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The RF-powered surface wave sensor oscillator - a successful alternative to passive wireless sensing

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1 Author(s)
Avramov, I.D. ; Inst. of Solid State Phys., Bulgarian Acad. of Sci., Sofia, Bulgaria

A novel, passive wireless surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor providing a highly coherent measurand proportional frequency, frequency modulated (FM) with identification (ID) data and immune to interference with multiple-path signals is described. The sensor is appropriate for bandwidth-limited applications requiring high-frequency accuracy. It comprises a low-power oscillator, stabilized with the sensing SAW resonator and powered by the rectified radio frequency (RF) power of the interrogating signal received by an antenna on the sensor part. A few hundred microwatts of direct current (DC) power are enough to power the sensor oscillator and ID modulation circuit and achieve stable operation at 1.0 and 2.49 GHz. Reliable sensor interrogation was achieved over a distance of 0.45 m from a SAW-based interrogation unit providing 50 mW of continuous RF power at 915 MHz. The -30 to -35 dBm of returned sensor power was enough to receive the sensor signal over a long distance and through several walls with a simple superheterodyne FM receiver converting the sensor signal to a low measure and proportional intermediate frequency and retrieving the ID data through FM detection. Different sensor implementations, including continuous and pulsed power versions and the possibility of transmitting data from several measurands with a single sensor, are discussed.

Published in:

Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 9 )