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Wireless sensor network (WSN)

Wireless sensor network (WSN)

What is WSN?

The wireless sensor network was primarily developed as a military application to survey a battlefield. However, now a WSN is commonly used in many other industrial and commercial applications to monitor environmental conditions, health care applications and traffic controls. There are many different kinds of wireless sensor networks however; they all normally come equipped with a radio transceiver or a wireless communication device or a power source.

There are many applications to this technology and typically involve monitoring, tracking or controlling. Area monitoring comes as one very commonly used to be able to track any kind of movement whether it is heat, pressure, sound, light or vibrations in an specific area.

This technology is now being utilized by almost every industry and this includes the environmentally related industry as this is a technology which allows the reading of many different kinds of changes in the atmosphere and how they can guide those in the industry to determine simple factors like water levels or more complex aspects of the environment like the possibility of an earthquake in an specific area.

Vehicle tracking and movement can also be tracked through this technology and therefore, it is also being used by the security industry. Medical science also depends on the wireless sensor network to be able to track the changes on some of the health monitors which will immediately notify the medical staff of a change in the monitoring device.

Zigbee is a technology developed as a global standard to comply with the needs of low cost and low power wireless networks. It has been designed with the facility to be able to provide an easy to use wireless solution which creates a secure and reliable network. Some of the features of Zigbee include the ability to support multiple network functions like the point to point or multipoint to point and also the mesh networks as well. Since it functions on a low duty cycle it is also considered to be very good on battery life. And it has the direct sequence spread spectrum as well. It also has the ability to run for years without any kind of maintenance and with an automatic meter reading.

TinyOS has been designed for wireless sensor networks. It works in component based software that supports high degree of data in a very small space and which has been designed to minimize power consumption, while being able to use all its sophisticated protocols. The wireless sensor network has been created taking into consideration a variety of applications, incorporating various components and being capable of deployment of new environments. However, it also requires greater processing compared to the wired networks. It is a complex mechanism which needs to be properly processed. There are many different kinds of WSN platforms and they vary in size and capacity depending on which components are active.

SOS is an operating system for wireless sensor network which is normally utilized for message passing services, dynamic memory allocations and module loading. The components of the SOS are comparable in functionality to Tiny components. SOS project is now no logner continue to develop. However, the source code is still available to download up until now.

Another specific Operating system for the WSN is the EPOS or Embedded Parallel Operating System which is based on runtime support for the environment. This framework allows programmers to develop their own applications and tools through their system in accordance with the requirements of these particular applications.

The right Operating system for the Wireless sensor network will allow applications to express when certain software components are not being used, allowing the system to work on the levels that it needs to and thus implement less power as well.

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