Modeling LoRa Communications in Estuaries for IoT Environmental Monitoring Systems

Miguel Gutierrez Gaitan, Pedro M. D'Orey, Jose Cecilio, Marta Rodrigues, Pedro M. Santos, Luis Pinto, Anabela Oliveira, Antonio Casimiro, Luis Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) are extending beyond the conventional terrestrial domain. Coastal zones, rivers, and wetlands, among others, are nowadays common deployment settings for Internet-of-Things nodes where communication technologies such as Long Range (LoRa) are becoming popular. In this article, we investigate large-scale fading dynamics of LoRa line-of-sight (LoS) links deployed over an estuary with characteristic intertidal zones, considering both shore-to-shore (S2S) and shore-to-vessel (S2V) communications. We propose a novel methodology for path-loss prediction which captures: 1) spatial; 2) temporal; and 3) physical features of the RF signal interaction with the environmental dynamics, integrating those features into the two-ray propagation model. To this purpose, we resort to precise hydrodynamic modeling of the estuary, including the specific terrain profile (bathymetry) at the reflection point. These aspects are key to accounting for a reflecting surface of varying altitude and permittivity as a function of the tide. Experimental measurements using LoRa devices operating in the 868-MHz band show major trends in the received signal power in agreement with the methodology's predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21312-21325
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Intertidal zone
  • Long Range (LoRa)
  • overwater communications
  • path loss
  • radio-frequency (RF) propagation
  • tidal fading
  • two-ray model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling LoRa Communications in Estuaries for IoT Environmental Monitoring Systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this