What is a wireless sensor network?
A wireless sensor network is a network of different sensor nodes, which communicate via wireless technology (WLAN) with each other or with an evaluation unit.
A sensor node (also radio node) is a miniature computer equipped with sensors, processors, and wireless communication units that is fed by battery or power cable and captures, processes and transfers over longer periods sensor data to a base station (evaluation unit).
Such wireless sensor networks were originally used for military purposes or to monitor weather stations. Today, such wireless sensor networks are increasingly used for industrial purposes. Wireless sensor networks are more and more replacing wired sensor networks and open up many new application areas.
Today’s radio nodes in a wireless sensor network are primarily distinguished by a high data rate, low power consumption, mobility and the possibility of real-time application. Also easy installation, self-configuration, and low maintenance and interference immunity count to the requirements of a wireless sensor network.
Advantages of wireless sensor networks
Wireless sensor networks have the huge advantage that even under difficult environmental conditions as they occur, for example, in many industrial buildings, the information is transmitted securely. In addition to the high reliability a further advantage is that the sensors may be sampled synchronously in a wireless network.
Therefore wireless sensor networks are suitable for process control and machine control in many industrial plants, monitoring of buildings, wind turbines and much more.
More information about sensor networks under: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_sensor_network.