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In distributed wireless sensing applications such as unattended ground sensor systems, remote planetary exploration, and condition-based maintenance, where the deployment site is remote and/or the scale of the network is large, individual emplacement and configuration of the sensor nodes is difficult. Hence, network self-assembly and continuous network self-organization during the lifetime of the network in a reliable, efficient, and scalable manner are crucial for successful deployment and operation of such networks. This paper provides an overview of the concept of network self-assembly for ad hoc wireless sensor networks at the link layer, with descriptions of results from implementation of a novel network formation mechanism for wireless unattended ground sensor applications using a multicluster hierarchical topology and a novel dual-radio architecture.
Date of Publication: Oct.-Dec. 2004