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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and Application

1.Abstract
Sensor networks offer a powerful combination of distributed sensing, computing and communication. They lend themselves to countless applications and, at the same time, offer numerous challenges due to their peculiarities, primarily the stringent energy constraints to which sensing nodes are typically subjected. The distinguishing traits of sensor net- works have a direct impact on the hardware design of the nodes at least four levels: power source, processor, communication hardware, and sensors. Various hardware plat- forms have already been designed to test the many ideas spawned by the research com- munity and to implement applications to virtually all fields of science and technology. We are convinced that CAS will be able to provide a substantial contribution to the development of this exciting field. summarized as greater coverage, accuracy and reliability at a possibly lower cost. Some of the early works on WSNs motivate and discuss these benets in detail. The range of potential applications that WSNs ARE ENVISaged to support, is tremendous, encompassing MILITARY, CIVILIAN, ENVIRONMENTAL AND COMMERCIAL AREAS. Some examples include networked sensors for military surveillance, smart sensors to monitoR AND CONTROL MANUFACTURING FAcilities, biosensors for health applications, sensor networks to monitor habitat or weather, and smart sensor environments for home electronics. Designing, manufacturing and networking wireless sensor devices to support such a wide variety of applications is a complex and challenging endeavor.

3.Wireless Sensor Networks


Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are a group of specialized autonomous sensors and actuators with a wireless communications infrastructure, intended to monitor and control physical or environmental conditions at diverse locations and to cooperatively pass their data to a main location and/or pass their control command to a desired actuator through the network. We narrow the scope of the WSNs in this book by limiting the data communication to low data rates and short communication ranges, and the individual sensor node to physically small, low power, and low cost devices. A WSN consists of multiple nodes, ranging from a few to several hundreds or even thousands, where each node is connected to one or more other nodes. Nodes may be designed for carrying out one or more of the following functions sensing, relaying data, or exchanging data with an outside network. A node for sensing is called a sensor node, one for relaying data a router, and one for exchanging data with other networks a base station, or sink node, which is similar to a gateway in a traditional network. Every sensor node is equipped with a transducer, a microcontroller, a radio transceiver and a power supply, usually a battery. The transducer generates electrical signals based on sensed natural phenomena and environmental changes. The microcontroller processes and stores the sensing output. The radio transceiver with an internal antenna or connection to an external antenna receives commands from a central computer and transmits

2.Introduction
Networks of wireless sensor devices are being deployed to collectively monitor and disseminate information about a variety of phenomena of interest. A wireless sensor device is a battery-operated device, capable of sensing physical quantities. In addition to sensing, it is capable of wireless communication, data storage, and a limited amount of computation and signal processing. Advances in integrated circuit design are continually shrinking the size, weight and cost of sensor devices, while simultaneously improving their resolution and accuracy. At the same time, modern wireless networking technologies enable the coordination and networking of a large number of such devices. A wireless sensor network (WSN) consists of a large number of wireless-capable sensor devices working collaboratively to achieve a common objective. A WSN has one or more sinks (or base-stations) which collect data from all sensor devices. These sinks are the interface through which the WSN interacts with the outside world. The basic premise of a WSN is to perform networked sensing using a large number of relatively unsophisticated sensors, INSTEAD OF THE CONVENTIONAL APproach of deploying a few expensive and sophisticated sensing modules. The potential advantage of networked sensing over the conventional APPROACH CAN BE

5. Routing Technologies in WSNs:


Internet and Satellit Sin

Task Manager Node

Senso rfiel d

Senso node r

Fig. 1 Structure of a typical wireless sensor network

data to that computer. Figure 1 illustrates the concept of WSNs, where the data is collected from a sensor node and then transmitted to a sink node, which is connected to the Internet or a satellite network. Through the Internet and the satellite network, the collected data is nally received by an application. Sensor nodes do not have to have a xed location and most of them are randomly deployed to monitor a sensor eld. Sensor nodes usually communicate with each other via an on-board radio transceiver.

