A MAC protocol to reduce sensor network energy consumption using a wakeup radio

Matthew J. Miller, Nitin H. Vaidya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For increasing the life of sensor networks, each node must conserve energy as much as possible. In this paper, we propose a protocol in which energy is conserved by amortizing the energy cost of communication over multiple packets. In addition, we allow sensors to control the amount of buffered packets since storage space is limited. To achieve this, a two-radio architecture is used which allows a sensor to "wakeup" a neighbor with a busy tone and send its packets for that destination. However, this process is expensive because all neighbors must awake and listen to the primary channel to determine who is the intended destination. Therefore, triggered wakeups on the primary channel are proposed to avoid using the more costly wakeup procedure. We present a protocol for efficiently determining how large the period for these wakeups should be such that energy consumption is reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-242
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Power management
  • Sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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