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SAW sensors are ideal for various wireless, passive multi-sensor applications because they are small, rugged, radiation hard, and offer a wide range of material choices for operation over broad temperature ranges. The readable distance of a tag in a multi-sensor environment is dependent on the insertion loss of the device and the processing gain of the system. Single-frequency code division multiple access (CDMA) tags that are used in high-volume commercial applications must have universal coding schemes and large numbers of codes. The use of a large number of bits at the common center frequency to achieve sufficient code diversity in CDMA tags necessitates reflector banks with >30 dB loss. Orthogonal frequency coding is a spread-spectrum approach that employs frequency and time diversity to achieve enhanced tag properties. The use of orthogonal frequency coded (OFC) SAW tags reduces adjacent reflector interactions for low insertion loss, increased range, complex coding, and system processing gain. This work describes a SAW tag-sensor platform that reduces device loss by implementing long reflector banks with optimized spectral coding. This new pseudo-OFC (POFC) coding is defined and contrasted with the previously defined OFC coding scheme. Auto- and cross-correlation properties of the chips and their relation to reflectivity per strip and reflector length are discussed. Results at 250 MHz of 8-chip OFC and POFC SAW tags will be compared. The key parameters of insertion loss, cross-correlation, and autocorrelation of the two types of frequency-coded tags will be analyzed, contrasted, and discussed. It is shown that coded reflector banks can be achieved with near-zero loss and still maintain good coding properties. Experimental results and results predicted by the coupling of modes model are presented for varying reflector designs and codes. A prototype 915-MHz POFC sensor tag is used as a wireless temperature sensor and the results are shown.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:59 , Issue: 8 )
Date of Publication: August 2012