Date of this Version
Nie S and Vuran MC (2023), AgRIS: windadaptive wideband reconfigurable intelligent surfaces for resilient wireless agricultural networks at millimeterwave spectrum. Front. Comms. Net 4:1169266. doi: 10.3389/frcmn.2023.1169266
Wireless networks in agricultural environments are unique in many ways. Recent measurements reveal that the dynamics of crop growth impact wireless propagation channels with a long-term seasonal pattern. Additionally, short-term environmental factors, such as strong wind, result in variations in channel statistics. Next-generation agricultural fields, populated by autonomous tractors, drones, and high-throughput sensing systems, require high-throughput connectivity infrastructure, resulting in the future deployment of high-frequency networks, where they have not been deployed before. More specifically, when millimeter-wave (mmWave) communication systems, a viable candidate for 5G and 6G high-throughput solutions, are deployed for higher throughput, these issues become more prominent due to the relatively small wavelength at this frequency band. To improve coverage in the mmWave spectrum in agricultural settings, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) are a promising solution with low energy consumption and high cost efficiency when compared to half-duplex active relays with multiple antennas. To ensure link resiliency under dynamic channel behavior, an adaptive RIS for broadband wireless agricultural networks (AgRIS) at mmWave band is designed in this work. AgRIS relies on output from a time-series model that forecasts the short-term wind speed based on measured wind data, which is readily available in most farms. The temporal correlation between link reliability and wind speed is demonstrated through extensive field experiments. Our simulation results demonstrate that AgRIS with a small footprint of 11 × 11 elements can help mitigate the adversarial effects of wind-induced signal level drop by up to 8 dB and provides high energy efficiency of 1 Gbits/joule.