Abstract—Wireless sensor networks are appealing to researchers due to their wide range of application potential in areas such as target detection and tracking, environmental monitoring, industrial process monitoring, and tactical systems. However, lower sensing ranges result in dense networks, which bring the necessity to achieve an efficient medium access protocol subject to power constraints. Various MAC protocols with different objectives were proposed for wireless sensor networks. In this paper, we first outline the sensor network properties that are crucial for the design of MAC layer protocols. Then, we describe several MAC protocols proposed for sensor networks emphasizing their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, we point out open research issues on MAC layer design
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