Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Computer Science

Committee Member

Dr. Jacob Sorber, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Brian Malloy

Committee Member

Dr. Brian Dean

Abstract

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has become a prominent low-power wireless solution for portable, battery-powered devices, potentially allowing them to run for several years, even off of a simple coin cell. But batteries must still be replaced. The emergence of batteryless devices is gaining momentum due to their ability to run for decades with no maintenance. The design of BLE relies on exact timing, which usually means a constant power source. The question, then, is how well will BLE function when used in batteryless sensors that run on harvested energy and therefore lose power frequently. In this paper, I evaluate the suitability of using BLE in the context of these Intermittently Powered Devices by analyzing the energy requirements of the three main BLE events: an advertisement, the connection establishment, and the periodic connection event. I then apply the results in an evaluation of BLE on a Periph-eral powered by harvested solar energy and compare and contrast connectionless broadcasting and connection-oriented operation. The results show that batteryless BLE devices are not limited to connectionless operation as convention suggests, and that connected devices have the potential for better performance overall. Based on these findings, I describe a modified BLE protocol that would allow for sustainable connection-oriented operation to make it a more effective wireless standard for IPDs.

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