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Wireless sensor networks (WSN) represent a new generation of embedded systems, which deploy wireless ad hoc communication mechanisms to route sensory data from the originator sensor node to the control station. This particular form of distributed computing arises many challenges in terms of realtime communication and coordination in wireless sensor networks due to the large number of constraints that must be satisfied simultaneously, including power, limited CPU speed, storage capacity and bandwidth. Many routing and MAC layer protocols have been designed for handling real-time applications in wireless sensor networks, by keeping in view their constraints. The majority of these protocols are energy efficient. The real-time applications require some guarantees in terms of throughput and end-to-end delay. Transmission of real-time traffic over such networks requires both energy and QoS aware network management for their efficient performance. This paper describes the major challenges for handling real-time applications in wireless sensor networks. We also outline the major open research issues in this area.
Date of Conference: 27-27 Aug. 2005