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Sensors 2016, 16(7), 987; doi:10.3390/s16070987

Link Investigation of IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Sensor Networks in Forests

1
Information School of Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2
College of Information Technology, Beijing Union University, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Leonhard M. Reindl
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 27 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)

Abstract

Wireless sensor networks are expected to automatically monitor the ecological evolution and wildlife habits in forests. Low-power links (transceivers) are often adopted in wireless sensor network applications, in order to save the precious sensor energy and then achieve long-term, unattended monitoring. Recent research has presented some performance characteristics of such low-power wireless links under laboratory or outdoor scenarios with less obstacles, and they have found that low-power wireless links are unreliable and prone to be affected by the target environment. However, there is still less understanding about how well the low-power wireless link performs in real-world forests and to what extent the complex in-forest surrounding environments affect the link performances. In this paper, we empirically evaluate the low-power links of wireless sensors in three typical different forest environments. Our experiment investigates the performance of the link layer compatible with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and analyzes the variation patterns of the packet reception ratio (PRR), the received signal strength indicator (RSSI) and the link quality indicator (LQI) under diverse experimental settings. Some observations of this study are inconsistent with or even contradict prior results that are achieved in open fields or relatively clean environments and thus, provide new insights both into effectively evaluating the low-power wireless links and into efficiently deploying wireless sensor network systems in forest environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: wireless sensor networks; low-power wireless link; link performance; forest monitoring wireless sensor networks; low-power wireless link; link performance; forest monitoring
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

Ding, X.; Sun, G.; Yang, G.; Shang, X. Link Investigation of IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Sensor Networks in Forests. Sensors 2016, 16, 987.

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