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Switching frequency techniques for universal ambient backscatter networking

Vougioukas Georgios, Bletsas Aggelos

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Year 2019
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation G. Vougioukas and A. Bletsas, "Switching frequency techniques for universal ambient backscatter networking," IEEE J. Sel. Areas Commun., vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 464-477, Feb. 2019. doi: 10.1109/JSAC.2018.2872383
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This work offers both analog and digital tag modulation schemes and respective receiver designs, for ultra-low power, high performance, ambient backscatter communications. All proposed techniques are based on simple, but careful, switching frequency control at the tag, allowing for the easy frequency-domain multiple access. First, a digital modulation scheme is offered, namely pseudo-frequency shift keying, assuming illumination from constant envelope-modulated signals and a fully coherent detector is derived along with closed-form probability of error. A second digital modulation scheme is also offered, based on a frequency-shifted form of binary phase shift keying (S-BPSK), relaxing the constant-envelope requirement for the illuminator and an illumination-agnostic detector is derived. Based on S-BPSK, short packet error correction coding is utilized for ambient backscatter communication, for the first time in the literature. It is shown that the proposed coded scheme under modulated ambient signal illumination & wireless channel variation, offers tremendous performance gains, i.e., modulation of the ambient signal is helpful. Finally, a third, purely analog, modulation scheme is analyzed, based on FM remodulation principles. A low-cost tag is implemented, demonstrating tag-toreceiver ranges up to 26 meters outdoors, power consumption of 24 μWatts in continuous operation, able to be interrogated by any conventional frequency modulation (FM) receiver. The proposed techniques cover a large variety of omnipresent wireless industry systems, enabling universal ambient backscatter and relevant wireless information and power transfer (WIPT) applications.