Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) Pages 1 - 5.


Copyright 2011 IEEE.


Sandstorms are serious natural disasters, which are commonly seen in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Northern China.In these regions, sandstorms have caused massive damages to the natural environment, national economy, and human health. To avoid such damages, it is necessary to effectively monitor the origin and development of sandstorms. To this end, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) can be deployed in the regions where sandstorms generally originate so that sensor nodes can collaboratively perform sandstorm monitoring and rapidly convey the observations to remote administration center. Despite the potential advantages, the deployment of WSNs in the vicinity of sandstorms faces many unique challenges, such as the temporally buried sensors and increased path loss during sandstorms. Consequently, the WSNs may experience frequent disconnections during the sandstorms. This further leads to dynamically changing topology. In this paper, a topology analysis of the WSNs for sandstorm monitoring is performed. Four types of channels a sensor can utilize during sandstorms are analyzed, which include air-to-air channel, air-to-sand channel, sand-to-air channel, and sand-to-sand channel. Based on the channel model solutions, a percolation-based connectivity analysis is performed. It is shown that if the sensors are buried in low depth, allowing sensor to use multiple types of channels improves network connectivity. Accordingly, much smaller sensor density is required compared to the case, where only terrestrial air channels are used. Through this topology analysis a WSN architecture can be deployed for very efficient sandstorm monitoring.