A routing protocol is software that sits in the network layer and is responsible for deciding on which output route an incoming packet should be transmitted. In other words, it is an algorithm for finding a data transmission path from a source node to a destination node. The destination node is normally called a sink node or a base station in WSNs. It could be some distance away from the source node or even out of the transmission range of that node. Therefore, the data may have to travel via multiple hops before reaching the sink node. Figure 3 shows a transmission path from a sensor to a sink node. However, due to the unique features and constrains of WSNs, the routing protocols developed for wired networks and other wireless networks such as MANET are often not suitable for WSNs. The typical features and constrains of WSN routing are described as follows: One of the main objectives of the routing protocol in WSNs is preserving energy and reducing the power consumption, while the other networks routing protocols are designed to achieve high Quality of Service (QoS) during data transferring. The wireless sensor nodes have many limitations such as limited power supply, limited memory size, limited computation capability, and limited bandwidth for the wireless channels between the wireless sensors. A WSN may contain a large number of sensor nodes. Consequently, using a global identification address to access each individual node may be infeasible. A WSN may have different applications requirements. Hence, the design of the WSN should be applicationspecific. A routing protocol should eliminate the redundancy of the sensed data, which arises when many wireless sensor nodes sense same environmental phenomena at the same time. Data aggregation is required to reduce the redundancy, including duplicate suppression. The sensor nodes in WSNs are more prone to errors or failure, due to their low cost and battery driven. Therefore, the routing protocol should function effectively even when there are node failures in the networks. This fault tolerance feature requires that the routing protocol should have the ability to overcome any failure in the network by discovering and maintaining a new route to transmit data.

4. Constructing WSNs with IEEE 802.15.4


Figure 2 illustrates the general procedure in terms of which a wireless sensor network is established. The procedure starts with a radio channel assessment, then the network initialization, the network establishment announcement, then several further actions, which take place in parallel. This section introduces the procedures of setting up a wireless sensor network with the corresponding concepts defined in the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. The procedure is shown in Fig.2

Radio Channel Assessment

Network
Initialization

Establishment Announcement

Network

Listen for/Initiate Joining Request

Listen for/Initiate Removal Request

Network Command User Data Transmission/Reception Transmission/Reception

Fig. 2 Procedure of establishing a wireless sensor network

Sensor Node

nodes without any regards to the network topology. On the other hand, sensor nodes in a hierarchical network have different roles to play, and they are logically located at different levels. Many hierarchical networks are divided into different clusters and each cluster designates a cluster head to aggregate and relay inter-cluster traffic. The location-based routing protocols depend on the physical location of the sensor nodes

Sensors Field Sink Node


Routing Protocols in Wireless Sensor Networks

Fig.3 Communication path from a sensor to a sink node

5.1 Classification of Routing Protocols in WSNs Routing protocols can generally be classified as proactive or reactive depending on how the route is determined. Proactive routing protocols determine the routes before they are needed and update the routes when the network topology changes. When a data-sending request is made, the route can be found from the available route table and can be adopted without any further computation. Therefore, there is no additional latency for data delivery to be added. But proactive routing protocols are not appropriate for ad hoc networks where the network topology changes constantly. Reactive routing protocols, on the other hand, only invoke a route discovery procedure on demand. The reactive routing protocols are suitable for dynamic networks. But the time for determining a route can be significant and it may lead to increased latency for data delivery. There are many other ways to classify routing protocols based on different criteria. Figure 4 gives another routing protocol classification, where all routing protocols are classified as network structure based or protocol operation based. In term of network structure, there are three subcategories: Flat, Hierarchical, and Location-based routing protocols. In term of protocol operations, there are five sub-categories: Query-based, Negotiation-based, Multipathbased, Quality of Service (QoS)-based, and Coherent-based routing. These categories and sub-categories are not mutually exclusive since some routing protocols could be classified under more than one category and sub-category. This section briefly reviews only the routing protocols based on network structure. The network structure can be classified as flat, hierarchical or location-based. In the flat network, all the sensor nodes have the same level of functionality and responsibilities. They forward the data to their neighbour
Based on Network Structure Based on Protocol Operations

