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TagAlong: Efficient Integration of Battery-free Sensor Tags in Standard Wireless Networks
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Architecture and Computer Communication. (UNO)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Architecture and Computer Communication. (UNO)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Architecture and Computer Communication.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Architecture and Computer Communication.
2020 (English)In: Proceedings of the 19th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks, 2020Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

New battery-free sensor tags that interoperate with unmodified standard IoT devices can extend a sensor network's capabilities in a scalable and cost-effective manner. The tags achieve battery-free operation through backscatter-related techniques, while the standard IoT devices can provide the necessary unmodulated carrier, avoiding additional dedicated infrastructure. However, this approach presents multiple challenges: It requires coordination between nodes transmitting, receiving and generating carrier, adds extra latency and energy consumption to already constrained devices, and increases interference and contention in shared spectrum. We present TagAlong, a medium access mechanism for interoperable sensor tags that, besides coordinating, optimizes the use of carrier generators, minimizing the disruption caused to the operation of the regular nodes.We accomplish this by parallelizing communications with battery-free tags when possible, sharing carriers for multiple tags concurrently and synchronizing communications with tags that share carrier generators. We demonstrate the feasibility of TagAlong in a testbed deployment. In our evaluation we find that it can reduce the duration of the tags' schedule by 60% while improving the energy and spectrum usage by 30% when compared to sequential interrogation with no difference in reliability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
National Category
Communication Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-407785DOI: 10.1109/IPSN48710.2020.00020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-407785DiVA, id: diva2:1417466
Conference
IPSN '20
Available from: 2020-03-28 Created: 2020-03-28 Last updated: 2020-04-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Seamless Integration of Battery-Free Communications in Commodity Wireless Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seamless Integration of Battery-Free Communications in Commodity Wireless Networks
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Ubiquitous sensing applications have countless potential benefits to society. However, batteries have long been an obstacle to their full development. Harvesting energy from the environment is a promising alternative to battery power, but traditional radio transceivers consume too much for most harvesters.  This work is motivated by backscatter communications, a technique that reduces the energy that devices spend exchanging data by up to three orders of magnitude relative to regular radios.  This reduction enables sensing devices that operate indefinitely without having to replace batteries; instead they leverage energy harvesting.  My goal is to enable the seamless integration of battery-free devices with widespread low-power commodity networks such as Bluetooth or ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4.  Making this integration seamless is critical for the broad adoption of the new class of devices.

At a high level, my dissertation outlines a series of challenges to the seamless integration of the new devices with regular low-power networks.  We then propose ways to address these challenges, and demonstrate how we could integrate ultra-low-power battery-free devices with regular networks, while avoiding hardware modifications and minimizing any disruption that the addition may cause to existing and co-located communication devices.

This work advances the state of the art by: First, demonstrating how to augment an existing sensor network with new sensors without any hardware modification to the pre-existing hardware. The existing network provides the unmodulated carrier that the battery-free nodes need to communicate. Second, we demonstrate a radio receiver that, if implemented in silicon, can directly receive low-power commodity wireless signals when assisted by an unmodulated carrier, and with a power consumption of a few hundred microwatts. The receiver makes battery-free devices directly compatible with regular networks. We introduce simulation models and a first-of-its-kind tool to simulate battery-free communications that integrate with regular networks. Finally, we demonstrate how to efficiently provide unmodulated carrier support for battery-free devices in the previous scenarios without unnecessarily spending energy and spectrum and without undue disturbance to co-located devices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2020. p. 65
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1928
Keywords
Backscatter communications, battery-free communications, battery-less devices, RFID, backscatter
National Category
Communication Systems Telecommunications Embedded Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-407787 (URN)978-91-513-0931-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-05-25, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-04-29 Created: 2020-04-01 Last updated: 2020-05-04

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Pérez-Penichet, Carlos

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