As shown in Figure 3, as of 2014 one in four WSN adopters utilize the WirelessHART topology with the high 99% network reliability while one in ten are leveraging the ISA100.11a specification. However, in the past two years, ISA100.11a adoption has increased 67% for its flexible time scheduling and software tunneling . For low powered and long reach Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology has growing interests. This topology boasts up to 10-year battery-powered wireless sensors with communication links up to 20 miles. While this technology may not be best-suited for secure, time-sensitive and high reliability applications, it ranks highly in ease of use and scalability.
From environmental sensing, to condition monitoring, and process automation, IWSN service a broad range of applications. While ZigBee and MiWi generally service home automation applications, WirelessHART and ISA100.11a are specifically designed for an industrial environment. Traditional wired industrial architectures do experience a greater level of determinism and a level of scalability with industrial Ethernet. Still, IWSNs surpass any wired network in modularity, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness.
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