A Survey of Sensor Network Applications and Architectural Components
Habib M. Ammari, Nicholas Gomes, Matthew Jacques, Bruce Maxim and David Yoon
Wireless sensor networks have always been designed for monitoring physical environments and reporting the obtained data to a central collection point, called base station (or sink), which will process and analyze them. This type of network consists of tiny, battery-powered devices, called sensor nodes, which are able to store and process data, and communicate results (wirelessly) to the external world. Furthermore, these sensor nodes have the capability of sensing data, such as temperature, sound, light, and vibration, to name a few, and sending them to the sink. A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a set of sensor nodes that collaborate to successfully accomplish their monitoring task by communicating with each other via multi-hop, wireless links. The design of WSNs faces a major problem due to the very scarce resources of the sensor nodes, such as battery power (or energy), CPU, and bandwidth, to name a few, with energy being the most critical one. It is well known that WSNs can be used for a wide variety of applications dealing with monitoring (health environments monitoring, seism monitoring), control, and surveillance (battlefields surveillance). Most of these applications are designed with a goal to extend the network lifetime for as long as possible. In this paper, we propose a classification of applications of WSNs based on their application domains. Precisely, we focus on five application domains, namely healthcare, agriculture, environmental, industry, and military. For each application domain, we give an overview of a variety of applications of WSNs. Moreover, we describe the main hardware and software components that are essential for the design and development of this type of network.
Keywords: Wireless sensor networks, classification, hardware, software, applications.