Wireless sensor network

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Wireless sensor network (WSN) refers to a group of spatially dispersed and dedicated sensors for monitoring and recording the physical conditions of the environment and organizing the collected data at a central location. WSNs measure environmental conditions like temperature, sound, pollution levels, humidity, wind, and so on.


These are similar to wireless ad hoc networks in the sense that they rely on wireless connectivity and spontaneous formation of networks so that sensor data can be transported wirelessly. WSNs are spatially distributed autonomous sensors to monitor physical or environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound, pressure, etc. and to cooperatively pass their data through the network to a main location. The more modern networks are bi-directional, also enabling control of sensor activity. The development of wireless sensor networks was motivated by military applications such as battlefield surveillance; today such networks are used in many industrial and consumer applications, such as industrial process monitoring and control, machine health monitoring, and so on.

A wireless ad hoc network (WANET) or Mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is a decentralised type of wireless network. The network is ad hoc because it does not rely on a pre-existing infrastructure, such as routers in wired networks or access points in managed (infrastructure) wireless networks. Instead, each node participates in routing by forwarding data for other nodes, so the determination of which nodes forward data is made dynamically on the basis of network connectivity and the routing algorithm in use.

Sensor converter that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal

In the broadest definition, a sensor is a device, module, machine, or subsystem whose purpose is to detect events or changes in its environment and send the information to other electronics, frequently a computer processor. A sensor is always used with other electronics.

Temperature physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold

A temperature expresses hot and cold, as measured with a thermometer. In physics, hotness is a body's ability to impart energy as heat to another body that is colder.

The WSN is built of "nodes" – from a few to several hundreds or even thousands, where each node is connected to one (or sometimes several) sensors. Each such sensor network node has typically several parts: a radio transceiver with an internal antenna or connection to an external antenna, a microcontroller, an electronic circuit for interfacing with the sensors and an energy source, usually a battery or an embedded form of energy harvesting. A sensor node might vary in size from that of a shoebox down to the size of a 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 a few to hundreds of dollars, depending on the complexity of the individual sensor nodes. Size and cost constraints on sensor nodes result in corresponding constraints on resources such as energy, memory, computational speed and communications bandwidth. The topology of the WSNs can vary from a simple star network to an advanced multi-hop wireless mesh network. The propagation technique between the hops of the network can be routing or flooding. [1] [2]

Radio Technology of using radio waves to carry information

Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device called a transmitter connected to an antenna which radiates the waves, and received by a radio receiver connected to another antenna. Radio is very widely used in modern technology, in radio communication, radar, radio navigation, remote control, remote sensing and other applications. In radio communication, used in radio and television broadcasting, cell phones, two-way radios, wireless networking and satellite communication among numerous other uses, radio waves are used to carry information across space from a transmitter to a receiver, by modulating the radio signal in the transmitter. In radar, used to locate and track objects like aircraft, ships, spacecraft and missiles, a beam of radio waves emitted by a radar transmitter reflects off the target object, and the reflected waves reveal the object's location. In radio navigation systems such as GPS and VOR, a mobile receiver receives radio signals from navigational radio beacons whose position is known, and by precisely measuring the arrival time of the radio waves the receiver can calculate its position on Earth. In wireless radio remote control devices like drones, garage door openers, and keyless entry systems, radio signals transmitted from a controller device control the actions of a remote device.

A transceiver is a device comprising both a transmitter and a receiver that are combined and share common circuitry or a single housing.

Antenna (radio) electrical device which converts electric power into radio waves, and vice versa

In radio engineering, an antenna is the interface between radio waves propagating through space and electric currents moving in metal conductors, used with a transmitter or receiver. In transmission, a radio transmitter supplies an electric current to the antenna's terminals, and the antenna radiates the energy from the current as electromagnetic waves. In reception, an antenna intercepts some of the power of a radio wave in order to produce an electric current at its terminals, that is applied to a receiver to be amplified. Antennas are essential components of all radio equipment.

