Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

Veton Këpuska

Second Advisor

Ivica Kostanic

Third Advisor

Samuel Kozaitis

Fourth Advisor

Samantha Fowler


Wireless sensor network (WSN) nodes, in mountainous forests, report real-time data to base stations concerning events, in which researchers and decision makers are interested in. A thorough research reveals the deficiency of any study modeling radio frequency (RF) in that environment. The lack of accurately modeling RF signal propagation in any environment can have a great impact on the network life, connectivity, and coverage. This dissertation models the loss of RF signal in the mountainous environment and demonstrates the inconsistency of theoretical models, compared to actual measurements. The models proposed in this research yield satisfactory results, and the theoretical models produce underpredictions of 29% to 45%. Environmental and technical factors are characterized to determine the impact of each factor on the RF signal propagation, and to investigate the interactions between those factors. The factors being studied are distance, power, transmitter level, and obstruction level. The results of the characterization reveal which factor has highest and lowest effect on the RF signal propagation. This dissertation can aid in the design and deployment of WSNs in harsh mountainous environment.


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