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 Problems with Wired technology:

• Wire is expensive.
• Maintenance problem.
• Prevents entities from being mobile.
 To overcome these problems, a new class of networks called
“wireless sensor networks” have appeared in the last few years.
 These networks are individual nodes that are able to interact with
the physical environment. These nodes collaborate to fulfil their tasks
by using wireless computation.

 Handling wide range of applications will be hardly possible with any

single realization of a WSN.
 Certain common traits appear, especially with respect to
characteristics and the required mechanisms of such systems.
 Realizing these characteristics with new mechanisms is the major
challenge of vision of WSN’S.
1. Type of Service: WSN is expected to provide meaningful
information and actions about a given task, moving bits from one
place to another and maintaining proper time intervals.
2. Quality of Service: This is closely related to type of service. Some of
the requirements are bounded delay, minimum bandwidth,
delivery packets and reliability.
3. Fault Tolerance: Since nodes may run out of energy or get
damaged permanently, it is important that WSN is able to tolerate
such faults. To tolerate such node failures redundant deployment is
4. Life time : In a network, nodes rely on limited power supply where
replacing these sources is not practical end at the same time.
Networks must operate at least for given time. Hence life time of
WSN becomes very important figure of merit.
5. Scalability : Since a WSN may include large number of nodes, the employed
architecture and protocols must be able to scale these numbers.
6. Wide range of densities : In WSN, the number of nodes per unit area (density)
may vary. Different applications have different node densities which can vary
over time and space due to node failures and movement.
7. Programmability : The nodes needs to process the information and they have
to react flexibility on changes in their tasks. They should be programmable and
changeable when new tasks become important.
8. Maintainability : As both the environment and WSN changes, the system has to
adopt and monitor its own health and status to change operational
parameters, in the essence the networks has to maintain itself.
 Innovative mechanisms for a communication network have to be found with
new architectures that are sufficient for given applications to support the QOS,
lifetime, maintainability requirements.
 Mechanisms:
1. Multi-Hop wireless communication: The direct communication between sender
and a receiver has some limitations. Communications over a long distance is
only possible using high transmission power. The intermediate nodes as relays
can reduce total power required . So multi-Hop communication is very much
required mechanisms.
2. Energy efficient operation : To support long life times, efficient energy operation
is a key mechanism which includes efficient data transfer between nodes.
3. Locality : The principle of locality has to be provided for scalability. Nodes which
are limited in resources like memory, should attempt to limit the state that they
accumulate during the processing of information.
4. Auto configuration : A WSN has to configure its operational parameters
autonomously. For example: Nodes should be able to find their geographical
positions in the network by using other nodes which is so called “Self location”.
Also network should be able to tolerate failing nodes or to integrate nodes.
5. Collaboration and in-network processing : In some applications a single sensor
may not decide about the occurrence of an event. But several sensors have to
collaborate to detect an event, a data of many sensors provide required
information which is processed in the network in various forms.
6. Data Centric : Traditional communication networks are centred around transfer
of data between two specific devices with a network address which is called a
“Address Centric”. In WSN where nodes are deployed redundantly to protect
node failures, the identity of particular node supply data becomes irredundant.
This is called “Data Centric”.
7. Exploit Trade-off’s : It is similar to locality. Networks has to relay on trade-off’s
between different nodes during design and run time. Ex: Higher energy
expenditure results in high accuracy.
 Another important trade-off is node density, depending on application,
deployment and node failures the density of network can change.
Differences between mobile ad-hoc
networks and WSN’S:
 An ad-hoc network is a network setup for specific purposes to meet quickly an
appearing communication need.
 Ex: A setup of computers connected together via cables to form a small
 Principle differences are:
1. Applications and equipment: MANET’s are associated with different
applications and different equipment than WSN’s. In MANET’s, the terminal can
be powerful device with a large battery.
2. Application specific: WSN’s have large number of combinations of sensing,
computing and communication technology for different applications and with
different network densities but not quite as large in MANET’s.
3. Environment interactions : WSN’s have to interact with environment; their traffic
characteristics are different from other human driven networks, exhibits low
data rate when traffic is heavy.
 Manets are used to support more conventional applications like web and voice
applications with their own traffic.
4. Scaling :WSN’s have to scale large number of entities, providing nodes with
unique identifier is costly. So, to work without such identities is important in WSN’s
whereas it is failed to assume such identities to exist in MANET nodes.
5. Self -Configurability : Similar to MANET’s, WSN’s are required to self configure in
the network.
6. Dependability and QOS : In MANET’s, each node should be fairly reliable
whereas in WSN, each node is irrelevant. QOS in MANET’s are dictated by
traditional applications but for WSN’s entirely new QOS’s are required.
7. Data Centric: Redundant deployment makes data centric more attractive in
WSN’s but they are irrelevant to MANET’s unless application like file sharing are
used in MANET’s.
1. Disaster relief applications: one main application is wildfire detection. Sensor
nodes are equipped with thermometer and can detect their own location
relative to each other.
 These sensors are deployed in a forest which collectively produce a temperature map
of that area.
2. Environment control and bio-diversity mapping: WSN is used to control, the
environment with respect to chemical pollutants. One application is
Surveillance of marine eco systems to understand the plant and animal species
that live in a given habitat.
3. Facility Management: It has wide range of applications in management of
facilities like keyless entry application where people wear badges that allow a
WSN to check which person is allowed to enter the place.
4. Precision Agriculture: Applying WSN to agriculture allows precise irrigation and
fertilization by placing humidity or soil composition sensors in the fields.
5. Intelligent Building: The real time high resolution monitoring of temperature, air
flow, humidity and other physical parameters in a building by means of sensor
networks can increase the comfort level and reduce the energy consumption.
6. Medicine and health care: Attaching sensors to patients for long term
surveillance patient’s health condition.
7. Logistics: Applying WSN to goods, with sensors that allow tracking of these
objects during transportation.
8. Telematics: They are partially related to logistics where sensors are embedded
in streets and roads to gather information about traffic conditions.
Enabling technologies for WSN’s
 Building WSN’s becomes possible with some basic advances in enabling
 The first thing is miniaturization of hardware. Smaller sized chips have driven down
power consumption of basic components of sensor nodes. They are relevant to
micro controllers and memory chips which become more energy efficient.
Reduced chip size and improved efficiency is accompanied by reduced cost.
 Three basic parts of sensor nodes are sensing equipment, processing and
communication accompanied by power supply. This requires high capacity
batteries that can provide small amounts of current.
 Ideally, a sensor node has a device for energy scavenging, recharging the
battery with energy gathered from environment like solar cells or vibration based
power generation.