Novel wireless sensor configurations incorporating isotropic radiators on conformal artificial magnetic conductors
Cooper, James Roger
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The objective of the presented research is to develop a novel, ink-jet printed, chipless, passive, wireless sensor topology, which can radiate in a near isotropic pattern without interference from embedded devices, for use in dispersed sensor networks. This objective includes the development of a hardware based, uniquely identifiable, collision avoidance communication method, and an integrated sensor system that is easily integrated into the topology. Wireless sensor networks can be and are used in military, medical and industrial applications; and the demand for them is ever growing. However, current sensor networks have various trade-offs and limitations, including cost, number of distinguishable nodes, and ease of manufacturing. These trade-offs lead to unique sensors needing to be designed for each situation. To develop a widely used module, a topology must be developed that can meet as many demands as possible with fair tradeoffs. Many of the above proposed criteria for the topology are already integrated into RFID technology. Therefore, much of the research is the application and advancement of current RFID technology for the purpose of designing the topology. The research begins with the theory and design of conformal artificial magnetic conductors, which is used in the design of a near isotropic radiator and isolated core for device embedding. Then, novel fabrication techniques will be investigated and deployed in the fabrication of the topology. Next, a novel "smart skin" sensor is developed which is easily integrated into the desired fabrication technique. Finally, an anti-collision RFID circuit for on-tag placement, which is based on frequency-doubling transceivers, is designed, which can also be easily integrated into the final topology. This module is designed for use with a variety of different sensors. This versatility gives it ruggedness for use in many different environments. For proof of concept, this topology is fabricated and tested against current commercially sold tags. Through the design and testing of the radiator, circuitry, and embedded sensors, it is shown that this design is a suitable topology for use in many different environments and applications.