Sensors intersect society in myriad ways. Their role in our world will accelerate tremendously due to increasing miniaturization of sensors, use of materials with novel functionalities, and ubiquitous wireless connectivity. The automated communication of data between systems containing sensors will also expand.
Autonomous vehicles and other equipment will employ a large number of interconnected sensors able to communicate data and make decisions from them. Exemplifying all this is the ambitious plan proposed by Hewlett Packard to distribute billions of sensor motes for creating the “Central Nervous System for the Earth”.
However, regardless the scale of application, an immediate challenge that all industry sectors will face is to ensure the reliability of sensors systems, especially for long term usage or for mission critical applications. This position paper presents a high level view of the issues surrounding sensor system reliability and how we can address this in a holistic fashion.