Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) is a network of sensors that can monitor and record the environmental conditions and collect the data. Environmental conditions such as pressure, sound, pollution level, wind speed, and temperature are sensed by these networks and through them, they send data to the assigned location.
These sensors are usually deployed at remote locations. Because of the ubiquity of the sensors, Wireless Sensor Networks are sometimes called ubiquitous sensors.
(WSNs) consists of base stations and from hundreds to thousands of nodes (wireless sensors). This was originally designed for the purpose to facilitate military operations but now it has many purposes including health care, air pollution, forest fire, water quality, machine health, water waste, structural health, greenhouse monitoring, and natural disaster prevention, landslide detection, data logging, wine production, and threat detection.
There are several types of WSNs:
- Mobile WSNs
- Multimedia WSNs
- Terrestrial WSNs
- Underground WSNs
- Underwater WSNs
However convenient, WSNs are vulnerable to external attacks that can impair its’ operations. The nodes need to be deployed in remote and hostile areas and their lifetime is connected with the battery load; nodes will remain active to use as long as the batteries run out. Several protocols need to be designed to give the nodes a long life.
- Nodes are vulnerable to hard wares and physical damage and these protocols need to be able to detect these failures as soon as they occur.
- For high-resolution data transmission, several nodes are deployed In the transmission together and the protocols need to be able to scale to a level where they can manage the multiple nodes and contain functionality.
- Nodes are considered to be disposable devices and to compete with the traditional information transfer systems, it needs to be cheaper and affordable.
- Along with a power supply, a sensing unit, a processing unit, and a transmission unit, a node may also have other additional devices such as a localization device. These additional devices need to be balanced according to the cost and power requirement as each additional devices increases the cost and budget.
- Speaking of reducing the extra cost, energy conservation is needed and consumption needs to be controlled. For this, researches have been going on to reduce energy consumption by Topology maintenance.
- Ditching the traditional method of using radio communication, some networks are now using optical communication.
- Some nodes can be turned off to reduce the energy consumption while some of the applications need all the nodes to participate in the process.
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