Flat Network Routing

Query -Based Routing

Hierarchical Routing

Negotiation-Based Routing

Location-Based Routing

Multipath-Based Routing

QoS-Based Routing

Coherent-Based Routing

Fig.4 Classification of Routing Protocols in WSNs

5.1.1 Flat Routing Protocols Flat routing protocols use data centric routing protocols for transferring data, where there is a base station responsible for sending requests and queries to other nodes and waiting for their responses. Data elimination and negotiation can be used

to save energy in the network. A route discovery process can be initiated by flooding or broadcasting data to all the neighbour nodes without paying attention to any updates, occurring in the topology. 5.1.2 Hierarchical Routings Protocols Hierarchical routing was originally proposed as a method to route data in wired networks. However, it is also suitable for routing data in wireless networks with some enhancement related to network scalability and the efficiency of communication. The main concept of the hierarchical routing protocols depends on dividing the wireless sensor nodes into more than one level. Most hierarchical routing protocols consist of two routing layers, the first one is responsible for selecting the cluster-heads, and the second is related to routing decisions. For example, hierarchical routing protocols, that need to achieve very low power consumption, can divide the sensor nodes depending on their energy level. The nodes with a high energy level can be assigned to process and transmit data, while the nodes with a lower energy level can be assigned only to sense events. The formation of clusters within the network nodes can improve the efficiency and the scalability of the sensor nodes.

6.1 Event Detection and Reporting Some examples of WSN applications in this class are intruder detection as a part of military surveillance, detecting anomalous behavior or failures in a manufacturing process, and detection of forest res. The common characteristic of all these applications is the infrequency of occurrence of the events of interest. A WSN deployed for such an application is expected to be inactive most of the time, bursting into activity when an event is detected. Then, the WSN has to promptly convey an event report to the sink(s). An event report is expected to contain some location information about the event, and a description of the nature of the event. An important problem for such networks, at the application level, is to minimize the probability of false alarms. Generally speaking, detection of an event based on consensus between a group of sensors is likely to produce a lower false alarm rate than detection of an event using a single sensor. However, from the point of view of networking, the signicant design problem is that of routing the event report on the y, to the sink, once the process of event detection is over. 6.2 Data Gathering and Periodic Reporting WSN applications in this class include, monitoring the environmental conditions aecting crops or livestock, monitoring temperature, humidity and lighting in oce buildings, and so on. These monitoring modules could even be combined with actuator modules which can control, for instance, the amount of fertilizer in the soil, or the amount of cooling or heating in a building, based on distributed sensor measurements. In these cases, each sensor is expected to constantly produce some amount of data which has to be conveyed to the sink(s). The sink might not be directly interested in the individual measurements, but could require a distributed computation of some function of the sensor readings. The sensor readings also might need to be attached to some sort of location information, if the sink is interested in recreating a spatial prole of the readings. 6.3 Sink-initiated Querying The monitoring applications mentioned in the previous subsection may also require the additional feature of sinkinitiated querying. In this case, rather than each sensor periodically reporting its measurements, the sink could query a set of sensors for their measurements. This enables the sink to extract information at a dierent resolution or granularity, from dierent regions in space. For instance, consider an application monitoring a manufacturing process. In case there is any anomalous behavior, the sensors could report such an event to

5.1.3 Location-Based Routings Protocols The third category of the WSNs routing protocols, based on the network structure, is the location-based routings protocols. The main idea of routing protocols in this category is to utilize the advantage of the locations of the wireless sensor nodes in the routing of the data. The address of each node is determined, based on its physical location. The location of each node may be determined by satellite through the Global Positioning System (GPS) technique or other positioning techniques.

