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Increased range bistatic scatter radio

Bletsas Aggelos, Sahalos, J.N., Kimionis, J.

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Year 2014
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation J. Kimionis, A. Bletsas and J. N. Sahalos, "Increased Range Bistatic Scatter Radio", IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 1091-1104, Mar. 2014. DOI: 10.1109/TCOMM.2014.020314.130559
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Scatter radio achieves communication by reflection and requires low-cost and low-power RF front-ends. However, its use in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is limited, since commercial scatter radio (e.g. RFID) offers short ranges of a few tens of meters. This work redesigns scatter radio systems and maximizes range through non-classic bistatic architectures: the carrier emitter is detached from the reader. It is shown that conventional radio receivers may show a potential 3dB performance loss, since they do not exploit the correct signal model for scatter radio links. Receivers for on-off-keying (OOK) and frequency-shift keying (FSK) that overcome the frequency offset between the carrier emitter and the reader are presented. Additionally, non-coherent designs are also offered. This work emphasizes that sensor tag design should accompany receiver design. Impact of important parameters such as the antenna structural mode are presented through bit error rate (BER) results. Experimental measurements corroborate the long-range ability of bistatic radio; ranges of up to 130 meters with 20 milliwatts of carrier power are experimentally demonstrated, with commodity software radio and no directional antennas. Therefore, bistatic scatter radio may be viewed as a key enabling technology for large-scale, low-cost and low-power WSNs.