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In this paper, we consider a distributed detection problem in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) using ultrawide bandwidth (UWB) communications. Due to the severe restrictions on power consumption, energy efficiency becomes a critical design issue in WSNs. UWB technology has low-power transceivers, low-complexity and low-cost circuitry which are well suited to the physical layer requirements for WSNs. In a typical parallel fusion network, local decisions are made by local sensors and transmitted through a wireless channel to a fusion center, where the final decision is made. In this paper, we control the number of UWB pulses to achieve the energy efficient distributed detection. We first theoretically characterize the performance of distributed detection using UWB communications. Based on the analysis, we then obtain the minimum number of the pulses per detection to meet the required performance. To achieve a near-optimal design, we further propose a multiple access technique based on the random number of UWB pulses. Finally, the performance evaluation is provided to demonstrate the advantage of our design.