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Sensor network nodes exhibit characteristics of both embedded systems and general-purpose systems. They must use little energy and be robust to environmental conditions, while also providing common services that make it easy to write applications. In TinyOS, the current state of the art in sensor node operating systems, reusable components implement common services, but each node runs a single statically-linked system image, making it hard to run multiple applications or incrementally update applications. The authors present SOS, a new operating system for mote-class sensor nodes that takes a more dynamic point on the design spectrum.
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