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Wireless Sensor Networks

Sensor network is a global exchange for sensor information. It allows researchers and scientists to share data with authorized partners. A sensor network normally constitutes a wireless ad hoc network, meaning that eachsensor supports a multi-hop routing algorithm where nodes function as forwarders, relaying data packets to a base station.

Wireless sensor networks have several advantages. The low cost and small size of sensors make such networks capable in many applications. They are self-organizing and easy to deploy. They cover large areas. They may have some level of fault tolerance which maintains the network operation when one
or few nodes fail. They have close connection with the environment without causing disturbance to that environment. They can be an economical method for long term data gathering and they help to avoid unsafe or unwise repeated field studies. Finally, these networks can operate unattended in potentially hostile or hazardous environment. They can be deployed under the soil, under the water, in a biological contaminated field, in a building or embedded in machines. All of these advantages among others make wireless sensor network appropriate in a variety of fields. Some examples of wireless ad hoc sensor networks are the following:

a) Military sensor networks to detect and monitor about enemy movements, explosions and other phenomena of interest.
b) Sensor networks to detect and characterize Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) attacks and material.
c) Sensor networks to detect and monitor environmental changes in plains, forests, oceans, etc.

d) Wireless traffic sensor networks to monitor vehicle traffic on highways or in congested parts of a city.
e) Wireless surveillance sensor networks for providing security in shopping malls, parking garages, and other facilities.

f) Wireless parking lot sensor networks to determine which spots are occupied and which are free.

Wireless sensor networks have been recognized as one of the most important technologies for the 21st century. They hold a lot of promise in applications where gathering sensing information in remote locations is required.