6. Classication of Sensor Network Applications


We provide a classication of WSNs based on their application objectives, trac characteristics and data delivery requirements. Most of the current WSN applications fall into one of the following broad classes: 1. Event Detection and Reporting 2. Data Gathering and Periodic Reporting 3. Sink-initiated Querying 4. Tracking-based Applications

the sink. Then the sink can query some specic set of sensors to obtain more information, possibly to conrm the event. Depending on the sensor readings thus obtained, the sink could trigger the appropriate actuators, or raise an alarm for human intervention. For the underlying communication protocols, we need (for example) eective means to address and route data to and from dynamic sets of sensors. 6.4 Tracking-based Applications WSNs for tracking have a lot of applications in military or border surveillance where one is interested in tracking an intruder or the movements of a suspicious object. Environmental applications include tracking the movements and patterns of insects, birds or small animals. Intelligent transportation systems are often interested in wide-area tracking of vehicles where the statistics of such information could be used to better design the highway transport infrastructure. WSNs for tracking combine some of the characteristics of the above three classes. For instance, when the target is detected, the sink needs to be notied promptly. Then, the sink may initiate queries to receive time-stamped location estimates of the target, so that it can calculate the trajectory and keep querying the appropriate sets of sensors. To design communication proto- cols we have to answer questions like: is it better to query, compute and route on the y; or is it better to maintain some level of organization or connectivity to streamline the process of tracking; and so on. 6.5 Applications of Sensor Networks Possible applications of sensor networks are of interest to the most diverse fields. Environmental monitoring, war- fare, child education, surveillance, micro-surgery, and agriculture are only a few examples . Through joint efforts of the University of California at Berkeley and the College of the Atlantic, environmental monitoring is carried out off the coast of Maine on Great Duck Island by means of a network of Berkeley motes equipped with various sensors . The nodes send their data to a base station which makes them available on the Internet. Since habitat monitoring is rather sensitive to human presence, the deployment of a sensor network provides a non- invasive approach and a remarkable degree of granularity in data acquisition . The same idea lies behind the Pods project at the University of Hawaii at Manoa , where environmental data (air temperature, light, wind, relative humidity and rainfall) are gathered by a network of weather sensors embedded in the communication units deployed in the South-West Rift Zone in Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. A major concern of the researchers was in this case camouflaging the sensors to make them invisible to curious tourists. In Prince- tons Zebra net Project , a dynamic sensor network has been created by attaching special collars

equipped with a low-power GPS system to the necks of zebras to monitor their moves and their behavior. Since the net- work is designed to operate in an infrastructure-free environment, peer-to-peer swaps of information are used to produce redundant databases so that researchers only have to encounter a few zebras in order to collect the data. Sensor networks can also be used to monitor and study natural phenomena which intrinsically discourage human presence, such as hurricanes and forest fires. Joint efforts between Harvard University, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of North Carolina have recently led to the deployment of a wireless sensor network to monitor eruptions at Volcn Tungurahua, an active volcano in central Ecuador. A network of Berkeley motes monitored infrasonic signals during eruptions, and data were transmitted over a 9 km wireless link to a base station at the volcano observatory . Intels Wireless Vineyard is an example of using ubiquitous computing for agricultural monitoring. In this application, the network is expected not only to collect and interpret data, but also to use such data to make decisions aimed at detecting the presence of parasites and enabling the use of the appropriate kind of insecticide. Data collection relies on data mules, small devices carried by people that communicate with the nodes and collect data. In this project, the attention is shifted from reliable information collection to active decision- making based on acquired data. Just as they can be used to monitor nature, sensor networks can likewise be used to monitor human behavior. In the Smart Kindergarten project at UCLA, wirelessly-networked, sensorenhanced toys and other classroom objects supervise the learning process of children and allow unobtrusive monitoring by the teacher. Medical research and healthcare can greatly benefit from sensor networks: vital sign monitoring and accident recognition are the most natural applications. An important issue is the care of the elderly, especially if they are affected by cognitive decline: a network of sensors and actuators could monitor them and even assist them in their daily routine. Smart appliances could help them organize their lives by reminding them of their meals and medications. Sensors can be used to capture vital signs from patients in real-time and relay the data to handheld computers carried by medical personnel, and wearable sensor nodes can store patient data such as identification, history, and treatments. With these ideas in mind, Harvard University is cooperating with the School of Medicine at Boston University to develop Code Blue, an infrastructure designed to support wireless medical sensors, PDAs, PCs, and other devices that may be used to monitor and treat patients in various medical scenarios. On the hardware side, the research team has created Vital Dust, a set of devices based on the MICA21 sensor node platform (one of the most popular members of the

