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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 489794, 21 pages
Review Article

Enabling Cyber Physical Systems with Wireless Sensor Networking Technologies

1Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, Tamkang University, New Taipei City 25137, Taiwan
2Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC 20008, USA
3Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National University of Tainan, Tainan 700, Taiwan

Received 17 February 2012; Accepted 18 March 2012

Academic Editor: Joel Rodrigues

Copyright © 2012 Chih-Yu Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the last few years, we have witnessed a growing interest in cyber physical systems (CPSs) that rely on a strong synergy between computational and physical components. CPSs are expected to have a tremendous impact on many critical sectors (such as energy, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, and aerospace) of the economy. CPSs have the ability to transform the way human-to-human, human-to-object, and object-to-object interactions take place in the physical and virtual worlds. The increasing pervasiveness of wireless sensor networking (WSN) technologies in many applications makes them an important component of emerging CPS designs. We present some of the most important design requirements of CPS architectures. We discuss key sensor network characteristics that can be leveraged in CPS designs. In addition, we also review a few well-known CPS application domains that depend on WSNs in their design architectures and implementations. Finally, we present some of the challenges that still need to be addressed to enable seamless integration of WSN with CPS designs.