Scalable self-deployment of mobile sensor networks: A fluid dynamics approach

Pac M. R., Erkmen A. M., Erkmen I.

IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Beijing, China, 9 - 13 October 2006, pp.1446-1451 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/iros.2006.281969
  • City: Beijing
  • Country: China
  • Page Numbers: pp.1446-1451
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


We propose a novel approach inspired by compressible fluids as a distributed and scalable solution to the deployment problem of mobile sensor networks in unknown environments. Our approach is based on fluid dynamics through which we model the sensor network as a fluid body and each sensor node as a fluid element. Originating from local neighborhood interactions, the principles of fluid flow are adapted to the deployment of the sensor network. Mimicking the diffusive and self-spreading behavior of compressible fluids in a mobile sensor network, we achieve the desirable properties of effective coverage, scalability, and distributed self-deployment. An adaptive deployment scheme is also devised for urban disaster environments where the number of nodes to be deployed may not be determined a priori. Simulation results show that our approach can guarantee a desired level coverability.