In computer science and telecommunications, wireless sensor networks are an active research area with numerous workshops and conferences arranged each year, for example IPSN, SenSys, and EWSN. As of 2010, wireless sensor networks have reached approximately 120 million remote units worldwide. [3]

Computer science Study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation

Computer science is the study of processes that interact with data and that can be represented as data in the form of programs. It enables the use of algorithms to manipulate, store, and communicate digital information. A computer scientist studies the theory of computation and the practice of designing software systems.

IPSN, the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks, is an academic conference on sensor networks with its main focus on information processing aspects of sensor networks. IPSN draws upon many disciplines including signal and image processing, information and coding theory, networking and protocols, distributed algorithms, wireless communications, machine learning, embedded systems design, and data bases and information management.

SenSys, the ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, is an annual academic conference in the area of embedded networked sensors.


Area monitoring

Area monitoring is a common application of WSNs. In area monitoring, the WSN is deployed over a region where some phenomenon is to be monitored. A military example is the use of sensors to detect enemy intrusion; a civilian example is the geo-fencing of gas or oil pipelines.

Geo-fence virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area

A geo-fence is a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area. A geo-fence could be dynamically generated—as in a radius around a point location, or a geo-fence can be a predefined set of boundaries.

Health care monitoring

There are several types of sensor networks for medical applications: implanted, wearable, and environment-embedded. Implantable medical devices are those that are inserted inside the human body. Wearable devices are used on the body surface of a human or just at close proximity of the user. Environment-embedded systems employ sensors contained in the environment. Possible applications include body position measurement, location of persons, overall monitoring of ill patients in hospitals and at home. Devices embedded in the environment track the physical state of a person for continuous health diagnosis, using as input the data from a network of depth cameras, a sensing floor, or other similar devices. Body-area networks can collect information about an individual's health, fitness, and energy expenditure. [4] [5] In health care applications the privacy and authenticity of user data has prime importance. Especially due to the integration of sensor networks, with IoT, the user authentication becomes more challenging; however, a solution is presented in recent work. [6]

A sensing floor is a floor with embedded sensors. Depending on their construction, these floors are either monobloc . or modular. The first sensing floor prototypes were developed in the 1990s, mainly for human gait analysis. Such floors are usually used as a source of sensing information for an ambient intelligence. Depending on the type of sensors employed, sensing floors can measure load (pressure), proximity, as well as the magnetic field.

Environmental/Earth sensing

There are many applications in monitoring environmental parameters, [7] examples of which are given below. They share the extra challenges of harsh environments and reduced power supply.

Air pollution monitoring

Wireless sensor networks have been deployed in several cities (Stockholm, London, and Brisbane) to monitor the concentration of dangerous gases for citizens. These can take advantage of the ad hoc wireless links rather than wired installations, which also make them more mobile for testing readings in different areas.[ citation needed ]

Forest fire detection

A network of Sensor Nodes can be installed in a forest to detect when a fire has started. The nodes can be equipped with sensors to measure temperature, humidity and gases which are produced by fire in the trees or vegetation. The early detection is crucial for a successful action of the firefighters; thanks to Wireless Sensor Networks, the fire brigade will be able to know when a fire is started and how it is spreading.

Landslide detection

A landslide detection system makes use of a wireless sensor network to detect the slight movements of soil and changes in various parameters that may occur before or during a landslide. Through the data gathered it may be possible to know the impending occurrence of landslides long before it actually happens.

Water quality monitoring

Water quality monitoring involves analyzing water properties in dams, rivers, lakes and oceans, as well as underground water reserves. The use of many wireless distributed sensors enables the creation of a more accurate map of the water status, and allows the permanent deployment of monitoring stations in locations of difficult access, without the need of manual data retrieval. [8]

Natural disaster prevention

Wireless sensor networks can be effective in preventing adverse consequences of natural disasters, like floods. Wireless nodes have been deployed successfully in rivers, where changes in water levels must be monitored in real time.

