The diversity of applications and typically scarce node resources set very tight constraints to Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). It is not possible to fulfill all requirements with a general purpose WSN, for which reason the rapid development of application specific WSNs is preferred. We present a new framework called WIreless SEnsor NEtwork Simulator (WISENES) for the design, simulation, and evaluation of WSNs. The target WSN is designed in Specification and Description Language (SDL), simulated in WISENES, and implemented on target platform either through automatic code generation or manually. The high-level WSN model is back-annotated with the measured values from a real platform. In this way, very accurate WSN simulations can be performed with a rapid design cycle. WISENES itself has been verified with TUTWSN (Tampere University of Technology Wireless Sensor Network) and ZigBee protocols. The MAC protocol of ZigBee was designed in two weeks from scratch by one designer, which shows the effectiveness of WISENES. For accuracy comparison, the results show 6.7% difference between the modeled and measured TUTWSN prototype power consumption. WISENES hastens the evaluation of new protocol and application configurations, especially for the large scale and long-term WSN deployments. 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.