It is estimated that by the year 2010 more than 10 billion wireless sensors will be deployed for applications as diverse as environmental monitoring, agricultural monitoring, machine health monitoring, surveillance, and medical monitoring. These networks, which connect the physical world with the digital world, provide us with a richer understanding of our environment and with the ability to more accurately control our surroundings. However, there are many challenges that must be addressed before the full potential of these networks are realized. Wireless sensor networks must be reliable and scalable to support large numbers of unattended wireless sensors; they must last for extended periods of time using limited battery power; they must be secure against outside attacks on the network and on data fidelity; they must be accurate in providing required information while performing in-network processing to reduce data load; and they must interface with existing networks. In this talk, I will provide an overview of this exciting field of research, describing the history of research in wireless sensor networks, the current state-of-the-art and the directions in which the field of wireless sensor networking technology is headed. I will motivate the need for adaptive network management to best support dynamic application goals, and I will discuss some current research on energy efficient protocols and algorithms. To provide perspective, I will also describe many of the numerous open research questions that will provide ample opportunities for innovation in the years to come.
Slides are available.
Colloquia Series page.