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Large-scale wireless sensor networks represent a new generation of real-time embedded systems with significantly different communication constraints from traditional networked systems. This paper presents RAP, a new real-time communication architecture for large-scale sensor networks. RAP provides convenient, high-level query and event services for distributed micro-sensing applications. Novel location-addressed communication models are supported by a scalable and light-weight network stack. We present and evaluate a new packet scheduling policy called velocity monotonic scheduling that inherently accounts for both time and distance constraints. We show that this policy is particularly suitable for communication scheduling in sensor networks in which a large number of wireless devices are seamlessly integrated into a physical space to perform real-time monitoring and control. Detailed simulations of representative sensor network environments demonstrate that RAP significantly reduces the end-to-end deadline miss ratio in the sensor network.