Berkeley motes family), which collect heart rate, oxygen saturation, and EKG data and relay them over a medium-range (100 m) wireless network to a PDA. Interactions between sensor networks and humans are already judged controversial. The US has recently approved the use of a radio-frequency implantable device (Veri Chip) on humans, whose intended application is accessing the medical records of a patient in an emergency. Potential future repercussions of this decision have been discussed in the media. An interesting application to civil engineering is the idea of Smart Buildings: wireless sensor and actuator net- works integrated within buildings could allow distributed monitoring and control, improving living conditions and reducing the energy consumption, for instance by con- trolling temperature and air flow. Military applications are plentiful. An intriguing example is DARPAs self-healing minefield , a self- organizing sensor network where peer-to-peer communication between anti-tank mines is used to respond to attacks and redistribute the mines in order to heal breaches, complicating the progress of enemy troops. Urban warfare is another application that distributed sensing lends itself to. An ensemble of nodes could be deployed in a urban landscape to detect chemical attacks, or track enemy movements. PinPtr is an ad hoc acoustic sensor network for sniper localization developed at Vanderbilt University. The network detects the muzzle blast and the acoustic shock wave that originate from the sound of gunfire. The arrival times of the acoustic events at different sensor nodes are used to estimate the position of the sniper and send it to the base station with a special data aggregation and routing service. Going back to peaceful applications, efforts are under- way at Carnegie Mellon University and Intel for the design of IrisNet (Internet-scale Resource-Intensive Sensor Net-work Services) , an architecture for a worldwide sensor web based on common computing hardware such as Internet-connected PCs and low-cost sensing hardware such as webcams. The network interface of a PC indeed senses the virtual environment of a LAN or the Internet rather than a physical environment; with an architecture based on the concept of a distributed database, this hardware can be orchestrated into a global sensor system that responds to queries from users.

network, and dense deployments are often desired to ensure coverage and connectivity; for these reasons, sensor network hardware must be cheap. Nodes typically have stringent energy limitations, which make them more failure-prone. They are generally assumed to be stationary, but their relatively frequent breakdowns and the volatile nature of the wire- less channel nonetheless result in a variable network topology. Ideally, sensor network hardware should be power-efficient, small, inexpensive, and reliable in order to maximize network lifetime, add flexibility, facilitate data collection and minimize the need for maintenance. Lifetime Life time is extremely critical for most applications, and its primary limiting factor is the energy consumption of the nodes, which need to be self-powering. Although it is often assumed that the transmit power associated with packet transmission accounts for the lions share of power consumption, sensing, signal processing and even hardware operation in standby mode consume a consistent amount of power as well . In some applications, extra power is needed for macro-scale actuation. Many researchers suggest that energy consumption could be reduced by considering the existing interdependencies between individual layers in the network proto- col stack. Routing and channel access protocols, for instance, could greatly benefit from an information exchange with the physical layer. At the physical layer, benefits can be obtained with lower radio duty cycles and dynamic modulation scaling (varying the constellation size to minimize energy expenditure Using low-power modi for the processor or disabling the radio is generally advantageous, even though periodically turning a subsystem on and off may be more costly than always keeping it on. Techniques aimed at reducing the idle mode leakage current in CMOS-based processors are also noteworthy [D36]. Medium Access Control (MAC) solutions have a direct impact on energy consumption, as some of the primary causes of energy waste are found at the MAC layer: collisions, control packet overhead and idle listening. Power- saving forward error control techniques are not easy to implement due to the high amount of computing power that they require and the fact that long packets are normally not practical. Energy-efficient routing should avoid the loss of a node due to battery depletion. Many proposed protocols tend to minimize energy consumption on forwarding paths, but if some nodes happen to be located on most forwarding paths (e.g., close to the base station), their lifetime will be reduced.

