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The remarkable advances of micro sensing micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) and wireless communication technologies have promoted the development of wireless sensor networks. A WSN consists of many sensor nodes densely deployed in a field, each able to collect environmental information and together able to support multihop ad-hoc routing. WSNs provide an inexpensive and convenient way to monitor physical environments. With their environment-sensing capability, WSNs can enrich human life in applications such as healthcare, building monitoring, and home security.
A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a wireless network consisting of spatially distributed autonomous devices using sensors to cooperatively monitor physical or environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion or pollutants, at different locations. The development of wireless sensor networks was originally motivated by military applications such as battlefield surveillance. However, wireless sensor networks are now used in many civilian application areas, including environment and habitat monitoring, healthcare applications, home automation, and traffic control.
The applications for WSNs are many and varied. They are used in commercial and industrial applications to monitor data that would be difficult or expensive to monitor using wired sensors. They could be deployed in wilderness areas, where they would remain for many years (monitoring some environmental variables) without the need to recharge/replace their power supplies. They could form a perimeter about a property and monitor the progression of intruders (passing information from one node to the next).
Typical applications of WSNs include monitoring, tracking, and controlling. Some of the specific applications are habitat monitoring, object tracking, nuclear reactor controlling, fire detection, traffic monitoring, etc. In a typical application, a WSN is scattered in a region where it is meant to collect data through its sensor nodes.
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