The development of sensor network technology is of great national importance by virtue of critical applications directly related to the Australian Sample imageenvironment. Sensor networks provide the ability to gather accurate and reliable information, enabling early warnings and rapid coordinated responses to potential threats. This encompasses the ability to enhance national security from hostile threats as well as the ability to save lives through environmental monitoring of natural disasters. Environmental sustainability can also be improved through sensor network monitoring, by protecting valuable resources from overuse or damage, as well as being able to collect valuable nformation previously considered too difficult and too costly. 

The broad scope of related applications and advanced capabilities of sensor networks resulting from the interdisciplinary work in the key research areas satisfy a number the Designated National Research Priorities and associated Priority Goals.

Applications of distributed sensor networksSample image in habitat monitoring serve to provide an Environmentally Sustainable Australia, by offering the potential for cost effective solutions for monitoring environmental conditions. The feedback obtained from sensor networks, provide valuable scientific information enabling a greater understanding of the environmental impact of development, climate change and water usage for domestic use as well as farming. In addition, the data collected by Sample imagethe appropriate sensors can be applied directly for irrigation control, thus supporting Australian industries while ensuring that steps are taken to implement sustainable practices. Further information may be extracted pertaining to soil conditions, assisting in agriculture management for the prevention of soil degradation. Such is the potential sensor development that the monitoring and understanding of delicate eco-systems can be a viable proposition where it is now often prohibitive. The potential cost effectiveness of intelligent sensors may allow for large scale monitoring of emissions and the subsequent modification of industrial processes.

The major contribution of the Research Network will be in the priority area of Safeguarding Australia. The development and application of this technology will provide viable and effective techniques for safeguarding Australia from various threats, both hostile and naturally occurring. The early detection of such threats through advance sensor technology will enable rapid responses from the appropriate authorities preventing potentially disastrous situations. Transformational defense technologies encompass the proposed outcomes of the research network, with a particular focus on applications of UAV's that will provide advanced, coordinated and low cost monitoring of the vast geographical area spanned by this country. The collection of interdisciplinary expertise will combine to solve the numerous issues involved in realizing such applications along with other potentially life-saving applications such as land-mine detection.

Particular applications of intelligent sensors and sensor networks directly aid in Maintaining Good Health. Utilising advances in biotechnology for the development of sensor products has the potential to provide a greater understanding of the triggers and effects of many diseases such as cardiovascular diseases or asthma. The development of low-cost non-invasive techniques for monitoring particular conditions may improve the effectiveness of treatment as well as the accessibility to such treatment for the general public. A greater understanding of such conditions may also aid in their prevention.

The nature of the activities undertaken by Sensor Net clearly advances Frontier Technologies. The collection of expertise aiming to solve the underlying scientific problems associated with sensors and sensor networks will provide the technological breakthroughs to put Australian industry in a position to fill niche markets. One of the key research themes of the network is based on the principle of smart information use. Efficient data management is a fundamental problem faced in sensor network development in terms of the volume of data (particularly in imaging), but also in terms of the value of the associated information. The outcomes of this work will not only advance sensor network development but also related applications.

Researchers of this initiative are recipients of ARC special research centers, international grants, federation fellowships and other major international initiatives focusing on aspects of the central theme of this Network. This initiative of Australian Research Council (ARC) facilitates to bring these isolated efforts to fulfill the vision of the network. The collection of these researchers and facilitation of new research endeavors will put Australia at the forefront for Sensor technology and innovation. In addition, the operation of the network will provide opportunities for over 120 post-graduate students to interact with experts both nationally and internationally in the form of conferences, workshops and dedicated collaborative meetings to solve specific problems. The multidisciplinary exposure will maximize the research potential of those involved by exposing students and researchers to new ideas and concepts. The networks facilitation of this process will expand significantly the limited opportunities of students and researchers to interact in this manner, effectively bringing together expertise from around the country and around the world. 

Sensor networks, consisting of a potentially very large number of diverse sensors interconnected via a low data-rate communication network have the potential to make an unimaginable impact on many areas of human activity. The area of sensing technologies and sensor networks is now considered by international funding agencies such as the European Commission, DARPA and NSF to be one of the top five emerging technologies that will shape the future of human kind and have a major impact on the quality of life over the next 20 years.

The Sensor Net research network will harness the great strengths of its highly multi-disciplinary participants in a national co-operative effort which will:

The scientific challenges which must be overcome in order to realize the enormous potential of sensor networks are substantial and multidisciplinary in nature. The Sensor Net research network will provide an exciting environment for effective collaboration amongst a multi-disciplinary team of world class researchers with outstandingly successful existing research programs covering all the core disciplines required for the successful development and exploitation of sensor networks. These disciplines include bio and nano sensor science and manufacture, large scale system optimization, data and information processing, wireless networks and computer communications, electronics and mechatronics. Sensor Net participants will be linked with many of the very best overseas researchers in these core disciplines and to the world s best sensor networks research groups.

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