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Wireless distributed microsensor systems will enable the reliable monitoring of a variety of environments for both civil and military applications. In this paper, we look at communication protocols, which can have significant impact on the overall energy dissipation of these networks. Based on our findings that the conventional protocols of direct transmission, minimum-transmission-energy, multi-hop routing, and static clustering may not be optimal for sensor networks, we propose LEACH (Low-Energy Adaptive Clustering Hierarchy), a clustering-based protocol that utilizes randomized rotation of local cluster based station (cluster-heads) to evenly distribute the energy load among the sensors in the network. LEACH uses localized coordination to enable scalability and robustness for dynamic networks, and incorporates data fusion into the routing protocol to reduce the amount of information that must be transmitted to the base station. Simulations show the LEACH can achieve as much as a factor of 8 reduction in energy dissipation compared with conventional outing protocols. In addition, LEACH is able to distribute energy dissipation evenly throughout the sensors, doubling the useful system lifetime for the networks we simulated.