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2 - Inside a wireless sensor node: structure and operations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2014

Mohammad S. Obaidat
Monmouth University, New Jersey
Sudip Misra
Indian Institute of Technology
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As indicated in Chapter 1, a wireless sensor network (WSN) is a wireless computer network that consists of many dispersed independent sensor nodes to coordinate physical or environmental conditions, such as vibration, pressure, temperature, sound, motion, and pollutants, at different settings. WSNs are being used in a wide variety of industrial and civilian applications, which may include industrial process monitoring and control, smart and digital homes, smart cities, environment and habitat monitoring, health care applications, and traffic control, among many others.

In terms of structure, WSNs are a blend of small sensors and the actuators along with some general-purpose small processors to perform some limited computational processing [1–12]. The WSN consists of numerous low-power, low-cost and self-organizing sensor nodes. Gathering data or physical information from the physical surroundings is one of the main aims of any WSN [1–20].

This chapter is aimed at investigating the structure of a wireless sensor node including its architecture and operation mechanism.

Limitations in wireless sensor networks

The unfriendly and remote environments at which wireless sensor nodes are usually positioned, and the restricted computational power and energy, as well as limited storage space in the nodes, are the major parameters that dictate what protocols should be employed. For example, because of such limited resources, the schemes and protocols usually used to secure WSNs are light-weight solutions, and those used for routing, are more energy-aware and should need as little execution time as possible.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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