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Modeling Path Loss in Confined Animal Feeding Operations

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2008 Providence, Rhode Island, June 29 – July 2, 2008  083326.(doi:10.13031/2013.24674)
Authors:   Matthew J Darr, Lingying Zhao
Keywords:   Sensors, Wireless Communication, Path Loss, CAFO, Instrumentation

Wireless sensor networking technology has great potential to advance monitoring of animal environments. Recent applications are very limited due to a lack in understanding of the performance of wireless sensors in large-scale, concentrated, and confined animal feeding operations. Wireless sensor performance in poultry layer facilities was evaluated through empirical testing of path loss, which was measured as the Receive Signal Strength Indicator value, using two commercial wireless sensor modules connected in a point-to-point configuration. Significant path loss was caused by free space, animal cages, animal presence, and concrete floor separations. The influence of each affecting factor was modeled based on the Single Slope derivation of the Friis free space path loss model. The transmission efficiency factor within a single aisle way was found to be 2.6. Fully stocked animal cages yielded an additional 22.5 and 24.9 dB path loss for one and two cages respectively. Concrete floors separating levels of the test layer facility exhibited an additional path loss of -22.97 + 10.57 log (rm) compared to the path loss at a similar distance when not separated by concrete.

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