7. Characteristic Features of Sensor Networks


In ad hoc networks, wireless nodes self-organize into an infrastructure less network with a dynamic topology. Sensor networks share these traits, but also have several distinguishing features. The number of nodes in a typical sensor network is much higher than in a typical ad hoc

Flexibility Sensor networks should be scalable, and they should be able to dynamically adapt to changes in node density and topology, like in the case of the self-healing minefields. In surveillance applications, most nodes may remain quiescent as long as nothing interesting happens. However, they must be able to respond to special events that the network intends to study with some degree of granularity. In a self-healing minefield, a number of sensing mines may sleep as long as none of their peers explodes, but need to quickly become operational in the case of an enemy attack. Response time is also very critical in control applications (sensor/actuator networks) in which the network is to provide a delay-guaranteed service. Untethered systems need to self-configure and adapt to different conditions. Sensor networks should also be robust to changes in their topology, for instance due to the failure of individual nodes. In particular, connectivity and coverage should always be guaranteed. Connectivity is achieved if the base station can be reached from any node. Coverage can be seen as a measure of quality of service in a sensor network, as it defines how well a particular area can be observed by a network and characterizes the probability of detection of geographically constrained phenomena or events. Complete coverage is particularly important for surveillance applications. Maintenance The only desired form of maintenance in a sensor net- work is the complete or partial update of the program code in the sensor nodes over the wireless channel. All sensor nodes should be updated, and the restrictions on the size of the new code should be the same as in the case of wired programming. Packet loss must be accounted for and should not impede correct reprogramming. The portion of code always running in the node to guarantee reprogramming support should have a small footprint, and updating procedures should only cause a brief interruption of the normal operation of the node. The functioning of the network as a whole should not be endangered by unavoidable failures of single nodes, which may occur for a number of reasons, from battery depletion to unpredictable external events, and may either be independent or spatially correlated. Faulttolerance is particularly crucial as ongoing maintenance is rarely an option in sensor network applications. Selfconfiguring nodes are necessary to allow the deployment process to run smoothly without human interaction, which should in principle be limited to placing nodes into a given geographical area. It is not desirable to have humans configure nodes for habitat monitoring and destructively interfere with wildlife in the process, or configure nodes for urban warfare monitoring in a hostile environment. The nodes should be able

to assess the quality of the network deployment and indicate any problems that may arise, as well as adjust to changing environmental conditions by automatic recon- figuration. Location awareness is important for self- configuration and has definite advantages in terms of routing and security. Time synchronization is advantageous in promoting cooperation among nodes, such as data fusion, channel access, coordination of sleep modi, or security-related interaction. Data Collection Data collection is related to network connectivity and coverage. An interesting solution is the use of ubiquitous mobile agents that randomly move around to gather data bridging sensor nodes and access points, whimsically named data MULEs (Mobile Ubiquitous LAN Extensions) .The predictable mobility of the data sink can be used to save power ,as nodes can learn its schedule. A similar concept has been implemented in Intels Wireless Vineyard. It is often the case that all data are relayed to a base station, but this form of centralized data collection may shorten network lifetime. Relaying data to a data sink causes non-uniform power consumption patterns that may overburden forwarding nodes. This is particularly harsh on nodes providing end links to base stations, which may end up relaying traffic coming from all other nodes, thus forming a critical bottleneck for net- work throughput. An interesting technique is clustering : nodes team up to form clusters and transmit their information to their cluster heads, which fuse the data and forward it to a sink. Fewer packets are transmitted, and a uniform energy consumption pattern may be achieved by periodic reclustering. Data redundancy is minimized, as the aggregation process fuses strongly correlated measurements. Many applications require that queries be sent to sensing nodes. This is true, for example, whenever the goal is gathering data regarding a particular area where various sensors have been deployed. This is the rationale behind looking at a sensor network as a database . A sensor network should be able to protect itself and its data from external attacks, but the severe limitations of lower-end sensor node hardware make security a true challenge. Typical encryption schemes, for instance, require large amounts of memory that are unavailable in sensor nodes. Data confidentiality should be preserved by encrypting data with a secret key shared with the intended receiver. Data integrity should be ensured to prevent unauthorized data alteration. An authenticated broadcast must allow the verification of the legitimacy of data and their sender. In a number of commercial applications, a serious disservice to the user of a sensor net- work is compromising data availability, which can be achieved by sleep-deprivation torture : batteries may be drained by continuous service

