Reliable and efficient communication in wireless underground sensor networks
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Wireless Underground Sensor Networks (WUSNs) are the networks of wireless sensors that operate below the ground surface. These sensors are either buried completely in soil medium, or placed within a bounded open underground space, such as underground mines and tunnels. WUSNs enable a wide variety of novel applications, including intelligent irrigation, underground structure monitoring, and border patrol and intruder detection. This thesis is concerned with establishing reliable and efficient communications in the network of wireless sensor nodes that are deployed in either soil medium or underground mines and tunnels. In particular, to realize WUSNs in soil medium, two types of signal propagation techniques including Electromagnetic (EM) waves and Magnetic Induction (MI) are explored. For EM wave-based WUSNs, the heterogeneous network architecture and dynamic connectivity are investigated based on a comprehensive channel model in soil medium. Then a spatio-temporal correlation-based data collection schemes is developed to reduce the sensor density while keeping high monitoring accuracy. For MI-based WUSNs, the MI channel is first analytically characterized. Then based on the MI channel model, the MI waveguide technique is developed in order to enlarge the underground transmission range. Finally, the optimal deployment algorithms for MI waveguides in WUSNs are analyzed to construct the WUSNs with high reliability and low costs. To realize WUSNs in underground mines and tunnels, a mode-based analytical channel model is first proposed to accurately characterize the signal propagation in both empty and obstructed mines and tunnels. Then the Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO) system and cooperative communication system are optimized to establish reliable and efficient communications in underground mines and tunnels.