Emerging Trends of Space-Based Wireless Sensor Network and Its Applications

Emerging Trends of Space-Based Wireless Sensor Network and Its Applications

Padmaja Kuruba (Global Academy of Technology, India) and A. V. Sutagundar (Basaveshwar Engineering College, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0501-3.ch002


There is a great demand in space and earth observations applications. Traditional satellite missions have complex design architecture involving high cost in design, operation, launch and maintenance. Thus single large satellite is replaced by multiple, small satellites with distributed network, collaboratively performing the same functionality of large satellite. This has been motivated researchers to explore the application of terrestrial Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) to space. The main objective of using space based WSN is to have full power of remote sensing capabilities at all the relevant time horizons and geographical scales with high performance and low cost. It also strives for an optimal solution that gratifies the standards, sizes, air interfaces, network architecture, access schemes, fault tolerance, operating system, hardware components of on-board diagnostics etc. This chapter discusses the characteristics and challenges of Space-Based Wireless Sensor Network (SWSN).
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Why Swsn?

In the year 1960, the first satellite TIROS-1(a US meteorological satellite) was launched for earth observation. Currently there are 1100 active satellites (including government and private launchers) and 2600 satellites that are non-functional. Figure 1 shows illuminated small light as the satellites in the orbit. The federal communications commission in space found that non functional satellites weighing up to 6 tons and size of a small school bus. These non-functional satellites can cause collision with the active satellites. These are called as space debris. However rules says to burn the unused satellites within 25 year either by dropping them back to earth for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites or lift them up, such that they don’t collide with the active satellite in orbit in case of Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites (Cornara, Beech, Belló-Mora, & Martinez de Aragon, 1999). The design and implementation of successful satellite network is a complex and iterative process involving a huge cost. The above mentioned statistics brings a great demand for efficient satellite network in space. The current space environment demands for faster, better and cheaper satellites with high performance and reliability.

Figure 1.

Non functional satellite forming debris in space


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