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Environmental Attributes that May Affect RF Range of Wireless Sensors

Keywords: RF range, noise, channels, environment


Summary:

Information on what affects good radio signals.



Wireless sensors transmit their data using wireless radios, and as such are subject to the same environmental limitations found in all wireless communications. Elements that effect radio transmission are severe inclement weather, trees, heavily constructed walls (cement, cinder block), sheet metal, wall board, wood, tile, buildings, vehicles, etc.  Unless you have direct line of sight, every obstruction impedes wireless transmissions, even the human body.

In short, there are four factors to keep in mind for the health of your wireless sensor network and maintaining its peak performance:

  • Distance from sensor-to-sensor and the wireless gateway
  • Power output of the radio
  • Data rate transmission
  • Frequency of the radio link



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