Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



A. Salam and M. C. Vuran, "Smart underground antenna arrays: A soil moisture adaptive beamforming approach," IEEE INFOCOM 2017 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, Atlanta, GA, USA, 2017, pp. 1-9. doi: 10.1109/INFOCOM.2017.8056990 keywords: {Antenna arrays;Array signal processing;Resonant frequency;Soil moisture;Wireless communication}, URL:


Copyright 2017 IEEE


Current wireless underground (UG) communication techniques are limited by their achievable distance. In this paper, a novel framework for underground beamforming using adaptive antenna arrays is presented to extend communication distances for practical applications. Based on the analysis of propagation in wireless underground channel, a theoretical model is developed which uses soil moisture information to improve wireless underground communications performance. Array element in soil is analyzed empirically and impacts of soil type and soil moisture on return loss (RL) and resonant frequency are investigated. Accordingly, beam patterns are analyzed to communicate with underground and above ground devices. Depending on the incident angle, refraction from soil-air interface has adverse effects in the UG communications. It is shown that beam steering improves UG communications by providing a high-gain lateral wave. To this end, the angle, which enhances lateral wave, is shown to be a function of dielectric properties of the soil, soil moisture, and soil texture. Evaluations show that this critical angle varies from $\ang{0}$ to $\ang{16}$ and decreases with soil moisture. Accordingly, a soil moisture adaptive beamforming (SMABF) algorithm is developed for planar array structures and evaluated with different optimization approaches to improve UG communication performance.