Clock synchronization in wireless sensor networks: An overview

Ill Keun Rhee, Jaehan Lee, Jangsub Kim, Erchin Serpedin, Yik Chung Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

137 Citations (Scopus)


The development of tiny, low-cost, low-power and multifunctional sensor nodes equipped with sensing, data processing, and communicating components, have been made possible by the recent advances in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) assume a collection of such tiny sensing devices connected wirelessly and which are used to observe and monitor a variety of phenomena in the real physical world. Many applications based on these WSNs assume local clocks at each sensor node that need to be synchronized to a common notion of time. This paper reviews the existing clock synchronization protocols for WSNs and the methods of estimating clock offset and clock skew in the most representative clock synchronization protocols for WSNs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-85
Number of pages30
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Clock offset
  • Clock skew
  • Clock synchronization
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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