The ongoing development of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) demands not only low-power sensors and less system cost but also good performance. Considering this background, investigating a new technology to satisfy both requirements is an important issue for current development of wireless sensor network systems. In this paper, we consider the situation that the sensor nodes in WSNs are deployed in a harsh environment such that both channel fading and unexpected sensor faults may occur. This work then proposes to combine channel estimation and sensor-fault protection using error-correcting coding technique so as to free the costly devices of channel estimation and equalization from fusion centers. Simulations, performed to examine the performance of our proposed blind-detection scheme, show that it can compete with the conventional training-sequence-based fusion in performance when the training sequences are retained for information bearing. By this new approach, the complexity in fusion centers can be reduced and the transmitted power of sensors decreased without sacrificing the performance.