Studies show that the industrial Wireless Sensor Network market has been increasing in size of the last few years. This is in-spite of the challenging economic situation that many countries are facing. As a simple example earlier a setup of 10-20 Sensor nodes forming a wireless sensor network was considered a rare requirement and configuration. However to display the sheer increase in demand and growth in the market now-a-days a deployment of more than 1000 wireless sensor nodes is in-fact quite common.
The technology that used to be used by only the military at one point in time to detect and track enemy submarines and activity is now easily available for a more general purpose use. For example the same technology is now being used for several different applications.
The demand for such networks has also risen in the Government sectors. These networks used to be based on bulky and expensive sensors and proprietary networking protocols. They have since been replaced with smarter and smaller devices which cost a great deal lesser and can be deployed over a more robust network.
Reason for Growth:
This sudden growth over the past few years can be credited to the increasing awareness and usefulness of the Wireless Sensor Networks. Also the fact that the wireless mess solution is now optimized to suit many different kinds of industrial applications.
The state of the art Wireless sensor networks available today have a lower deployment and maintenance cost to start with. They last longer and are more rugged. Thus it is no surprise that they are finding their way into more and diverse range of applications in several industrial areas. This is thus improving the work efficiency, lowering costs and making live easier overall for all kinds of industries.
If we were to take a simple example of implementation of wireless sensor networks in the agricultural industry. It can be used to measure the micro-climates on farms which in turn will be highly beneficial due to the increase in crop yield.
Furthermore it is a safe prediction that within the next 4-5 years there will be a rapid increase in the number of wireless industrial field devices. Thus that will mean a great deal number of more Wireless Sensor nodes deployed across the world. Wireless Sensor Networking is quickly replacing the wired network solutions as well as helping several types of industries to extend their wired solution. Besides which it is the chosen solution for new sensing and control solutions.
It is expected that there will be many more wireless sensing applications and technology variations for industrial automation. Besides the popular wireless mesh systems, products based on the non-mesh technology are emerging and targeting the process and discrete industries. Thus the adoption for point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless sensor networks is increasing many fold for oil and gas exploration and production. The amazing fact is there is increasing interest being shown for the simpler and lower cost wireless sensors like the passive wireless sensors.
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