A Theoretical Model of Underground Dipole Antennas for Communications in Internet of Underground Things

Abdul Salam, Mehmet C. Vuran, Xin Dong, Christos Argyropoulos, Suat Irmak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The realization of Internet of underground things (IOUT) relies on the establishment of reliable communication links, where the antenna becomes a major design component due to the significant impacts of soil. In this paper, a theoretical model is developed to capture the impacts of the change of soil moisture on the return loss, resonant frequency, and bandwidth (BW) of a buried dipole antenna. Experiments are conducted in silty clay loam, sandy, and silt loam soil, to characterize the effects of soil, in an indoor testbed and field testbeds. It is shown that at subsurface burial depths (0.1-0.4 m), the change in soil moisture impacts communication by resulting in a shift in the resonant frequency of the antenna. Simulations are done to validate the theoretical and measured results. This model allows system engineers to predict the underground antenna resonance and also helps to design an efficient communication system in IOUT. Accordingly, a wideband planar antenna is designed for an agricultural IOUT application. Empirical evaluations show that an antenna designed considering both the dispersion of soil and the reflection from the soil-air interface can improve communication distances by up to five times compared to antennas that are designed based on only the wavelength change in soil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8657723
Pages (from-to)3996-4009
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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