Investigating transmission power control for wireless sensor networks based on 802.15.4 specifications

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Engineering/Centre for Communications and Electronics Research




This article was originally published as: Meghji, M. L., & Habibi, D. (2013). Investigating transmission power control for wireless sensor networks based on 802.15.4 specifications. Telecommunication Systems, 56(2), 299-310. doi:10.1007/s11235-013-9837-4 Original article available here


Because of the need to minimize the energy consumption of sensor nodes to prolong battery life in wireless sensor networks, we have extended the research previously reported (Meghji et al. in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 6886, pp. 130–143, 2011) to conclusively demonstrate some relevant advantages of single-hop transmission power control (TPC) over multi-hop TPC. We investigate TPC in multi-hop and single-hop WSNs using typical Telosb platform parameters, which are IEEE 802.15.4 standard compliant. We provide a more detailed description of a new approach to testing TPC in multi-hop networks at the physical layer, and provide energy consumption performance results via simulation and a numerical model. Our results indicate that sending packets using a short-range multi-hop path, instead of a single-hop, does not necessarily save energy as suggested by some researchers (Zhao and Leonidas, in Wireless Sensor Networks: An Information Processing Approach, 2004; Kai et al., in 6th International Conference on ITS Telecommunications Proceedings, pp. 675–679, 2006; Monks et al., in 26th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks, 2001. Proceedings. LCN 2001, pp. 550–559, 2001). Moreover, transmitting in single-hop networks at lower transmission power levels, while still maintaining reliable connectivity, reduced energy consumption by up to 23 %. Both the radiation and electronic components of the energy consumption are characterized. Furthermore, we show that both packet collisions and delays affect the performance of WSNs that have an increased number of hops. Since the use of TPC in star topology/cellular networks transmission can save energy, we recommend cluster based (hybrid) or similar topology over completely multi-hop topology.