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In the majority of wireless sensor networks, packet structures are statically defined at design time. At runtime, sensed data is then inserted into the payload fields prior to packet transmission. While this is efficient in terms of the required processing, the packet structure cannot be modified during runtime. However, in certain situations the need for adaptation of the packets to new requirements arises, e.g. when the energy source approaches depletion and energy-hungry sensors are deactivated to extend the node lifetime. The countermeasure of defining a multitude of packet structures to encounter any possible situation is infeasible both in terms of efforts and resource consumption.
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