In general, sensor networks have two competing objectives: (i) maximization of network performance with respect to the probability of successful search with a specified false alarm rate for a given coverage area, and (ii) maximization of the network’s operational life. In this context, battery-powered sensing systems are operable as long as they can communicate sensed data to the processing nodes. Since both operations of sensing and communication consume energy, judicious use of these operations could effectively improve the sensor network’s lifetime. From these perspectives, the paper presents an adaptive energy management policy that will optimally allocate the available energy between sensing and communication operations at each node to maximize the network performance under specified constraints. With the assumption of fixed total energy for a sensor network operating over a time period, the problem is reduced to identification of a network topology that maximizes the probability of successful detection of targets over a surveillance region. In a two-stage optimization, a genetic algorithm-based meta-heuristic search is first used to efficiently explore the global design space, and then a local pattern search algorithm is used for convergence to an optimal solution. The results of performance evaluation are presented to validate the proposed concept.

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