The project aims to buildi-up an infrastructure for research in hierarchical WSNs both in terms of a simulator and hardware. As part of the architecture is a data acquisition and management gateway between the sensor network and external networks, that pr ovides interaction, control and management functionality for authenticated users. Research in reusable middleware components for hierarchical sensor networks will open up for simpler (reduced) development and maintenance (costs) of next generation sensor networks. The prototype will be based on standard WSN protocols, such as ZigBee and IEEE 802.15.4, opposed to previous efforts on sensor networks. We expect that deployment of newly standardized protocols will increase the industrial interest in this proj ect as confirmed by the included letters of interest. Our envisioned architecture is general and enables numerous applications
Contrary to existing prototype WSNs, which are flat, the introduction of hierarchical architecture will increase the scalabilit y of the WSN, i.e. the size, throughput, energy-efficiency and thus the longevity of the network will be increased. Further, the WSN will be more than a data collection network by providing sophisticated management functions such as (re)programmability o f single, designated sensor nodes or a set of sensor nodes through the introduction of multicast. The project also introduces the notion of local interaction within large-scale sensor networks by allowing users to interact directly with the nodes in the t op-level hierarchy, thus saving energy, reducing latency and enabling users to be physically close to the part of the network they are currently interested in. Energy optimization should be extended to whole sensor network in addition to single nodes to m aximize the lifetime of the network. Therefore energy optimization will be taken into consideration at both the system and the individual object level.