Wireless sensor networks are an emerging research area with potential applications in a wide variety of fields. A primary impediment to the commercial adoption of these networks is that the radio in each wireless sensor node requires lots of power especially in comparison to comparable wired sensor nodes. This high power requirement consequently limits the range and/or economics of deploying and maintaining these wireless networks. To solve this problem researchers at the University of California Berkeley have developed an innovative media access protocol for wireless sensor networks. This protocol has been developed for sensor networks in which the sensor nodes periodically generate data and have limited power but the network\'s main access point is not power constrained.In comparison to protocols designed for more general contention-based (random access) networks this new protocol lowers power consumption by minimizing the power wasted due to radio operation inefficiencies at each node and thereby increases battery lifetime. Moreover this novel protocol offers superior real-time delay guarantees congestion control and data transmission fairness. In modeling this protocol on a wireless sensor network for traffic management the results showed that power consumption was 1000 times lower than the power consumed by a similarly configured contention network protocol making the sensor network technology economically viable.
1) Power efficiency resulting in long battery life times 2) Real-time delay guarantee 3) Congestion control 4) Data fairness