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Research in the field of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) has been plagued by difficulties in performing realistic simulations. For instance, most of the existing coverage optimization techniques presuppose that the region covered by a sensor node is a disc characterized by the radio transmission range. This assumption is rigorously false because of the propagation phenomena including fading and shadowing. This paper investigates the impact of these radio propagation phenomena on the coverage optimization strategy in a WSN. We rely on the log-normal shadowing model to represent the effect of the environmental features on the WSN performance. We propose a coverage model taking into account irregular radio propagation. We carry out a mathematical analysis to compute the average number of targets a sensor would detect under both perfect and irregular propagation conditions. We also conduct simulations to assess our random deployment model with respect to the existing strategies.