The accepted (peer-reviewed) version for self-archiving. A version of record is available at:

Cite this chapter as: Salam A., Raza U. (2020) Signals in the Soil: Underground Antennas. In: Signals in the Soil. Springer, Cham.


Antenna is a major design component of Internet of Underground Things (IOUT) communication system. The use of antenna, in IOUT, differs from traditional communication in that it is buried in the soil. Therefore, one of the main challenges, in IOUT applications, is to establish a reliable communication. To that end, there is a need of designing an underground-specific antenna. Three major factors that can impact the performance of a buried antenna are: (1) effect of high soil permittivity changes the wavelength of EM waves, (2) variations in soil moisture with time affecting the permittivity of the soil, and (3) difference in how EM waves propagate during aboveground (AG) and underground (UG) communications. For the third challenge above, it is to be noted that lateral waves are dominant component in EM during UG2UG communication and suffer lowest attenuation as compared to other, direct and reflected, components. Therefore, antennas used for over-the-air (OTA) communication will not be suitable for UG communication because of impedance mismatch. This chapter focuses on developing a theoretical model for understanding the impact of soil on antenna by conducting experiments in different soil types (silty clay loam, sandy, and silt loam soil) and indoor testbed. The purpose of the model is to predict UG antenna resonance for designing efficient communication system for IOUT. Based on the model a wideband planar antenna is designed considering soil dispersion and soil–air interface reflection effect which improves the communication range five times from the antennas designed only for the wavelength change in soil. Furthermore, it also focuses on developing an impedance model to study the effect of changing wavelength in underground communication. It is also discussed how soil–air interface and soil properties effect the return loss of dipole antenna.


Soil, Permittivity, Dielectric, Agriculture, Broadband antennas, Dipole antennas, Internet of Things, Moisture, Underground communication

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