requests or demands for legitimate but intensive tasks , preventing the node from entering sleep modi.. Power Using stored energy or harvesting energy from the outside world are the two options for the power module. Energy storage may be achieved with the use of batteries or alternative devices such as fuel cells or miniaturized heat engines, whereas energy-scavenging opportunities are provided by solar power, vibrations, acoustic noise, and piezoelectric effects . The vast majority of the existing commercial and research platforms relies on batteries, which dominate the node size. Primary (non- rechargeable) batteries are often chosen, predominantly AA, AAA and coin-type. Alkaline batteries offer a high energy density at a cheap price, offset by a non-flat discharge, a large physical size with respect to a typical sensor node, and a shelf life of only 5 years. Voltage regulation could in principle be employed, but its high inefficiency and large quiescent current consumption call for the use of components that can deal with large variations in the supply volt- age . Lithium cells are very compact and boast a flat discharge curve. Secondary (rechargeable) batteries are typically not desirable, as they offer a lower energy density and a higher cost, not to mention the fact that in most applications recharging is simply not practical. Fuel cells are rechargeable electrochemical energy-conversion devices where electricity and heat are produced as long as hydrogen is supplied to react with oxygen. Pollution is minimal, as water is the main byproduct of the reaction. The potential of fuel cells for energy storage and power delivery is much higher than the one of traditional battery technologies, but the fact that they require hydro- gen complicates their application. Using renewable energy and scavenging techniques is an interesting alternative. Communication Most sensor networks use radio communication, even if alternative solutions are offered by laser and infrared. Nearly all radio-based platforms use COTS (Commercial Off-TheShelf) components. Popular choices include the TR1000 from RFM (used in the MICA motes) and the CC1000 from Chipcon (chosen for the MICA2 platform). More recent solutions use industry standards like IEEE 802.15.4 (MICAz and Telos motes with CC2420 from Chipcon) or pseudostandards like Bluetooth. Typically, the transmit power ranges between 25dBm and 10 dBm, while the receiver sensitivity can be as good as 110dBm. Sensing The high sampling rates of modern digital sensors are usually not needed in sensor networks. The power efficiency of

sensors and their turn-on and turn-off time are much more important. Additional issues are the physical size of the sensing hardware, fabrication, and assembly compatibility with other components of the system. Packaging requirements come into play, for instance, with chemical sensors which require contact with the environment . Using a microcontroller with an on- chip analog comparator is another energy-saving technique which allows the node to avoid sampling values falling outside a certain range . The ADC which complements analog sensors is particularly critical, as its resolution has a direct impact on energy consumption. Fortunately, typical sensor network applications do not have stringent resolution requirements. Micromachining techniques have allowed the miniaturization of many types of sensors. Performance does decrease with sensor size, but for many sensor network applications size matters much more than accuracy. Standard integrated circuits may also be used as temperature sensors (e.g., using the temperature- dependence of sub threshold MOSFETs and pn junctions) or light intensity transducers (e.g., using photodiodes or phototransistors) . Nano sensors can offer promising solutions for biological and chemical sensors while concurrently meeting the most ambitious miniaturization needs. REFERENCES
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