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Wireless Sensor Networks For Smart Cities: Network Design, Implementation And Performance Evaluation

Ala’ Khalifeh, Khalid A. Darabkh, Ahmad M. Khasawneh, Issa Alqaisieh, Mohammad Salameh, Ahmed AlAbdala, Shams Alrubaye, Anwar Alassaf, Samer Al-HajAli, Radi Al-Wardat, Novella Bartolini, Giancarlo Bongiovannim, Kishore Rajendiran

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The advent of various wireless technologies has paved the way for the realization of new infrastructures and applications for smart cities. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are one of the most important among these technologies. WSNs are widely used in various applications in our daily lives. Due to their cost effectiveness and rapid deployment, WSNs can be used for securing smart cities by providing remote monitoring and sensing for many critical scenarios including hostile environments, battlefields, or areas subject to natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and floods or to large-scale accidents such as nuclear plants explosions or chemical plumes. The purpose of this paper is to propose a new framework where WSNs are adopted for remote sensing and monitoring in smart city applications. We propose using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to act as a data mule to offload the sensor nodes and transfer the monitoring data securely to the remote control center for further analysis and decision making. Furthermore, the paper provides insight about implementation challenges in the realization of the proposed framework. In addition, the paper provides an experimental evaluation of the proposed design in outdoor environments, in the presence of different types of obstacles, common to typical outdoor fields. The experimental evaluation revealed several inconsistencies between the performance metrics advertised in the hardware-specific data-sheets. In particular, we found mismatches between the advertised coverage distance and signal strength with our experimental measurements. Therefore, it is crucial that network designers and developers conduct field tests and device performance assessment before designing and implementing the WSN for application in a real field setting.