Industrial monitoring

Machine health monitoring

Wireless sensor networks have been developed for machinery condition-based maintenance (CBM) as they offer significant cost savings and enable new functionality. [9]

Wireless sensors can be placed in locations difficult or impossible to reach with a wired system, such as rotating machinery and untethered vehicles.

Data logging

Wireless sensor networks also are used for the collection of data for monitoring of environmental information. [10] This can be as simple as monitoring the temperature in a fridge or the level of water in overflow tanks in nuclear power plants. The statistical information can then be used to show how systems have been working. The advantage of WSNs over conventional loggers is the "live" data feed that is possible.

Water/waste water monitoring

Monitoring the quality and level of water includes many activities such as checking the quality of underground or surface water and ensuring a country’s water infrastructure for the benefit of both human and animal. It may be used to protect the wastage of water.

Structural health monitoring

Wireless sensor networks can be used to monitor the condition of civil infrastructure and related geo-physical processes close to real time, and over long periods through data logging, using appropriately interfaced sensors.

Wine production

Wireless sensor networks are used to monitor wine production, both in the field and the cellar. [11]

Threat detection

The Wide Area Tracking System (WATS) is a prototype network for detecting a ground-based nuclear device [12] such as a nuclear "briefcase bomb." WATS is being developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). WATS would be made up of wireless gamma and neutron sensors connected through a communications network. Data picked up by the sensors undergoes "data fusion", which converts the information into easily interpreted forms; this data fusion is the most important aspect of the system. [13] [ obsolete source ]

The data fusion process occurs within the sensor network rather than at a centralized computer and is performed by a specially developed algorithm based on Bayesian statistics. [14] WATS would not use a centralized computer for analysis because researchers found that factors such as latency and available bandwidth tended to create significant bottlenecks. Data processed in the field by the network itself (by transferring small amounts of data between neighboring sensors) is faster and makes the network more scalable. [14]

An important factor in WATS development is ease of deployment, since more sensors both improves the detection rate and reduces false alarms. [14] WATS sensors could be deployed in permanent positions or mounted in vehicles for mobile protection of specific locations. One barrier to the implementation of WATS is the size, weight, energy requirements and cost of currently available wireless sensors. [14] The development of improved sensors is a major component of current research at the Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and International Security (NAI) Directorate at LLNL.

WATS was profiled to the U.S. House of Representatives' Military Research and Development Subcommittee on October 1, 1997 during a hearing on nuclear terrorism and countermeasures. [13] On August 4, 1998 in a subsequent meeting of that subcommittee, Chairman Curt Weldon stated that research funding for WATS had been cut by the Clinton administration to a subsistence level and that the program had been poorly re-organized. [15]


The main characteristics of a WSN include

Cross-layer is becoming an important studying area for wireless communications. [19] In addition, the traditional layered approach presents three main problems:

  1. Traditional layered approach cannot share different information among different layers, which leads to each layer not having complete information. The traditional layered approach cannot guarantee the optimization of the entire network.
  2. The traditional layered approach does not have the ability to adapt to the environmental change.
  3. Because of the interference between the different users, access conflicts, fading, and the change of environment in the wireless sensor networks, traditional layered approach for wired networks is not applicable to wireless networks.

So the cross-layer can be used to make the optimal modulation to improve the transmission performance, such as data rate, energy efficiency, QoS (Quality of Service), etc. [19] Sensor nodes can be imagined as small computers which are extremely basic in terms of their interfaces and their components. They usually consist of a processing unit with limited computational power and limited memory, sensors or MEMS (including specific conditioning circuitry), a communication device (usually radio transceivers or alternatively optical), and a power source usually in the form of a battery. Other possible inclusions are energy harvesting modules, [21] secondary ASICs, and possibly secondary communication interface (e.g. RS-232 or USB).

The base stations are one or more components of the WSN with much more computational, energy and communication resources. They act as a gateway between sensor nodes and the end user as they typically forward data from the WSN on to a server. Other special components in routing based networks are routers, designed to compute, calculate and distribute the routing tables.



