UAV-Assisted Dynamic Clustering of Wireless Sensor Networks for Crop Health Monitoring

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Feb 11;18(2):555. doi: 10.3390/s18020555.


In this study, a crop health monitoring system is developed by using state of the art technologies including wireless sensors and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Conventionally data is collected from sensor nodes either by fixed base stations or mobile sinks. Mobile sinks are considered a better choice nowadays due to their improved network coverage and energy utilization. Usually, the mobile sink is used in two ways: either it goes for random walk to find the scattered nodes and collect data, or follows a pre-defined path established by the ground network/clusters. Neither of these options is suitable in our scenario due to the factors like dynamic data collection, the strict targeted area required to be scanned, unavailability of a large number of nodes, dynamic path of the UAV, and most importantly, none of these are known in advance. The contribution of this paper is the formation of dynamic runtime clusters of field sensors by considering the above mentioned factors. Furthermore a mechanism (Bayesian classifier) is defined to select best node as cluster head. The proposed system is validated through simulation results, lab and infield experiments using concept devices. The obtained results are encouraging, especially in terms of deployment time, energy, efficiency, throughput and ease of use.

Keywords: IoT for agriculture; UAVs for agriculture; cluster head selection; dynamic clustering.