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Reliability of communications is key to expand application domains for sensor networks. Since Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) operate in the license-free Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands and hence share the spectrum with other wireless technologies, addressing interference is an important challenge. In order to minimize its effect, nodes can dynamically adapt radio resources provided information about current spectrum usage is available. The authors present a new channel quality metric, based on availability of the channel over time, which meaningfully quantifies spectrum usage. They discuss the optimum scanning time for capturing the channel condition while maintaining energy-efficiency.
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