One major challenge in a WSN is to produce low cost and tiny sensor nodes. There are an increasing number of small companies producing WSN hardware and the commercial situation can be compared to home computing in the 1970s. Many of the nodes are still in the research and development stage, particularly their software. Also inherent to sensor network adoption is the use of very low power methods for radio communication and data acquisition.

In many applications, a WSN communicates with a Local Area Network or Wide Area Network through a gateway. The Gateway acts as a bridge between the WSN and the other network. This enables data to be stored and processed by devices with more resources, for example, in a remotely located server. A wireless wide area network used primarily for low-power devices is known as a Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN).


There are several wireless standards and solutions for sensor node connectivity. Thread and ZigBee can connect sensors operating at 2.4 GHz with a data rate of 250kbit/s. Many use a lower frequency to increase radio range (typically 1 km), for example Z-wave operates at 915 MHz and in the EU 868 MHz has been widely used but these have a lower data rate (typically 50 kb/s). The IEEE 802.15.4 working group provides a standard for low power device connectivity and commonly sensors and smart meters use one of these standards for connectivity. With the emergence of Internet of Things, many other proposals have been made to provide sensor connectivity. LORA [22] is a form of LPWAN which provides long range low power wireless connectivity for devices, which has been used in smart meters. Wi-SUN [23] connects devices at home. NarrowBand IOT [24] and LTE-M [25] can connect up to millions of sensors and devices using cellular technology.


Energy is the scarcest resource of WSN nodes, and it determines the lifetime of WSNs. WSNs may be deployed in large numbers in various environments, including remote and hostile regions, where ad hoc communications are a key component. For this reason, algorithms and protocols need to address the following issues:

Lifetime maximization: Energy/Power Consumption of the sensing device should be minimized and sensor nodes should be energy efficient since their limited energy resource determines their lifetime. To conserve power, wireless sensor nodes normally power off both the radio transmitter and the radio receiver when not in use. [19]

Routing Protocols

Wireless sensor networks are composed of low-energy, small-size, and low-range unattended sensor nodes. Recently, it has been observed that by periodically turning on and off the sensing and communication capabilities of sensor nodes, we can significantly reduce the active time and thus prolong network lifetime. However, this duty cycling may result in high network latency, routing overhead, and neighbor discovery delays due to asynchronous sleep and wake-up scheduling. These limitations call for a countermeasure for duty-cycled wireless sensor networks which should minimize routing information, routing traffic load, and energy consumption. Researchers from Sungkyunkwan University have proposed a lightweight non-increasing delivery-latency interval routing referred as LNDIR. This scheme can discover minimum latency routes at each non-increasing delivery-latency interval instead of each time slot. Simulation experiments demonstrated the validity of this novel approach in minimizing routing information stored at each sensor. Furthermore, this novel routing can also guarantee the minimum delivery latency from each source to the sink. Performance improvements of up to 12-fold and 11-fold are observed in terms of routing traffic load reduction and energy efficiency, respectively, as compared to existing schemes. [26]

Operating systems

Operating systems for wireless sensor network nodes are typically less complex than general-purpose operating systems. They more strongly resemble embedded systems, for two reasons. First, wireless sensor networks are typically deployed with a particular application in mind, rather than as a general platform. Second, a need for low costs and low power leads most wireless sensor nodes to have low-power microcontrollers ensuring that mechanisms such as virtual memory are either unnecessary or too expensive to implement.

It is therefore possible to use embedded operating systems such as eCos or uC/OS for sensor networks. However, such operating systems are often designed with real-time properties.

TinyOS is perhaps the first [27] operating system specifically designed for wireless sensor networks. TinyOS is based on an event-driven programming model instead of multithreading. TinyOS programs are composed of event handlers and tasks with run-to-completion semantics. When an external event occurs, such as an incoming data packet or a sensor reading, TinyOS signals the appropriate event handler to handle the event. Event handlers can post tasks that are scheduled by the TinyOS kernel some time later.

LiteOS is a newly developed OS for wireless sensor networks, which provides UNIX-like abstraction and support for the C programming language.

Contiki is an OS which uses a simpler programming style in C while providing advances such as 6LoWPAN and Protothreads.

