This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1320758.
Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
The MOLES: Enabling Wireless Sensor Networks in Underground
Wireless Underground Sensor Networks (WUSNs) are networks of wireless sensor nodes operating below the ground surface, which are envisioned to provide real-time monitoring capabilities in challenging underground environments including soil medium, oil reservoirs, and underground mines and tunnels. The realization of WUSNs will lead to many emerging applications, such as intelligent agriculture, underground pipelines and power grid monitoring, oil reservoir monitoring, concealed border patrol, earthquake and landslide forecasting, underground mine disaster prevention and rescue, amongst others. Despite their potential advantages, the realization of WUSNs is challenging. The main problem is the realization of efficient and reliable underground links to establish multi-hop underground communication and localization, and efficiently disseminate and collect data for seamless operation. The hostile underground environments prevent the direct use of most, if not all, existing wireless communication and networking solutions, due to the extremely high path loss, small communication range, and high dynamics of electromagnetic (EM) waves when penetrating the soil, sand, rock, water, and crude oil medium in the underground environment. The objective of the project is to address these unique and important challenges for the realization of wireless sensor networks in challenging underground environments.