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Wireless Underground Sensor Networks (WUSNs) allow for continuous field monitoring without interfering with aboveground activities, such as plowing or football games. To date, however, scalability and lifetime of WUSNs have not been investigated for a practical architecture. Due to the increased path loss in soil, it is challenging to ensure that a large-scale underground network is connected while still being cost effective in terms of deployment and maintenance.
In this thesis, a practical WUSN model is proposed, consisting of one or more mobile nodes that harvest data from stationary underground nodes. To this end, the accuracy of testbed evaluations for large-scale network development and the impacts of packet size and error control schemes on cross-layer network performance are investigated through field experiments in a large-scale agriculture setting. By developing a better understanding of testbed limitations and the wireless channel reliability between underground and aboveground nodes, a family of mobile WUSN protocols is developed and evaluated in terms of packet delivery success, delay tolerance and network lifetime.
Adviser: Mehmet Can Vuran