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Cao received CAREER award


The Internet-of-Things (IoT) paradigm will assume a pivotal role in future precision agriculture, concentrating on enhancing crop yield and reducing management expenses. Specifically, agricultural IoT acts as a conduit between traditional weather-dependent agricultural decision-making and data-driven computational intelligence by facilitating cost-effective and energy-efficient data collection in outdoor environments. Long Range, or LoRa, emerges as a wide-area IoT framework poised to empower agricultural IoT. Nonetheless, deploying LoRa for next-generation agricultural IoT encounters obstacles due to the varied deployment settings, limited power resources, and absence of connectivity infrastructure in rural locales. This project endeavors to lay the groundwork for a space-air-ground integrated agricultural IoT design. The research endeavors to establish a novel LoRa-based network architecture to foster a reliable, sustainable, and ubiquitous agricultural IoT network. The project promises to furnish granular field data to propel advancements in irrigation, disease mitigation, and climate management. Furthermore, it furnishes educational materials on agricultural IoT development for undergraduate and graduate studies. Additionally, it provides research training opportunities for underrepresented students across diverse demographics.

To achieve its objectives, the project develops a new framework for cross-soil, ultra-low-energy, and large-scale IoT deployment in agricultural settings, with the overarching aim of establishing a reliable, sustainable, and ubiquitous IoT infrastructure for precision agriculture. The project encompasses three primary components: (i) Design of novel antenna configurations to bolster the reliability of cross-soil communication for subterranean sensors. (ii) The development of battery-free, high-throughput backscatter LoRa tags and the utilization of drones as mobile power sources to mitigate energy consumption at sensor nodes. (iii) Development of an alternative backhaul for LoRa gateways in rural regions that leverage the global coverage capability of Low-Earth-Orbit satellites to. Through collaboration with academic and industrial partners, this project explores diverse applications of the proposed agricultural IoT, including irrigation systems, water quality management, disease control, and greenhouse gas reduction. The research outcomes, source code, and datasets generated throughout the project are openly shared with the research community to foster further exploration and advancement.

(Date Posted: 2024-04-15)