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Sensor networks: evolution, opportunities, and challenges

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2 Author(s)

Wireless microsensor networks have been identified as one of the most important technologies for the 21st century. This paper traces the history of research in sensor networks over the past three decades, including two important programs of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) spanning this period: the Distributed Sensor Networks (DSN) and the Sensor Information Technology (SensIT) programs. Technology trends that impact the development of sensor networks are reviewed, and new applications such as infrastructure security, habitat monitoring, and traffic control are presented. Technical challenges in sensor network development include network discovery, control and routing, collaborative signal and information processing, tasking and querying, and security. The paper concludes by presenting some recent research results in sensor network algorithms, including localized algorithms and directed diffusion, distributed tracking in wireless ad hoc networks, and distributed classification using local agents.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:91 ,  Issue: 8 )