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Sensors 2014, 14(12), 23650-23672; doi:10.3390/s141223650

Analysis of Radio Wave Propagation for ISM 2.4 GHz Wireless Sensor Networks in Inhomogeneous Vegetation Environments

1
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain
2
Mathematics and Computer Engineering Department, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 October 2014 / Revised: 14 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 November 2014 / Published: 10 December 2014

Abstract

The use of wireless networks has experienced exponential growth due to the improvements in terms of battery life and low consumption of the devices. However, it is compulsory to conduct previous radio propagation analysis when deploying a wireless sensor network. These studies are necessary to perform an estimation of the range coverage, in order to optimize the distance between devices in an actual network deployment. In this work, the radio channel characterization for ISM 2.4 GHz Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) in an inhomogeneous vegetation environment has been analyzed. This analysis allows designing environment monitoring tools based on ZigBee and WiFi where WSN and smartphones cooperate, providing rich and customized monitoring information to users in a friendly manner. The impact of topology as well as morphology of the environment is assessed by means of an in-house developed 3D Ray Launching code, to emulate the realistic operation in the framework of the scenario. Experimental results gathered from a measurement campaign conducted by deploying a ZigBee Wireless Sensor Network, are analyzed and compared with simulations in this paper. The scenario where this network is intended to operate is a combination of buildings and diverse vegetation species. To gain insight in the effects of radio propagation, a simplified vegetation model has been developed, considering the material parameters and simplified geometry embedded in the simulation scenario. An initial location-based application has been implemented in a real scenario, to test the functionality within a context aware scenario. The use of deterministic tools can aid to know the impact of the topological influence in the deployment of the optimal Wireless Sensor Network in terms of capacity, coverage and energy consumption, making the use of these systems attractive for multiple applications in inhomogeneous vegetation environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: Wireless Sensor Network; vegetation environment; 3D Ray Launching Wireless Sensor Network; vegetation environment; 3D Ray Launching
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Azpilicueta, L.; López-Iturri, P.; Aguirre, E.; Mateo, I.; Astrain, J.J.; Villadangos, J.; Falcone, F. Analysis of Radio Wave Propagation for ISM 2.4 GHz Wireless Sensor Networks in Inhomogeneous Vegetation Environments. Sensors 2014, 14, 23650-23672.

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