Sensors and Sensor Networks are Growing Applications

Wireless sensor technology has rapidly moved from basic research to practical development. University research papers, an indicator of what technical issues require resolution, have recently been focused on operational matters such as sensor range, power consumption and large network communications management. One of the more active research topics is the investigation of methods for processing a large amount of data that may be gathered over a very large physical area. Sensor networks are primarily being developed to operate as ad hoc networks. This is a requirement for any network that is dynamic in the number of sensors and uncertain availability of any particular sensor at any given time. An overview of ad hoc sensor networks is given in the following section, from a summary by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).