Effects of Temperature and Humidity on Radio Signal Strength in Outdoor Wireless Sensor Networks
Many wireless sensor networks operating outdoors are exposed to changing weather conditions, which may cause severe degradation in system performance. Therefore, it is essential to explore the factors affecting radio link quality in order to mitigate their impact and to adapt to varying conditions. In this paper, we study the effects of temperature and humidity on radio signal strength in outdoor wireless sensor networks. Experimental measurements were performed using Atmel ZigBit 2.4GHz wireless modules, both in summer and wintertime. We employed all the radio channels specified by IEEE 802.15.4 for 2.4GHz ISM frequency band with two transmit power levels. The results show that changes in weather conditions affect received signal strength. Of the studied weather variables, variation in signal strength can be best explained by the variation in temperature. We also show that frequency diversity can reduce the effects of channel-specific variation, and the difference between the transmit power levels.(original abstract)
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