CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Marlyn Littman

Committee Member

Yair Levy

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Abstract

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) represent a class of miniaturized information systems designed to monitor physical environments. These smart monitoring systems form collaborative networks utilizing autonomous sensing, data-collection, and processing to provide real-time analytics of observed environments. As a fundamental research area in pervasive computing and envisioned as large-scale autonomous networks of communicating nodes capable of monitoring conditional metrics over vast geographic areas, WSNs have the potential to provide researchers and conservationists with increased knowledge of the intricacies and interrelationships of disparate environments.

The author addressed the problem of developing a methodology for the design and deployment of WSNs in uncontrolled and harsh outdoor environments. Within the context of a research and conservation field study of flora, the author developed a model for deployment of WSNs within the domain of microclimate habitat monitoring. The goal of this study was to contribute to the body of knowledge in WSN research by developing a model for deployment that was scientifically sound and replicable. To accomplish this goal, the author conducted an investigation of current technologies associated with WSNs, their capabilities, and their applications specific to the stated domain. To validate this model, the author deployed a WSN for monitoring the microclimate habitats of a population of Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis, common name, slender ladies' tresses.

During this field study, the WSN performed according to design and produced sufficient data to provide an accurate representation of the microclimate habitats of the objects of study. As a contribution to the WSN research body of knowledge, the author used an SDLC methodology to provide a pragmatic approach to deployment focused on the elements of nuance specific to WSNs for microclimate habitat monitoring.

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