XBee to XBee communication over a long distance through several meters of earth


I have a question regarding using a XBee to XBee in one of our projects.

We have one project that requires us using a remote temperature sensor. This sensor is located on a very hard to reach area and we want to use a XBee with a arduino. The arduino will read the sensor and XBee will transmit the data to another XBee that is connected to a PLC. The sensor is a 1-wire DS18B20 sensor, Arduino can read this type of sensor and we want to send the results with XBee.

We have found several guides on how to make the setup work with a 1-wire sensor. It does require a series 1 XBee if we want to be able to remotely download to the Arduino but is not required if there are other series that will be better.

The problem we have is that the temperature sensor is located inside a sewer and the maximum distance between the XBees is 100m. The sewer is located several meters below the earth. We need to have a XBee that is able to cross this distance and reliable send the temperature data.

We have found several XBee that have a very high range capability but we would like to know if there are XBee that are also capable of penetrating the earth and a small amount of concrete. The XBee will just talk to another XBee and it wont be needed to have them in a network with other XBee.

If needed i made a quick drawing of how the system will be used. If needed i can supply this drawing.

The remote sensor has the following components:

  • A XBee
  • Arduino Fio
  • A 1-wire temperature sensor DS18B20
  • Powerpack of several AA batteries
  • A power supply that will supply xbee and arduino with a steady 3.3v power supply from the batteries


Hello Mark,

An interesting question indeed, hope Digi’s RF experts can answer. However, I think that the ground’s composition really matters in these cases.
Best regards,