Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Major Advisor

Sin Ming Loo, Ph.D.


Advances in low-power microelectronics and sensor technologies have enabled the creation of sophisticated environmental monitoring systems capable of operating on battery power. Independence from a power outlet connection opens up many new potential applications, but limited battery life still imposes significant restrictions on a monitoring system’s capabilities and the number of systems that can be economically deployed and maintained. These restrictions have motivated much research into reducing monitoring system energy usage, increasing battery capacity, and harnessing alternative energy sources. While most of the research focuses on new system design, there is a need for techniques to extend the battery-powered operating time of existing environmental monitoring systems without compromising their sensor data quality. This thesis explores and develops methods for extending the operating time of an existing airquality monitoring system. The system contains seven environmental sensors that create a substantial energy demand and make long-term battery operation challenging. The resulting hardware and firmware modifications doubled the system’s battery-powered operating time without significantly reducing its environmental measurement data quality. The addition of an external battery sized to match the system’s form factor increased operating time well past the goal for the intended application. Although the modifications and results presented in this thesis are specific to one environmental monitoring system, the same techniques could be applied to other monitoring systems and to embedded systems in general.

Files over 30MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."