This paper is not a survey related to generic wireless sensor networks (WSNs), which have been largely treated in a number of survey papers addressing more focused issues; rather, it specifically addresses architectural aspects related to WSNs in some way connected with a satellite link, a topic that presents challenging interworking aspects. The main objective is to provide an overview of the potential role of a satellite segment in future WSNs. In this perspective, requirements of the most meaningful WSN applications have been drawn and matched to characteristics of various satellite/space systems in order to identify suitable integrated configurations.
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