A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a wireless network consisting of spatially distributed
autonomous devices using sensors to cooperatively monitor physical or environmental conditions,
such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion or pollutants, at different locations. The
development of wireless sensor networks was originally motivated by military applications such as
battlefield surveillance. However, wireless sensor networks are now used in many civilian
application areas, including environment and habitat monitoring, healthcare applications, home
automation, and traffic control. In addition to one or more sensors, each node in a sensor network is
typically equipped with a radio transceiver or other wireless communications device, a small
microcontroller, and an energy source, usually a battery. The envisaged size of a single sensor node
can vary from shoebox-sized nodes down to devices the size of grain of dust, although functioning
'motes' of genuine microscopic dimensions have yet to be created. The cost of sensor nodes is
similarly variable, ranging from hundreds of dollars to a few cents, depending on the size of the
sensor network and the complexity required of individual sensor nodes. Size and cost constraints on
sensor nodes result in corresponding constraints on resources such as energy, memory, computational
speed and bandwidth.
Asensor is a type of transducer which uses one type of energy, a signal of some sort, and converts it
into a reading for the purpose of information transfer. A mercury thermometer is an example of a
sensor that converts the expansion and contraction of a volume of mercury in response to change in
temperature (the signal), to a reading on a calibrated glass tube giving information about ambient
temperature. Other sensors, such as a thermocouple, produce an output voltage or other electrical
output which may be attached to a meter for reading a change or interpreted by another device (such
as a computer). For accuracy in the application a calibration of the sensor and its output information
Sensors are used in everyday objects such as touch-sensitive elevator buttons and lamps which dim or brighten by touching the base. There are also innumerable applications for sensors of which most people are never aware. Applications include automobiles, machines, aerospace, medicine, industry, and robotics.
A sensor's sensitivity indicates how much the sensor's output changes when the measured quantity
changes. For instance, if the mercury in a thermometer moves 1cm when the temperature changes by
1\u00b0, the sensitivity is 1cm/1\u00b0. Sensors that measure very small changes must have very high
A wireless ad hoc network is a decentralized wireless network. The network is ad hoc because each
node is willing to forward data for other nodes, and so the determination of which nodes forward data
is made dynamically based on the network connectivity. This is in contrast to wired networks in
which routers perform the task of routing. It is also in contrast to managed wireless networks, in
which a special node known as an access point manages communication among other nodes.
The decentralized nature of wireless ad hoc networks makes them suitable for a variety of
applications where central nodes cannot be relied on, and may improve the scalability of wireless ad
hoc networks compared to wireless managed networks, though theoretical and practicallimits to the
overall capacity of such networks have been identified.
protocol will enable ad hoc networks to be formed quickly.
Wireless ad hoc networks can be further classified by their application:
1.Mobile ad hoc networks(MANETS)
2.Wireless mesh networks
3.Wireless sensor networks
In most wireless ad hoc networks the nodes compete to access the shared wireless medium often
resulting in collisions. Using cooperative wireless communications improves immunity to
interference by having the destination node combine self-interference and other-node interference to
improve decoding of the desired signal.
The field of wireless sensor networks requires new and sophisticated algorithms/protocols because
of, e.g., the focus on energy conservation. The analysis of such networks pose a set of challenges to
formal methods and tools, for reasons which may include: (i) the power consumption is usually a
critical metric that must be taken into account, (ii) communication is \u201climited range broadcast\u201d when
done by radio, (iii) the topology is often not known in advance and is ever-changing due to nodes
dying or becoming inactive, (iv) timers are often needed, (v) for this coverage algorithm, one must
The applications for WSNs are many and varied. They are used in commercial and industrial
applications to monitor data that would be difficult or expensive to monitor using wired sensors.
They could be deployed in wilderness areas, where they would remain for many years (monitoring
some environmental variables) without the need to recharge/replace their power supplies. They could
form a perimeter about a property and monitor the progression of intruders (passing information from
one node to the next). There are many uses for WSNs.
Typical applications of WSNs include monitoring, tracking, and controlling. Some of the specific
applications are habitat monitoring, object tracking, nuclear reactor controlling, fire detection, traffic
monitoring, etc. In a typical application, a WSN is scattered in a region where it is meant to collect
data through its sensor nodes. Another class of application is the so-called smart space.
Area monitoring is a typical application of WSNs. In area monitoring, the WSN is deployed over a
region where some phenomenon is to be monitored. As an example, a large quantity of sensor nodes
could be deployed over a battlefield to detect enemy intrusion instead of using landmines. When the
sensors detect the event being monitored (heat, pressure, sound, light, electro-magnetic field,
vibration, etc), the event needs to be reported to one of the base stations, which can take appropriate
action (e.g., send a message on the internet or to a satellite). Depending on the exact application,
different objective functions will require different data-propagation strategies, depending on things
such as need for real-timeresponse, redundancy of the data need forsecurit y, etc.
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