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Greener and Smarter Phones for Future Cities: Characterizing the Impact of GPS Signal Strength on Power Consumption

ABSTRACT

Smart cities appear as the next stage of urbanization aiming to not only exploit physical and digital infrastructure for urban development but also the intellectual and social capital as its core ingredient for urbanization. Smart cities harness the power of data from sensors in order to understand and manage city systems.

The most important of these sensing devices are smartphones as they provide the most important means to connect the smart city systems with its citizens, allowing personalization n and cocreation. The battery lifetime of smartphones is one of the most important parameters in achieving good user experience for the device. Therefore, the management and the optimization of handheld device applications in relation to their power consumption are an important area of research.

This paper investigates the relationship between the energy consumption of a localization application and the strength of the global positioning system (GPS) signal. This is an important focus, because location-based applications are among the top power-hungry applications. We conduct experiments on two android location-based applications, one developed by us, and the other one, off the shelf.

We use the results from the measurements of the two applications to derive a mathematical model that describes the power consumption in smartphones in terms of SNR and the time to first fix. The results from this study show that higher SNR values of GPS signals do consume less energy, while low GPS signals causing faster battery drain (38% as compared with 13%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that provides a quantitative understanding of how the poor strength (SNR) of satellite signals will cause relatively higher power drain from a smartphone’s battery.

Source: IEEE
Authors: Lo’ai A. Tawalbeh | Anas Basalamah | Rashid Mehmood | Hala Tawalbeh

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