Towards the Internet of Underground Things: A Systematic Survey

Nasir Saeed, Tareq Y. Al-Naffouri, Mohamed-Slim Alouini

This paper provides recent advances in the area of Internet of Underground Things (IoUT) with emphasis on enabling communication technologies, networking issues, and localization techniques. IoUT is enabled by underground things (sensors), communication technology, and networking protocols. This new paradigm of IoUT facilitates the integration of sensing and communication in the underground environment for various industries such as oil and gas, agriculture, seismic mapping, and border monitoring. These applications require to gather relevant information from the deployed underground things. However, the harsh underground propagation environment including sand, rock, and watersheds do not allow the use of single communication technology for information transfer between the surface and the underground things. Therefore, various wireless and wired communication technologies are used for underground communication. The wireless technologies are based on acoustic waves, electromagnetic waves, magnetic induction and visible light communication while the wired technologies use coaxial cable and optical fibers. In this paper, state-of-art communication technologies are surveyed, and the respective networking and localization techniques for IoUT are presented. Moreover, the advances and applications of IoUT are also reported. Also, new research challenges for the design and implementation of IoUT are identified.

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