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  1. Wireless Underground Sensor Networks (WUSNs) that collect geospatial in situ sensor data are a backbone of internet-of-things (IoT) applications for agriculture and terrestrial ecology. In this paper, we first show how WUSNs can operate reliably under field conditions year-round and at the same time be used for determining and mapping soil conditions from the buried sensor nodes. We demonstrate the design and deployment of a 23-node WUSN installed at an agricultural field site that covers an area with a 530 m radius. The WUSN has continuously operated since September 2019, enabling real-time monitoring of soil volumetric water content (VWC), soil temperature (ST), and soil electrical conductivity. Secondly, we present data collected over a nine-month period across three seasons. We evaluate the performance of a deep learning algorithm in predicting soil VWC using various combinations of the received signal strength (RSSI) from each buried wireless node, above-ground pathloss, the distance between wireless node and receive antenna (D), ST, air temperature (AT), relative humidity (RH), and precipitation as input parameters to the model. The AT, RH, and precipitation were obtained from a nearby weather station. We find that a model with RSSI, D, AT, ST, and RH as inputs was able tomore »predict soil VWC with an R2 of 0.82 for test datasets, with a Root Mean Square Error of ±0.012 (m3/m3). Hence, a combination of deep learning and other easily available soil and climatic parameters can be a viable candidate for replacing expensive soil VWC sensors in WUSNs.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 2, 2023
  3. We introduce the concept of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as drone base stations for in-band Integrated Access and Backhaul (IB-IAB) scenarios for 5G networks. We first present a system model for forward link transmissions in an IB-IAB multi-tier drone cellular network. We then investigate the key challenges of this scenario and propose a framework that utilizes the flying capabilities of the UAVs as the main degree of freedom to find the optimal precoder design for the backhaul links, user-base station association, UAV 3D hovering locations, and power allocations. We discuss how the proposed algorithm can be utilized to optimize the network performance in both large and small scales. Finally, we use an exhaustive search-based solution to demonstrate the performance gains that can be achieved from the presented algorithm in terms of the received signal to interference plus noise ratio (SINR) and overall network sum-rate.