Practical Applications and Design Challenges of Wireless Heterogeneous Sensor Networks

Salami, Abdulazeez Femi ; Anwar, Farhat ; Bello-Salau, Habeeb ; Hussaini, Mukhtar (2011-11-06)

Book chapter

As a result of the technological advancements in information and communication technology, the field of wireless sensor network (WSN) has witnessed rapid progress over the last decade. Customarily, a WSN is made up of a number of wireless networked low-power sensor nodes, each of which is designed with an in-built microprocessor, radio transceiver and limited storage, computational and energy resources. Nowadays, WSN are deployed in environments where conventional wireless networks operate, therefore heterogeneity is becoming an essential factor in WSN design because key design features like processing power, communication ability, sensing techniques, energy resources and computational capability have to be fine-tuned to adapt to conventional wireless network requirements and scenarios. By implementing a heterogeneous network of WSN and conventional wireless networks, the potential and performance of the sensor nodes will be greatly enhanced and most especially, the WSN will have the significant advantage of having a wider coverage area and adaptability for different types of applications. A lot of unique and interesting challenges arise when WSN is incorporated and enhanced with heterogeneity due to the demand to adapt and perform well with a number of other target applications. As a result of the aforementioned challenges, this chapter is motivated by demands from industrialists and researchers to investigate and bring out the feasible applications and design challenges of developing a reliable and energy-efficient wireless heterogeneous sensor network.