguration wireless sensor node; self-healing; reconfigurable hardware; dynamical reconfiguration
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yuan, S.; Qiu, L.; Gao, S.; Tong, Y.; Yang, W. Providing Self-Healing Ability for Wireless Sensor Node by Using Reconfigurable Hardware. Sensors 2012, 12, 14570-14591.

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