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Comparison of Radio Frequency Path Loss Models in Soil for Wireless Underground Sensor Networks

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
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J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2019, 8(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan8020035
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
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Abstract

A wireless Underground Sensor Network (WUSN) is a group of sensors that collectively communicate through the underground medium. Radio Frequency (RF) signal transmission of the sensors through the ground is the most challenging aspects of a WUSN due to the high attenuation of the electromagnetic (EM) signal in the soil. Signals are often required to travel through soils with a high density or water content and generally through a non-isotropic and non-homogenous soil mixture with different boundaries, both of which can attenuate the signal sharply. The variability of the these conditions and complexity of the behaviour of signal attenuation with respect to these parameters makes accurate estimation of EM signal attenuation in soil challenging. Two main EM signal attenuation models exist to estimate attenuation (modified-Friis and Complex Refractive Index Model-Fresnel (CRIM-Fresnel). These were reviewed and a methodology was developed in order to measure the attenuation of the EM signals in the laboratory. Results from the laboratory measurements were compared with the estimation values calculated from the attenuation models. These comparisons showed a large difference between the estimated values by the models. In addition, analysis of the comparison tests showed that the CRIM-Fresnel model provides a better estimation of attenuation in samples with lower permittivity values while the modified-Friis model had a higher accuracy in samples with higher clay/water content which have higher permittivity values. View Full-Text
Keywords: wireless underground sensor network (WUSNs); radio frequency (RF); Electromagnetic (EM); free space path loss (FSPL); dielectric permittivity (ε) wireless underground sensor network (WUSNs); radio frequency (RF); Electromagnetic (EM); free space path loss (FSPL); dielectric permittivity (ε)
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Abdorahimi, D.; Sadeghioon, A.M. Comparison of Radio Frequency Path Loss Models in Soil for Wireless Underground Sensor Networks. J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2019, 8, 35.

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