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In this paper, we present a sensor abstraction layer (SAL) which provides instrument middleware architectures with a consistent and uniform view of heterogenous sensor networks regardless of the technologies involved. SAL is designed to run on sensor gateways (also referred to as base stations) and aggregates multiple sensing technologies. The many hardware disparities and specificities related to accessing, probing and piloting heterogenous sensors are hidden and abstracted by SAL, which in turn offers a single, stable and hardware-independent interface to manage the entire network. The result is a single software library which aggregates multiple heterogenous sensor networks, hides their disparities, provides consistent access and control functions, and allows middleware software to be technology-independent.