Practical issues in building an embedded sensor network application using 802.15.4: Linking hardware & MAC protocol

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


IEEE Publications


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Engineering / Centre for Communications Engineering Research




This article was originally published as: Meghji, M. L., Habibi, D. , & Ahmad, I. (2012). Practical issues in building an embedded sensor network application using 802.15.4: Linking hardware & MAC protocol. Proceedings of 2012 Australasian Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (ATNAC 2012). (pp. 1-7). Brisbane, Australia. IEEE Publications. Original article available here


The development of a wireless sensor network (WSN) application requires innovative solutions to achieve effective communication. Designing WSNs, involves many factors including the robustness of network components, cost, energy efficiency, and sustainable implementation models. Enhancing communication networks to achieve reliable wireless connectivity that is cost effective and energy efficient is a major challenge in WSN. In this paper, we provide resource information of potential interest to students, researchers and network designers interested in advancing forefront hardware experimentation and WSN research in general. The information relates to some of the available hardware component features/capabilities, medium access control (MAC) protocol implementation challenges, and general application design goals. Moreover, we provide some solutions when selecting hardware components and implementing MAC in embedded microprocessor platforms. Understanding currently available technologies is challenging given the number of WSN vendors/developers and ongoing developments. We assert that developing effective WSN applications, requires an understanding of the WSN application under consideration and making the right hardware and protocol choices, i.e. using best components and the most appropriate algorithm for the hardware selected.