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Ad hoc and wireless sensor networks are characterized by their ability to monitor phenomena in the most adverse scenarios. However, to perform well, these networks need to be self-adjusting and save energy. In general, these networks operate without human interference and require strategies to provide longer operating life. This paper investigates the energy consumption in a random multihop ad hoc network, comparing the slotted Aloha with the CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance) implemented in the IEEE 802.11 Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) as medium access control (MAC) protocols. We obtain the optimal transmission power as a function of physical and link layers parameters which results the optimized energy consumption per successfully transmitted bit. In this paper, we find that there are values of these parameters that can be used to extend the battery life of wireless communication devices comparing the Aloha and CSMA/CA performance.
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