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Wireless sensor networks consist of several hundredths of simple sensing devices, equipped with a radio. They are typically used for monitoring and automation purposes of large areas. Due to their simplicity, these networks quickly run out of energy, and often have problems regarding scalability and available bandwidth. To solve these issues, current research is mostly limited to the addition of extra sinks to the network, or the use of gateways to request sensor data over the Internet. In this paper, the authors explore how wireless sensor networks can be combined with wireless mesh networks to obtain a more optimized solution. The mesh network can be used to connect separate sensor networks, to connect sensor nodes with a monitoring platform, or as a scalable backbone for sensor to sensor communication.
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