RIOT (operating system) is a more recent real-time OS including similar functionality to Contiki.

PreonVM [28] is an OS for wireless sensor networks, which provides 6LoWPAN based on Contiki and support for the Java programming language.

Online collaborative sensor data management platforms

Online collaborative sensor data management platforms are on-line database services that allow sensor owners to register and connect their devices to feed data into an online database for storage and also allow developers to connect to the database and build their own applications based on that data. Examples include Xively and the Wikisensing platform. Such platforms simplify online collaboration between users over diverse data sets ranging from energy and environment data to that collected from transport services. Other services include allowing developers to embed real-time graphs & widgets in websites; analyse and process historical data pulled from the data feeds; send real-time alerts from any datastream to control scripts, devices and environments.

The architecture of the Wikisensing system [29] describes the key components of such systems to include APIs and interfaces for online collaborators, a middleware containing the business logic needed for the sensor data management and processing and a storage model suitable for the efficient storage and retrieval of large volumes of data.


At present, agent-based modeling and simulation is the only paradigm which allows the simulation of complex behavior in the environments of wireless sensors (such as flocking). [30] Agent-based simulation of wireless sensor and ad hoc networks is a relatively new paradigm. Agent-based modelling was originally based on social simulation.

Network simulators like Opnet, Tetcos NetSim and NS can be used to simulate a wireless sensor network.

Other concepts


Infrastructure-less architecture (i.e. no gateways are included, etc.) and inherent requirements (i.e. unattended working environment, etc.) of WSNs might pose several weak points that attract adversaries. Therefore, security is a big concern when WSNs are deployed for special applications such as military and healthcare. Owing to their unique characteristics, traditional security methods of computer networks would be useless (or less effective) for WSNs. Hence, lack of security mechanisms would cause intrusions towards those networks. These intrusions need to be detected and mitigation methods should be applied.

Distributed sensor network

If a centralized architecture is used in a sensor network and the central node fails, then the entire network will collapse, however the reliability of the sensor network can be increased by using a distributed control architecture. Distributed control is used in WSNs for the following reasons:

  1. Sensor nodes are prone to failure,
  2. For better collection of data,
  3. To provide nodes with backup in case of failure of the central node.

There is also no centralised body to allocate the resources and they have to be self organized.

As for the distributed filtering over distributed sensor network. the general setup is to observe the underlying process through a group of sensors organized according to a given network topology, which renders the individual observer estimates the system state based not only on its own measurement but also on its neighbors’ [31] .

Data integration and sensor web

The data gathered from wireless sensor networks is usually saved in the form of numerical data in a central base station. Additionally, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is specifying standards for interoperability interfaces and metadata encodings that enable real time integration of heterogeneous sensor webs into the Internet, allowing any individual to monitor or control wireless sensor networks through a web browser.

In-network processing

To reduce communication costs some algorithms remove or reduce nodes' redundant sensor information and avoid forwarding data that is of no use. This technique has been used, for instance, for distributed anomaly detection [32] [33] [34] [35] or distributed optimization. [36] As nodes can inspect the data they forward, they can measure averages or directionality for example of readings from other nodes. For example, in sensing and monitoring applications, it is generally the case that neighboring sensor nodes monitoring an environmental feature typically register similar values. This kind of data redundancy due to the spatial correlation between sensor observations inspires techniques for in-network data aggregation and mining. Aggregation reduces the amount of network traffic which helps to reduce energy consumption on sensor nodes. [37] [38] Recently, it has been found that network gateways also play an important role in improving energy efficiency of sensor nodes by scheduling more resources for the nodes with more critical energy efficiency need and advanced energy efficient scheduling algorithms need to be implemented at network gateways for the improvement of the overall network energy efficiency. [19] [39]

Secure data aggregation

This is a form of in-network processing where sensor nodes are assumed to be unsecured with limited available energy, while the base station is assumed to be secure with unlimited available energy. Aggregation complicates the already existing security challenges for wireless sensor networks [40] and requires new security techniques tailored specifically for this scenario. Providing security to aggregate data in wireless sensor networks is known as secure data aggregation in WSN. [38] [40] [41] were the first few works discussing techniques for secure data aggregation in wireless sensor networks.

