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Deployment is an important issue in wireless sensor networks (WSNs). Most recent researches focus on the optimal deployment strategy to achieve full coverage in WSNs. However, the sensing devices in practical applications are finite, and cannot achieve full coverage in the whole monitored region. Moreover, the monitored objects distribute unevenly, and thus the monitored significance differs from region to region. How to deploy limited number of sensors efficiently has been to an important issue. In this study, we propose a new coverage problem in WSNs, named N-node coverage, to acquire the maximum information about monitored objects with N sensors. In this problem, the captured information is used as the new evaluation metric for network coverage. On the basis of the metric, we establish the N-node network coverage model, and prove that the N-node coverage problem is NP-hard. The authors propose a heuristic algorithm for deployment, named optimisation schEme of N-node (OPEN), to obtain the near-optimal solution of the problem. Experimental results show that the OPEN can effectively improve the coverage performance of the WSNs, and is able to provide practical guideline for deployment of WSNs with limited number of nodes.