skip to main content

Title: Receiver Selectivity Limits on Bistatic Backscatter Range
Backscatter communication has been a popular choice in low-power/battery-free sensor nodes development. However, the effect of RF source to receiver distance on the operating range of this communication system has not been modeled accurately. In this paper, we propose a model for a bistatic backscatter system coverage map based on the receiver selectivity, receiver sensitivity, and geometric placement of the receiver, RF source, and the tag. To verify our proposed model and simulations, we perform an experiment using a low-cost commercial BLE receiver and a custom-designed BLE backscatter tag. We also show that the receiver selectivity might depend on the interference level, and present measurement results to signify how this dependence relates the system bit error rate to the RF excitation power.
; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
2020 IEEE International Conference on RFID (RFID)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1 to 8
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. There is a growing interest in wireless and batteryless implants for long-term sensing of organ movements, core pressure, glucose levels, or other biometrics [1]. Most research on such implants has focused on ultrasonic [2] and nearfield inductive [3-4] methods for power and communication, which require direct contact or close proximity (<1-5cm) to the human body. Recently, RF backscatter has emerged as a promising alternative due to its ability to communicate with far-field (> 10cm) wireless devices at ultra-low-power [5]. While multiple proposals have demonstrated far-field RF backscatter in deep tissues, these proposals have been limited to tag identification and could neither perform biometric sensing nor secure the wireless communication links, which is critical for ensuring the confidentiality of the sensed biometrics and for responding to commands only from authorized users [6]. Moreover, such far-field RF implants are susceptible to tissue variations which impact their resonance and hence their efficiency in RF backscatter and energy harvesting.
  2. The principle of backscattering has the potential to enable a full realization of the Internet of Things. This paradigm subsumes massively deployed things that have the capability to communicate directly with each other. Based on the types of excitation and receivers, we discriminate four types of backscattering systems: (i) Dedicated Exciter Active Receiver systems, (ii) Ambient Exciter Active Receiver systems, (iii) Dedicated Exciter Passive Receiver systems, and (iv) Ambient Exciter Passive Receiver systems. In this paper, we present an overview of bacskscattering systems with passive receivers which form the foundation for Backscattering Tag-to-Tag Networks (BTTNs). This is a technology that allows tiny batteryless RF tags attached to various objects to communicate directly with each other and to perform RF-based sensing of the communication link. We present an overview of recent innovations in hardware architectures for backscatter modulation, passive demodulation, and energy harvesting that overcome design challenges for passive tag-to-tag communication. We further describe the challenges in scaling up the architecture from a single link to a distributed network. We provide some examples of application scenarios enabled by BTTNs involving object-to-object communication and inter-object or human-object dynamic interactions. Finally, we discuss key challenges in present-day BTTN technology and future research directions.
  3. Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology for automated identification of objects and people. RFID technology is expected to find extensive use in applications related to the Internet of Things, and in particular applications of Internet of Battlefield Things. Of particular interest are passive RFID tags due to a number of their salient advantages. Such tags, lacking energy sources of their own, use backscattering of the power of an RF source (a reader) to communicate. Recently, passive RFID tag-to-tag (T2T) communication has been demonstrated, via which tags can directly communicate with each other and share information. This opens the possibility of building a Network of Tags (NeTa), in which the passive tags communicate among themselves to perform data processing functions. Among possible applications of NeTa are monitoring services in hard-to-reach locations. As an essential step toward implementation of NeTa, we consider a novel multi-hop network architecture; in particular, with the proposed novel turbo backscattering operation, inter-tag distances can be significantly increased. Due to the interference among tags’ transmissions, one of the main technical challenges of implementing such the NeTa architecture is the routing protocol design. In this paper, we introduce a design of a routing protocol, which is based onmore »a solution of a non-linear binary optimization problem. We study the performance of the proposed protocol and investigate impacts of several network factors, such as the tag density and the transmit power of the reader.« less
  4. The past few years have witnessed a growing interest in wireless and batteryless implants, due to their potential in long-term biomedical monitoring of in-body conditions such as internal organ movements, bladder pressure, and gastrointestinal health. Early proposals for batteryless implants relied on inductive near-field coupling and ultrasound harvesting, which require direct contact between the external power source and the human body. To overcome this near-field challenge, recent research has investigated the use of RF backscatter in wireless micro-implants because of its ability to communicate with wireless receivers that are placed at a distance outside the body (∼0.5 m), allowing a more seamless user experience. Unfortunately, existing far-field backscatter designs remain limited in their functionality: they cannot perform biometric sensing or secure data transmission; they also suffer from degraded harvesting efficiency and backscatter range due to the impact of variations in the surrounding tissues. In this paper, we present the design of a batteryless, wireless and secure system-on-chip (SoC) implant for in-body strain sensing. The SoC relies on four features: 1) employing a reconfigurable in-body rectenna which can operate across tissues adapting its backscatter bandwidth and center frequency; 2) designing an energy efficient 1.37 mmHg strain sensing front-end with an efficiencymore »of 5.9 mmHg·nJ/conversion; 3) incorporating an AES-GCM security engine to ensure the authenticity and confidentiality of sensed data while sharing the ADC with the sensor interface for an area efficient random number generation; 4) implementing an over-the-air closed-loop wireless programming scheme to reprogram the RF front-end to adapt for surrounding tissues and the sensor front-end to achieve faster settling times below 2 s.« less
  5. Adaptive communication for Internet of Things (IoT) and Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) technologies is becoming increasingly popular due to the large power-performance trade-offs and highly dynamic channel conditions. Path loss, low signal to noise ratio (SNR) in the channel and network congestion adversely affect the data communication, each of which can be taken care of using different strategies such as reducing the data rate (for reducing congestion), increasing the output power (for increased path loss) and application of error correction coding (ECC, for low SNR). In this paper, we present a digital-friendly Transceiver SoC consisting of an RF-DAC based transmitter with orthogonally tunable output power, data rate and ECC that enables optimum system level bit error rate (BER) and energy for over 3-orders of energy-performance scalability, along with an ultra-low-power OOK receiver that receives the transmitter's control bits from a nearby base station for closed-loop control. The data rate and ECC control is achieved through a digital baseband, while a tapped capacitor matching network controls the output power. The energy efficiency of the transmitter is 27.6pJ/b at 10MSps and at 0.8V supply (~9X improvement over state-of-the-art), while the entire SoC (Transmitter+OOK receiver for controller feedback) consumes only 41.5pJ/b.