FracBot: Design of wireless underground sensor networks for mapping hydraulic fractures and determining reservoir parameters in unconventional systems

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Alshehri, Abdallah Awadh
Akyildiz, Ian F.
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Wireless underground sensor networks (WUSNs) enable a wide variety of emerging applications that are not possible with current underground monitoring techniques, which require miniaturized wireless sensor systems for mapping hydraulic fractures, monitoring unconventional reservoirs and measuring other wellbore parameters. We call these devices FracBots (Fracture Robots), an extension of RFID (Radio Frequency IDentifcation) tags that realize WUSNs for mapping and characterization of hydraulic fractures in unconventional reservoirs. The objective of this thesis is to design fully integrated magnetic induction (MI)-based FracBots (WUSNs) that enable reliable and e fficient wireless communications in underground oil reservoirs for performing the in-situ monitoring of oil reservoirs. This is very crucial for determining the sweet spot of oil and natural gas reserves. To this end, we have contributed in four areas as follows: fi rst, we develop a novel cross-layer communication framework for MI-based FracBot networks in dynamically changing underground environments. The framework combines a joint selection of modulation, channel coding, power control and a geographic forwarding paradigm. Second, we develop a novel MI-based localization framework that exploits the unique properties of MI- eld to determine the locations of the randomly deployed FracBot nodes in oil reservoirs. Third, we develop an accurate energy framework of a linear FracBot network topology that generates feasible nodes' transmission rates and network topology while always guaranteeing su fficient energy. Then, we design, develop, and fabricate MI-based FracBot nodes. Finally, to validate the performance of our solutions in our produced prototype of FracBot nodes, we develop a physical MI-based WUSN testbed.
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