Session 6: RF & Security
Multiple-In Multiple-Out (MIMO) radar and printed energy-autonomous mm-wave backscatter retrodirective wireless nodes: The birth of the Internet of Skins (IoS)
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
9:05 AM - 9:25 AM
Current low-energy wireless communications technologies constitute one of the main engines powering the meteoric growth of the modern Internet of Things (IoT) market. These allow the operation of battery-powered wirelessly-connected nodes to provide ubiquitous sensing, data relaying and real-time localization. Nevertheless, state-of-the-art wireless technologies suffer from a general inability to operate in the close vicinity of metallic objects, leading to bulky and conspicuous IoT devices, and impose a costly and environmentally-damaging battery-management and replacement burden upon its end-users. This effort reports the combined use of the quickly-maturing and cost-plummeting radar modules developed for automotive applications, along with that of printed-flexible mm-wave Van-Atta retrodirective “Smart Skin” nodes for ultra-low-cost and microWatt combined real-time localization and sensing. The system provides a breakthrough combination of properties including single-reader 75cm-resolution localization through ranging and angle-of-arrival determination, a sticker form factor that is fully-compatible with its installation onto metal surfaces, and several hundred meters of reading range. Moreover, these features are achieved using only low micro-Watt instant power consumption levels, 3 to 4 orders-of-magnitude less than the current state-of-the-art, and therefore allow the implementation of fully-self-powered sticker-nodes. In addition, its integration with a fully-printed nanomaterials-based chemical sensing array is also demonstrated. This wireless technology plants the seed of what could grow into one of the largest and most technologically-transformative offshoots of the printed and flexible hybrid electronics industry: the Internet of Skins.
Jimmy G.D. Hester received his M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 2014 where he is now working, as a research assistant in the ATHENA group, towards his PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interests lie at the interface between radio frequency and mm-wave engineering and material science, in the form of flexible electronics technologies and nanotechnologies. Recently, he has been developing solutions for the use of carbon nanomaterials as well as optimized RF structures towards the implementation of inkjet-printed flexible low cost ubiquitous gas sensors for Internet of Things and Smart Skin applications. His work covers the entire development process, from the development of inkjet inks, improvement of fabrication methods, sensor component design, high frequency characterization and environmental testing to the design, simulation and fabrication of the RF system embedding the sensor, and the development of wireless reading and data processing schemes. He was awarded the 2015 NT4D Student Award, a 2nd place Best Poster Award at the 2017 IEEE Futurecar conference, a 3rd place Best Poster Award at the 2017Flex conference, and a Honorable Mention Award as finalist of the 2017 IMS student paper competition.
Georgia Institute of Technology