Performance analysis of plant monitoring nanosensor networks at THz frequencies

Armita Afsharinejad, Alan Davy, Brendan Jennings, Conor Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Future wireless nanosensor networks are envisioned to operate in the THz band, due to the tiny size of the network components. Among the diverse range of applications that such networks promise, high-resolution plant monitoring systems are the categories which can benefit from the size and high sensitivity of nanosensor devices and also the high bandwidth provided by them. However, communications at the THz frequency band, especially within a hybrid channel like plant foliage, undergo peculiar types of attenuation and distortion. These phenomena, which can challenge the feasibility of the aforementioned applications, need to be addressed/modeled precisely. Therefore, in this paper, we propose the first THz path-loss model within a plant environment. In addition, we provide a simplified model of plant structure as well as a model for the probability of successful transmissions between nanosensors and microscale receivers mounted on the plant stem. The introduced models consider the limited capability of THz radiation to propagate through plant leaves, and also the high free-space path-loss as the main sources of signal loss in the network communications. Furthermore, these models can be customized based on the structural characteristics of a plant, e.g., leaves size and distribution, to account for a variety of plant species. Finally, the performance of communications based on the provided models is evaluated for different network scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7174937
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • High-resolution plant monitoring
  • Path-loss model
  • THz communications
  • Wireless nanosensor networks (WNSNs)


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