Wireless Sensor Network

Topics: Wireless sensor network, Sensor node, Wireless Pages: 7 (1678 words) Published: October 6, 2011
(Reshma Bhat, 3rd sem,EC)
A Wireless Sensor network (WSN) consists of spatially distributed autonomous sensors to cooperatively monitor physical or environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion or pollutants. The development of wireless sensor networks was motivated by military applications such as battlefield surveillance and are now used in many industrial and civilian application areas, including industrial process monitoring and control, machine health monitoring, environment and habitat monitoring, healthcare applications, home automation, and traffic control. In addition to one or more sensors, each node in a sensor network is typically equipped with a radio transceiver or other wireless communications device, a small microcontroller, and an energy source, usually a battery. 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 hundreds of dollars to a few pennies, depending on the size of the sensor network and the complexity required of individual sensor nodes size and cost constraints on sensor nodes result in corresponding constraints on resources such as energy, memory, computational speed and bandwidth. A sensor network normally constitutes a wireless ad-hoc network, meaning that each sensor supports a multi-hop routing algorithm where nodes function as forwarders, relaying data packets to a base station. Keywords: Sensors, Network topology, Wireless networks. .

Figure 1.typical wireless network

Sensor nodes can be imagined as small computers, 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 (including specific conditioning circuitry), a communication device (usually radio transceivers or alternatively optical), and a power source usually in the form of a batteryThe base stations are one or more distinguished components of the WSN with much more computational, energy and communication resources. They act as a gateway between sensor nodes and the end user. 1.Characteristics

Unique characteristics of a WSN include:
• Limited power they can harvest or store
• Ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions
• Ability to cope with node failures
• Mobility of nodes
• Dynamic network topology
• Communication failures
• Heterogeneity of nodes
• Large scale of deployment
• Unattended operation
• Node capacity is scalable, only limited by bandwidth of gateway node. [pic]
2.1Standards and specifications
Several standards are currently either ratified or under development for wireless sensor networks. There are a number of standardization bodies in the field of WSNs.Predominant standards for WSN communication include: • ISA100

• IEEE 1451
• ZigBee
• 802.15.4
• EnOcean
2.2 Hardware
The main challenge is to produce low cost and tiny sensor nodes. With respect to these objectives, current sensor nodes are mainly prototypes. Miniaturization and low cost are understood to follow from recent and future progress in the fields of MEMS and NEMS. Some of the existing sensor nodes are given below. Some of the nodes are still in research stage.Also inherent to sensor network adoption is the availability of a very low power method for acquiring sensor data wirelessly.

Figure3: Network topology

Figure 4: Network topology

Energy is the scarcest resource of WSN nodes, and it determines the lifetime of WSNs. WSNs are meant to be deployed in large numbers in various environments, including remote and hostile regions, with ad-hoc...
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