Unpowered Wireless Transmission of Ultrasound Signals from Multiple Sensor Nodes

This paper presents an unpowered wireless sensor network that simultaneously transmits the high frequency ultrasound signals from two sensor nodes. Each of the structures under inspection is equipped with one piezo-sensor, which is connected to a passive wireless transponder. The wireless communication is performed by implementing the frequency conversion principle, which modulates the ultrasound signal output from the piezo-sensor to microwave frequency without consuming any power. The system is designed to work with two communication channels, each of which is dedicated to one piezo-sensor and is identified by the operating frequency. Upon received by the Wireless Interrogation Unit (WIU), the signals for each channel are separated by filtering and the ultrasound signals are recovered by demodulation. In this way, each wireless sensor node can operate as a stand-alone senor without any local power source while the power hungry time-synchronization of the ultrasound signals is done at the WIU.

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