Towards micro-scale NFC-enabled IoT sensors: Proof of concept
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Okwori, Michael, Behfarnia, Ali. 2019. Towards micro-scale NFC-enabled IoT sensors: Proof of concept -- In Proceedings: 15th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University
Millimeter-sized sensors provide critical solutions in diverse fields, ranging from measurement, automation and control in industrial, agricultural, and biomedical applications. The size constraint, however, imposes challenges for the powering system and communication technique deployed. This work investigates the use of magnetic induction-based backscatter communication as an alternative technology for micro-sensors. The goal is to provide a proof of concept for a microscale sensor, that can be powered inductively and communicate to a reader device with near-field communication (NFC) capability. Magnetic induction-based communication and powering are demonstrated via analysis and simulation for a 250 μm3 sensor. The tradeoffs that emerge from the selection of resonance and subcarrier frequencies, and also the permeability of the receiving coil's core material are illustrated. Suitable low-power modulation, simple error-correction coding schemes, and resource-constrained media access control (MAC) schemes are then proposed, and the feasibility of their implementation in micro-scale is highlighted. The performance of the sensor is then simulated and analyzed for an additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) communication channel. Results of the analysis assert that our sensor supports communication at a range of at least few centimeters (5 - 6 cm) with an acceptable quality. The MAC analysis shows the optimum number of sensors to be deployed for various read delays and transmission rates pertaining to different applications. The results show that magnetic induction is a formidable candidate for communication between micro-scale sensors and NFC-enabled handheld devices.
Presented to the 15th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 26, 2019.
Research completed in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering