Reliability and Energy Efficiency in Multi-Hop IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee Wireless Sensor Networks

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Executive Summary

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are a very appealing solution for many practical applications. Recently, WSNs have also been deployed in industrial scenarios, even for critical applications. Two major requirements are needed for an effective deployment of WSNs in such scenarios. The first is energy efficiency, as a network lifetime in the order of months or years is usually required. The other is reliability since an even moderate message loss cannot be tolerated in critical applications. In this paper, the authors evaluate the performance of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard in multi-hop WSNs where sleep/wakeup scheduling protocols are used for energy conservation. They show through extensive simulation results that the MAC parameter settings significantly impact on the performance.

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