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Article

Cityscape LoRa Signal Propagation Predicted and Tested Using Real-World Building-Data Based O-FDTD Simulations and Experimental Characterization

1
Ultrafast Bio- and Nanophotonics Group, INL—International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Av. Mestre José Veiga s/n, 4715-330 Braga, Portugal
2
Campus de Ourense s/n, Aerospace Engineering School, Universidade de Vigo, 32004 Ourense, Spain
3
ERH-Illumnia, R. Feijoo 1, 32005 Ourense, Spain
4
Defense University Center at the Spanish Naval Academy, University of Vigo, Plaza de España, S/N, 36920 Marín, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carles Gomez
Sensors 2021, 21(8), 2717; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21082717
Received: 3 February 2021 / Revised: 31 March 2021 / Accepted: 2 April 2021 / Published: 12 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Internet of Things)
The age of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities calls for low-power wireless communication networks, for which the Long-Range (LoRa) is a rising star. Efficient network engineering requires the accurate prediction of the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) spatial distribution. However, the most commonly used models either lack the physical accurateness, resolution, or versatility for cityscape real-world building distribution-based RSSI predictions. For this purpose, we apply the 2D electric field wave-propagation Oscillator Finite-Difference Time-Domain (O-FDTD) method, using the complex dielectric permittivity to model reflection and absorption effects by concrete walls and the receiver sensitivity as the threshold to obtain a simulated coverage area in a 600 × 600 m2 square. Further, we report a simple and low-cost method to experimentally determine the signal coverage area based on mapping communication response-time delays. The simulations show a strong building influence on the RSSI, compared against the Free-Space Path (FSPL) model. We obtain a spatial overlap of 84% between the O-FDTD simulated and experimental signal coverage maps. Our proof-of-concept approach is thoroughly discussed compared to previous works, outlining error sources and possible future improvements. O-FDTD is demonstrated to be most promising for both indoors and outdoors applications and presents a powerful tool for IoT and smart city planners.
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Keywords: LoRa; RSSI; RF propagation; O-FDTD simulations; Internet of Things (IoT); smart city LoRa; RSSI; RF propagation; O-FDTD simulations; Internet of Things (IoT); smart city
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MDPI and ACS Style

Adão, R.M.R.; Balvís, E.; Carpentier, A.V.; Michinel, H.; Nieder, J.B. Cityscape LoRa Signal Propagation Predicted and Tested Using Real-World Building-Data Based O-FDTD Simulations and Experimental Characterization. Sensors 2021, 21, 2717. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21082717

AMA Style

Adão RMR, Balvís E, Carpentier AV, Michinel H, Nieder JB. Cityscape LoRa Signal Propagation Predicted and Tested Using Real-World Building-Data Based O-FDTD Simulations and Experimental Characterization. Sensors. 2021; 21(8):2717. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21082717

Chicago/Turabian Style

Adão, Ricardo M.R., Eduardo Balvís, Alicia V. Carpentier, Humberto Michinel, and Jana B. Nieder. 2021. "Cityscape LoRa Signal Propagation Predicted and Tested Using Real-World Building-Data Based O-FDTD Simulations and Experimental Characterization" Sensors 21, no. 8: 2717. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21082717

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