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We consider the issue of designing a generic transport layer protocol for energy-constrained sensor networks. We present the requirements for such a transport protocol and propose sensor transmission control protocol (STCP). STCP is a generic, scalable and reliable transport layer protocol where a majority of the functionalities are implemented at the base station. STCP offers controlled variable reliability, congestion detection and avoidance, and supports multiple applications in the same network. We present the design and implementation of STCP and evaluate the protocol with different scenarios and network characteristics.