Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Jindong Tan


Mobile sensor networks have unique advantages compared with wireless sensor networks. The mobility enables mobile sensors to flexibly reconfigure themselves to meet sensing requirements. In this dissertation, an adaptive sampling method for mobile sensor networks is presented. Based on the consideration of sensing resource constraints, computing abilities, and onboard energy limitations, the adaptive sampling method follows a down sampling scheme, which could reduce the total number of measurements, and lower sampling cost. Compressive sensing is a recently developed down sampling method, using a small number of randomly distributed measurements for signal reconstruction. However, original signals cannot be reconstructed using condensed measurements, as addressed by Shannon Sampling Theory. Measurements have to be processed under a sparse domain, and convex optimization methods should be applied to reconstruct original signals. Restricted isometry property would guarantee signals can be recovered with little information loss. While compressive sensing could effectively lower sampling cost, signal reconstruction is still a great research challenge. Compressive sensing always collects random measurements, whose information amount cannot be determined in prior. If each measurement is optimized as the most informative measurement, the reconstruction performance can perform much better.

Based on the above consideration, this dissertation is focusing on an adaptive sampling approach, which could find the most informative measurements in unknown environments and reconstruct original signals. With mobile sensors, measurements are collect sequentially, giving the chance to uniquely optimize each of them. When mobile sensors are about to collect a new measurement from the surrounding environments, existing information is shared among networked sensors so that each sensor would have a global view of the entire environment. Shared information is analyzed under Haar Wavelet domain, under which most nature signals appear sparse, to infer a model of the environments. The most informative measurements can be determined by optimizing model parameters. As a result, all the measurements collected by the mobile sensor network are the most informative measurements given existing information, and a perfect reconstruction would be expected.

To present the adaptive sampling method, a series of research issues will be addressed, including measurement evaluation and collection, mobile network establishment, data fusion, sensor motion, signal reconstruction, etc. Two dimensional scalar field will be reconstructed using the method proposed. Both single mobile sensors and mobile sensor networks will be deployed in the environment, and reconstruction performance of both will be compared.In addition, a particular mobile sensor, a quadrotor UAV is developed, so that the adaptive sampling method can be used in three dimensional scenarios.