Two main security challenges in secure data aggregation are confidentiality and integrity of data. While encryption is traditionally used to provide end to end confidentiality in wireless sensor network, the aggregators in a secure data aggregation scenario need to decrypt the encrypted data to perform aggregation. This exposes the plaintext at the aggregators, making the data vulnerable to attacks from an adversary. Similarly an aggregator can inject false data into the aggregate and make the base station accept false data. Thus, while data aggregation improves energy efficiency of a network, it complicates the existing security challenges. [42]

See also

Related Research Articles


Zigbee is an IEEE 802.15.4-based specification for a suite of high-level communication protocols used to create personal area networks with small, low-power digital radios, such as for home automation, medical device data collection, and other low-power low-bandwidth needs, designed for small scale projects which need wireless connection. Hence, Zigbee is a low-power, low data rate, and close proximity wireless ad hoc network.

Wireless mesh network network topology

A wireless mesh network (WMN) is a communications network made up of radio nodes organized in a mesh topology. It is also a form of wireless ad hoc network.

6LoWPAN is an acronym of IPv6 over Low -Power Wireless Personal Area Networks. 6LoWPAN is the name of a concluded working group in the Internet area of the IETF.

Low-energy adaptive clustering hierarchy ("LEACH") is a TDMA-based MAC protocol which is integrated with clustering and a simple routing protocol in wireless sensor networks (WSNs). The goal of LEACH is to lower the energy consumption required to create and maintain clusters in order to improve the life time of a wireless sensor network.

A wide variety of different wireless data technologies exist, some in direct competition with one another, others designed for specific applications. Wireless technologies can be evaluated by a variety of different metrics of which some are described in this entry.

Sensor node

A sensor node, also known as a mote, is a node in a sensor network that is capable of performing some processing, gathering sensory information and communicating with other connected nodes in the network. A mote is a node but a node is not always a mote.

An Energy Neutral Design is a Design of any type that has the environment and low energy consumption practices in mind during all stages of planning and production.

Castalia is a simulator for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN), Body Area Networks and generally networks of low-power embedded devices. It is based on the OMNeT++ platform and used by researchers and developers to test their distributed algorithms and/or protocols in a realistic wireless channel and radio model, with a realistic node behaviour especially relating to access of the radio. Castalia uses the lognormal shadowing model as one of the ways to model average path loss, which has been shown to explain empirical data in WSN. It also models temporal variation of path loss in an effort to capture fading phenomena in changing environments. Castalia's temporal variation modeling is designed to be fitted to measured data instead of making specific assumptions on the creation of fast fading. Other features of Castalia include: physical process modeling, sensing device bias and noise, node clock drift, and several MAC and routing protocols implemented.

Virtual sensor networks (VSNs) is an emerging form of collaborative wireless sensor networks. In contrast to early wireless sensor networks that were dedicated to a specific application, VSNs enable multi-purpose, collaborative, and resource efficient WSNs. The key idea difference of VSNs is the collaboration and resource sharing. By doing so nodes achieve application objectives in a more resource efficient way. These networks may further involve dynamically varying subset of sensor nodes and/or users .
A VSN can be formed by providing logical connectivity among collaborative sensors. Nodes can be grouped into different VSNs based on the phenomenon they track or the task they perform. VSNs are expected to provide the protocol support for formation, usage, adaptation, and maintenance of subset of sensors collaborating on a specific task(s). Even the nodes that do not sense the particular event/phenomenon could be part of a VSN as far as they are willing to allow sensing nodes to communicate through them. Thus, VSNs make use of intermediate nodes, networks, or other VSNs to efficiently deliver messages across members of a VSN.

The Web of Things (WoT) is software architectural styles and programming patterns that allow real-world objects to be part of the World Wide Web. Similarly to what the Web is to the Internet, the Web of Things provides an Application Layer that simplifies the creation of Internet of Things (IoT) applications composed of multiple devices across different platforms and application domains. Differently from IoT which focuses on the Network Layer, WoT assumes that the connectivity between the devices is achieved and focuses on how to build applications.

