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Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1732; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081732

A Long-Distance RF-Powered Sensor Node with Adaptive Power Management for IoT Applications

1
Advanced Research Center on Electronic Systems, University of Bologna, Via Toffano 2/2, Bologna 40126, Italy
2
Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering, University of Bologna, Via Risorgimento 2, Bologna 40126, Italy
3
STMicroelectronics, Via Camillo Olivetti, Agrate Brianza 20864, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 23 July 2017 / Accepted: 26 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Rechargeable Sensor Networks)

Abstract

We present a self-sustained battery-less multi-sensor platform with RF harvesting capability down to −17 dBm and implementing a standard DASH7 wireless communication interface. The node operates at distances up to 17 m from a 2 W UHF carrier. RF power transfer allows operation when common energy scavenging sources (e.g., sun, heat, etc.) are not available, while the DASH7 communication protocol makes it fully compatible with a standard IoT infrastructure. An optimized energy-harvesting module has been designed, including a rectifying antenna (rectenna) and an integrated nano-power DC/DC converter performing maximum-power-point-tracking (MPPT). A nonlinear/electromagnetic co-design procedure is adopted to design the rectenna, which is optimized to operate at ultra-low power levels. An ultra-low power microcontroller controls on-board sensors and wireless protocol, to adapt the power consumption to the available detected power by changing wake-up policies. As a result, adaptive behavior can be observed in the designed platform, to the extent that the transmission data rate is dynamically determined by RF power. Among the novel features of the system, we highlight the use of nano-power energy harvesting, the implementation of specific hardware/software wake-up policies, optimized algorithms for best sampling rate implementation, and adaptive behavior by the node based on the power received. View Full-Text
Keywords: wireless sensor networks; RF power transfer; energy harvesting; nano-power DC/DC converter; rectifying antenna; ultra-low power sensor node; adaptive power management wireless sensor networks; RF power transfer; energy harvesting; nano-power DC/DC converter; rectifying antenna; ultra-low power sensor node; adaptive power management
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pizzotti, M.; Perilli, L.; del Prete, M.; Fabbri, D.; Canegallo, R.; Dini, M.; Masotti, D.; Costanzo, A.; Franchi Scarselli, E.; Romani, A. A Long-Distance RF-Powered Sensor Node with Adaptive Power Management for IoT Applications. Sensors 2017, 17, 1732.

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