Wireless sensor networks are a group of specialized devices or sensors used to monitor different environmental conditions. Also, to collect and organize that data at some central location.
It measures a number of physical conditions. Also, chemical concentrations, vibrations, pollutant levels and many other such conditions. It has many application with microcontroller projects.
There are a various nodes in a sensor network. These nodes are the detection stations. In every sensor node, there is a sensor/transducer, microcontroller, transceiver and power source.
Types of Wireless Sensor Networks:
Terrestrial WSNs – These types of networks consist of huge number of wireless sensor nodes. These nodes can be organized in an unstructured or a structured manner. The nodes are distributed unsystematically. But they are kept within the target area.
They are over ground and solar cells can be used to power up these networks. Energy can be conserved by reducing delays and using operations of low duty cycles etc.
Underground WSNs – These sensor networks are more expensive as compared to terrestrial networks. These are used to monitor the underground conditions. Therefore, their whole network is underground.
Underwater WSNs – This network system comprises of sensor nodes and vehicles which are deployed under the water. Underwater vehicles are to be used to gather data from the sensor nodes.
Multimedia WSNs – These sensor networks can gather information in the form of audio or video etc. The sensor nodes are connected with cameras and microphones. They can track and monitor different events. Also, can keep a visual display of the events also.
Mobile WSNs – The mobile network is not fixed rather the sensor nodes can move from one place to any other. Their main advantage is that they provide better coverage, more channel capacity and enhanced coverage.
Applications of Wireless Sensor Networks:
There are numerous applications of WSNs in industrial automation, traffic monitoring and control, medical device monitoring and in many other areas, such as:-
Disaster Relief Operation – If an area is reported to have been hit by some sort of calamity such as fire then the sensor nodes can be dropped on the fire from an aircraft. The data of each node can be monitored. A temperature map can be used to devise proper ways and techniques to overcome the fire.
Military Applications – They are very useful in military operations for sensing and monitoring friendly or hostile motions. The surveillance of battlefield can be done through the sensor nodes to keep a check on everything. The nuclear, biological or chemical attacks can also be detected through the sensor nodes.
Environmental Applications – These sensor networks have a huge number of applications in the environment used to track movement of animals, birds and record them. Monitoring of earth, soil, irrigation and precision agriculture can be done through these sensors. Also, can also used for the detection of fire, flood, earthquakes etc.
Medical Applications – It can help in keeping a check on drug administration in hospitals and in monitoring patients as well as doctors.
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