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Design a wireless sensor network, Part 2

Posted: 06 Mar 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless sensor networks  battery lifetimes  802.15.4-based networks 

Part 1 of this series began with an introduction to wireless sensor networks, and examined factors relating to their organisation, size and throughput. Part 2 will provide design tips and tricks and continue with a look at battery lifetimes, peripherals, security, and commissioning.

One of key promises of 802.15.4-based networks is the promise of low power consumption and a multi-year lifetime without a battery change. This promise is made possible by the fact that 802.15.4 standard defines a reduced function device which can both participate in the network and sleep for an extended periods of time, giving it an especially low duty cycle and a long battery life as a result.

ZigBee networks differentiate among three device (or node) roles. Not surprisingly, power consumption requirements depend on the device type, i.e. the fundamental restrictions imposed by the ZigBee specification, and the way the device is powered in a particular application, i.e. battery or mains-powered.

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