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Networking together hundreds or thousands of cheap microsensor nodes allows users to accurately monitor a remote environment by intelligently combining the data from the individual nodes. These networks require robust wireless communication protocols that are energy efficient and provide low latency. We develop and analyze low-energy adaptive clustering hierarchy (LEACH), a protocol architecture for microsensor networks that combines the ideas of energy-efficient cluster-based routing and media access together with application-specific data aggregation to achieve good performance in terms of system lifetime, latency, and application-perceived quality. LEACH includes a new, distributed cluster formation technique that enables self-organization of large numbers of nodes, algorithms for adapting clusters and rotating cluster head positions to evenly distribute the energy load among all the nodes, and techniques to enable distributed signal processing to save communication resources. Our results show that LEACH can improve system lifetime by an order of magnitude compared with general-purpose multihop approaches.