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Nano-RK[1][2] is a real-time operating system (RTOS) from Carnegie Mellon University designed to run on micro-controllers for use in sensor networks. Nano-RK supports a fixed-priority fully preemptive scheduler with fine-grained timing primitives to support real-time task sets. "Nano" implies that the RTOS is small consuming 2K of RAM and using 18K of flash, while "RK" is short for Resource Kernel. A resource kernel provides reservations on how often system resources can be consumed. For example, a task might only be allowed to execute 10ms every 150ms (CPU Reservation), or a node might only be allowed to transmit 10 network packets per minute (Network Reservation). These reservations form a virtual energy budget to ensure a node meets its designed battery lifetime as well as protects a failed node from generating excessive network traffic. Nano-RK is open source, written in C and runs on the Atmel based FireFly sensor networking platform, the MicaZ motes as well as the MSP430 processor.

The following article [3] discusses some of the tradeoffs associated with using an RTOS in sensor networks.

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