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The applications of wireless sensor networks proliferated in the recent years. For specific applications, due to the large number of sensors deployed, wireless sensor networks can be seen as elements of infrastructure. As many elements of infrastructure are designed and operated considering the systems engineering life cycle process, so, too, the systems engineering process is appropriate for the design and operation of wireless sensor networks. Besides delivering the required functionality while respecting operational constraints, a must for every engineering system, system lifetime, defined as the duration of time in which the system is capable of delivering an acceptable level of performance, is a critical operational objective for wireless sensor networks. To identify the configurations for which an acceptable system lifetime threshold level is obtained, a simulation model is proposed. The simulator is also designed to provide coverage information of the monitored environment. A separate Weibull reliability prediction model is proposed to account for the potential adverse actions directed towards the deployed wireless sensor nodes.