OCARI wireless communication protocol

OCARI is a low-rate wireless personal area networks (LR-WPAN) communication protocol that derives from the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. It was developed by the following consortium during the OCARI project that is funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR):

PowWow Power Optimized Hardware and Software FrameWork for Wireless Motes

PowWow is a wireless sensor network (WSN) mote developed by the Cairn team of IRISA/INRIA. The platform is currently based on IEEE 802.15.4 standard radio transceiver and on an MSP430 microprocessor. Unlike other available mote systems, PowWow offers specific features for a very-high energy efficiency:

Body area network Small-scale computer network to connect devices around a human body, typically wearables

A body area network (BAN), also referred to as a wireless body area network (WBAN) or a body sensor network (BSN) or a medical body area network (MBAN), is a wireless network of wearable computing devices. BAN devices may be embedded inside the body, implants, may be surface-mounted on the body in a fixed position Wearable technology or may be accompanied devices which humans can carry in different positions, in clothes pockets, by hand or in various bags. Whilst there is a trend towards the miniaturization of devices, in particular, networks consisting of several miniaturized body sensor units (BSUs) together with a single body central unit (BCU). Larger decimeter sized smart devices, accompanied devices, still play an important role in terms of acting as a data hub, data gateway and providing a user interface to view and manage BAN applications, in-situ. The development of WBAN technology started around 1995 around the idea of using wireless personal area network (WPAN) technologies to implement communications on, near, and around the human body. About six years later, the term "BAN" came to refer to systems where communication is entirely within, on, and in the immediate proximity of a human body. A WBAN system can use WPAN wireless technologies as gateways to reach longer ranges. Through gateway devices, it is possible to connect the wearable devices on the human body to the internet. This way, medical professionals can access patient data online using the internet independent of the patient location.

MyriaNed is a wireless sensor network (WSN) platform developed by DevLab. It uses an epidemic communication style based on standard radio broadcasting. This approach reflects the way humans interact, which is called gossiping. Messages are sent periodically and received by adjoining neighbours. Each message is repeated and duplicated towards all nodes that span the network; it spreads like a virus.

Nivis, LLC is a company that designs and manufactures wireless sensor networks for smart grid and industrial process automation. Target applications include process monitoring, environmental monitoring, power management, security, and the internet of things. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with additional offices in Romania, where much of its technology is developed. The company’s product portfolio consists of standards-based wireless communications systems, including radio nodes, routers, management software and a software stack for native communications. Nivis hardware is operated by open source software.

A mobile wireless sensor network (MWSN) can simply be defined as a wireless sensor network (WSN) in which the sensor nodes are mobile. MWSNs are a smaller, emerging field of research in contrast to their well-established predecessor. MWSNs are much more versatile than static sensor networks as they can be deployed in any scenario and cope with rapid topology changes. However, many of their applications are similar, such as environment monitoring or surveillance. Commonly, the nodes consist of a radio transceiver and a microcontroller powered by a battery, as well as some kind of sensor for detecting light, heat, humidity, temperature, etc.

Wireless powerline sensor

A Wireless powerline sensor hangs from an overhead power line and sends measurements to a data collection system. Because the sensor does not contact anything but a single live conductor, no high-voltage isolation is needed. The sensor, installed simply by clamping it around a conductor, powers itself from energy scavenged from electrical or magnetic fields surrounding the conductor being measured. Overhead power line monitoring helps distribution system operators provide reliable service at optimized cost.

Time Slotted Channel Hopping or Time Synchronized Channel Hopping (TSCH) is a channel access method for shared medium networks.

RPL is a routing protocol for wireless networks with low power consumption and generally susceptible to packet loss. It is a proactive protocol based on distance vectors and operates on IEEE 802.15.4, optimized for multi-hop and many-to-one communication, but also supports one-to-one messages.


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Further reading