November 23, 2009
Ph.D. students Vikram Gupta and Anthony Rowe, together with their advisor, ECE Professor Raj Rajkumar, have won the Best Paper Award at the ACM Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (Sensys) 2009 Conference earlier this month.
The paper, titled "Low-power clock synchronization using electromagnetic energy radiating from AC power lines," introduces an innovative low-power hardware module for achieving global clock synchronization across geographically distributed nodes. Such synchronization is useful in many decentralized systems including wireless sensor networks since it enables event ordering, coordinated actuation, energy-efficient communications, and coordinated duty-cycling.
This technique allows network nodes to receive a stable global clock tick by sensing electromagnetic energy from existing AC power lines. Rowe, Gupta and Rajkumar show in the paper that this can be done cost-effectively and in energy-efficient fashion. The system they designed allows synchronization to continue even when nodes become disconnected from the network for extended periods of time.
From L to R: Vikram Gupta, Anthony Rowe, and Raj Rajkumar