In a surface acoustic wave (SAW) wireless sensor with a reflective delay line structure, three reflectors are often used to eliminate 2π ambiguity of phase measurement. The maximum range of the measured parameter and the maximum accuracy have recently been attracting much research attention. In this paper, an analytical formula for all the factors influencing the measurement range and accuracy of the delay line SAW sensor are deduced for the first time. The factors include: the sensor sensitivity, the topology of the delay line, the available wireless bandwidth and the allowed maximum phase measuring error of the reading system, which is easier to retrieve and more fully describes the possible noises than SNR. Additionally, many designers believe that increasing the reflector could improve accuracy continuously or realize multi-resolution measurement. However, they ignore some certain criteria that the reflector location must satisfy. The reachable maximum accuracy by every increase of a reflector is also presented. A SAW temperature sensor system using 128° YX-LiNbO3
is designed to verify the above theoretical analysis.
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