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Beyond the horizon, backhaul connectivity for offshore IoT devices

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  • K.S. Zaidi
  • S. Hina
  • M. Jawad
  • A.N. Khan
  • M.U.S. Khan
  • H.B. Pervaiz
  • R. Nawaz
Article number6918
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/10/2021
Issue number21
Number of pages12
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The prevalent use of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices over the Sea, such as, on oil and gas platforms, cargo, and cruise ships, requires high-speed connectivity of these devices. Although satellite based backhaul links provide vast coverage, but they are inherently constrained by low data rates and expensive bandwidth. If a signal propagated over the sea is trapped between the sea surface and the Evaporation Duct (ED) layer, it can propagate beyond the horizon, achieving long-range backhaul connectivity with minimal attenuation. This paper presents experimental measurements and simulations conducted in the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) Band Wi-Fi frequencies, such as 5.8 GHz to provide hassle-free offshore wireless backhaul connectivity for IoT devices over the South China Sea in the Malaysian region. Real-time experimental measurements are recorded for 10 km to 80 km path lengths to determine average path loss values. The fade margin calculation for ED must accommodate additional slow fading on top of average path loss with respect to time and climate-induced ED height variations to ensure reliable communication links for IoT devices. Experimental results confirm that 99% link availability of is achievable with minimum 50 Mbps data rate and up to 60 km distance over the Sea to connect offshore IoT devices. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.