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Professor Dr. Werner Petersen-Award 2011

Photo with Prof. Turau, Florian Meier und Christian Renner (vlnr)Florian Meier (middle) with Prof. Turau (left) und supervising research assistant Christian Renner
Florian Meier is one of this year's awardees of the Prof. Dr. Werner-Petersen Award 2011. He received the second prize in the category bachelor's theses. The prize was awarded at 2. December 2011 at the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel during the "Day of Computer Science 2011". The Prof. Dr. Werner-Petersen Award is the highest prize in Germany for theses in scientific studies. Selection criteria for the judgement are the practical relevance and the contribution to the innovation process.

In his bachelor's thesis, the 23 years old student of the Hamburg University of Technology developed and analyzed a technique for energy-aware task scheduling for sensor nodes, that are not driven by batteries but by renewable energy sources such as environmental temperature, vibration or solar irradiation (so called energy harvesting). Besides a better environmental sustainability, this avoids constraints through wired power supply or regular battery exchangement. One of the challanges of energy harvesting is the irregularity of the energy intake. The energy provided by a solar cell is not only depended on the time of day and geographical positioning, but also on cloudiness and shadowing. This implies that the energy for running an application can not always be provided. An energy buffer can damp the energy fluctuation, but the general problem is still existing.

Florian Meier investigated procedures for permanent utiliziation of solar-powered sensor nodes. The considered system includes a solar cell, a supercap for energy buffering and a sensor node consisting of a microcontroller and a radio transmitter. The task was to develop a software for dynamic task adaption of the system that consideres the charging level of the energy buffer, the predicted energy intake and the expected energy outtake. Mr. Meier chose a completely new way that includes several power levels. The adequate power level is automatically selected in regular intervals to match the expected energy flux. The algorithm utilizes a mathematical model of the electronical device that was developed by Mr. Meier, too. Finally, he analyzed the system by means of simulations and demonstrated the predominance over existing alternatives. Furthermore, he implemented his technique on real hardware and verified the functionality in a practical environment.

Mr. Meier has written his thesis at the Institute for Telematics of Prof. Dr. Volker Turau. It was supervised by research assistent Christian Renner.