Magneto-inductive Passive Relaying in Arbitrarily Arranged Networks

Authors

Gregor Dumphart, Eric Slottke, and Armin Wittneben

Reference

IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), Paris, France, May 2017.

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Abstract

We consider a wireless sensor network that uses inductive near-field coupling for wireless powering or communication, or for both. The severely limited range of an inductively coupled source-destination pair can be improved using resonant relay devices, which are purely passive in nature. Utilization of such magneto-inductive relays has only been studied for regular network topologies, allowing simplified assumptions on the mutual antenna couplings. In this work we present an analysis of magneto-inductive passive relaying in arbitrarily arranged networks. We find that the resulting channel has characteristics similar to multipath fading: the channel power gain is governed by a non-coherent sum of phasors, resulting in increased frequency selectivity. We propose and study two strategies to increase the channel power gain of random relay networks: i) deactivation of individual relays by open-circuit switching and ii) frequency tuning. The presented results show that both methods improve the utilization of available passive relays, leading to reliable and significant performance gains.

Keywords

magneto-inductive relaying, passive relaying, wireless sensor networks, inductive coupling, wireless power transfer

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