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The lifetime calculation of large dense sensor networks with fixed energy resources and the remaining residual energy have shown that for a constant energy resource in a sensor network the fault rate at the cluster head is network size invariant when using the network layer with no MAC losses. Even after increasing the battery capacities in the nodes the total lifetime does not increase after a max limit of 8 times. As this is a serious limitation lots of research has been done at the MAC layer which allows to adapt to the specific connectivity, traffic and channel polling needs for sensor networks.
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