PCS921 Wireless Sensor Networks

Course description for academic year 2021/2022

Contents and structure

This is an advanced course in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) covering advancing technologies and methods for establishing generic WSN. The main focus of the course is on open research issues related to wireless industrial monitoring and control networks. Following the introduction of fundamental issues, the course establishes an understanding of the current research issues in network requirements related to the design, implementation, and deployment of a distributed control network. The course then covers how current research on concepts and techniques for wireless networks aim to address these requirements.  The key topics discussed in the context of wireless sensor networks are energy efficiency, scalability, robustness, security, and predictable performance and security.

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of the course the candidate should be able to:


  • identity and explain central elements in the design of protocols for WSNs.
  • define and discuss critical design parameters for reliable and robust WSNs.
  • discuss and compare design alternatives for WSN protocols.
  • describe hardware platforms and software frameworks used to realise WSN solutions.


  • design and implement reliable and robust WSN for real-time systems.
  • adapt state-of-the-art protocol solutions to meet specific requirements for WSNs targeting monitoring and control.
  • construct simulation models of protocol solutions for WSNs.
  • formulate and extract measures for assessing the performance of WSN protocols.

General competence

  • assess the applicability and limitations of simulation-based performance analysis of wireless sensor networks.
  • discuss and relate recent developments and research trends within wireless sensor networks in general, and its application to industrial monitoring and control in particular.
  • identify central scientific venues and journals within wireless sensor networks.

Entry requirements

General admission criteria for the PhD programme with emphasis on communication systems.

Teaching methods

The course consists of a combination of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The lectures will be used for covering the core material of the course. Seminars permit participants to present and discuss recent research papers on topics within wireless sensor networks, and for project presentations. The seminars will also be used for presentation by visiting researchers in the field. The workshops will be used for experimentation with tools and technologies supporting the simulation and development of wireless sensor networks. A larger project is conducted on simulation-based evaluation of a WSN, focussing on development and assessment of a selected protocol solution. The results from the project must be documented in a research paper.

Compulsory learning activities



The course is graded pass/fail based on the research paper and an oral exam. Each of the two components must result in a pass grade in order to obtain a pass grade for the entire course. Each participant must give one research seminar and an oral presentation of a larger project.