System Design Issues in Single-Hop Wireless Sensor Networks

S. Saha and P. Bajcsy (USA)


Wireless communication, sensor-network system design.


We present an optimization study of a wireless sensor network with the two objectives of maximizing information content and minimizing the system's wireless information loss. The information content is represented by (a) a reference time point, (b) a time stamp of each sensor reading, (c) raw sensor readings and (d) calibrated sensor readings converted to engineering units. The wireless sensor network's information loss is measured as the number of sensor readings that were acquired but lost before they reached an information gathering place of the sensor network, such as, the base station. A single-hop network consisting of Crossbow Inc.'s MTS-101CA Mica sensors is described and optimized with respect to the two objectives. In contrast to many other research efforts, we focus on a network of sensors that continuously sense the environment and transmit data to the base station. Thus, our studied sensor network inherently generates much heavier traffic and is applicable to monitoring continuous variables for hazard aware environments.

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