Indexed on: 14 Dec '11Published on: 14 Dec '11Published in: Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
For mission-critical applications of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) involving extensive battlefield surveillance, medical healthcare, etc., it is crucial to have low-power, new protocols, methodologies and structures for transferring data and information in a network with full sensing coverage capability for an extended working period. The upmost mission is to ensure that the network is fully functional providing reliable transmission of the sensed data without the risk of data loss. WSNs have been applied to various types of mission-critical applications. Coverage preservation is one of the most essential functions to guarantee quality of service (QoS) in WSNs. However, a tradeoff exists between sensing coverage and network lifetime due to the limited energy supplies of sensor nodes. In this study, we propose a routing protocol to accommodate both energy-balance and coverage-preservation for sensor nodes in WSNs. The energy consumption for radio transmissions and the residual energy over the network are taken into account when the proposed protocol determines an energy-efficient route for a packet. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed protocol is able to increase the duration of the on-duty network and provide up to 98.3% and 85.7% of extra service time with 100% sensing coverage ratio comparing with LEACH and the LEACH-Coverage-U protocols, respectively.