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We propose a new type of wireless sensor network system named die-hard sensor network. Conceptually, this system performs continuous monitoring without any maintenance, even if some sensor nodes die. A significant difference between our system and the ordinary wireless sensor networks is that each sensor node in our system should have an automatic sensing-function alternation mechanism in addition to the conventional communication protocols for wireless sensor networks. Owing to the mechanism, our system is suitable for mission-critical applications; this is because many sensor nodes often die due to frequent changes in the environment. In this paper, after introducing the concept of the die-hard sensor network, we present a prototype system that is dedicated to the surveillance of disaster-hit regions.