Wireless, RF & Smart Dust

Research that includes:

  • Tuneable RF components: capacitors, inductors, transformers
  • RF microrelays
  • High frequency MEMS resonators: devices, structures, and processes

BPN624: The Internet of Things: IPv6 for Multihop Wireless Sensor Networks

Branko Kerkez
Fabien J. Chraim

The Internet of Things enables great applications, such as energy-aware homes or real-time asset tracking. With these networks gaining maturity, standardization bodies have started to work on standardizing how these networks of tiny devices communicate. We strongly believe IEEE802.15.4e TSCH is the most reliable and energy-efficient MAC protocol for low-power motes. The goal of this project is to provide open-source implementations of a complete protocol stack based on the finalized Internet of Things standards. This implementation can then help academia and industry verify the...

BPN630: Capacitive-Gap Micromechanical Local Oscillator At GHz Frequencies

Tristan O. Rocheleau
Thura Lin Naing

This project aims to build a MEMS-based on-chip reference oscillator at GHz frequencies. By constructing an array of capacitive transduced micromechanical resonators with extremely small capacitive gaps and high mechanical Q, in conjunction with a low-power CMOS ASIC amplifier, it becomes possible to achieve self-sustained oscillation in a die-level system. The high mechanical Q of these devices, which can reach an extraordinary >40,000 at frequencies up to 3GHz, allows the possibility for unprecedented phase noise performance. Many applications for such high-frequency, low phase-...

BPN696: Energy Monitoring for the Smart Building Using Low-Power Wireless Sensors

Kevin Weekly
Brittany Judoprasetijo

Future office spaces and buildings will collect energy consumption data from the electrical devices used by their occupants, from refrigerators to the humble cell phone charger. This goal of this project is to develop and evaluate the devices enabling dense measurement of energy consumption throughout the building. We have started developing two hardware platforms. First, we designed a sensor circuit board which can be quickly installed by placing it between a plug and the outlet. Our second design is a custom designed surge protector can measure six independent outlets as well as...

BPN700: Generation of Low Phase Noise mm-Waves

Nazanin Hoghooghi

There has been recent interest in low noise mm-wave signals for satellite data communication and RADAR. For these applications, close in to the carrier phase-noise performance is important. Several competing very-low-phase-noise oscillator technologies exist at lower microwave frequencies. All of these face difficulties in being extended up to the new bands of interest. We propose using an optical frequency comb generator together with an optical interleaver to up convert the low noise, low frequency microwave signal to the desired high frequency bands without increasing the phase...

BPN441: HEaTS: Temperature-Compensated & High-Q Aluminum Nitride Lamb Wave Resonators

Chih-Ming Lin

The long-range goal of this project is to develop aluminum nitride (AlN) Lamb wave resonators with high Q, small frequency-temperature drift, multiple frequencies, and CMOS compatibility on one single chip.

Project end date: 08/16/13

BPN693: HEaTS: Thermally Stable Aluminum Nitride Lamb Wave Resonators for Harsh Environment Applications

Jie Zou
Chih-Ming Lin

This project aims at developing high quality factor (Q), large coupling coeffecient (k2) aluminum nitride (AlN) Lamb wave resonators (LWRs) exhibiting low loss and thermally stable performance for wireless communications (e.g. oscillators or filters) in harsh environments. Current technology using thin AlN membrane structures have proved to enable a high phase velocity, low velocity dispersion of the Lamb wave employing the lowest order symmetric mode (S0), thus ensures a high frequency and offers robust designs with low sensitivity to technological tolerances. However, these devices...

BPN434: A Micromechanical RF Channelizer

Mehmet Akgul

Vibrating mechanical tank components, such as crystal and SAW resonators, are widely used for frequency selection in communication systems because of their high Q and exceptional stability. However, being off-chip components, these devices pose an important bottleneck against the ultimate miniaturization and performance of wireless transceivers. This project aims to explore the use of capacitively transduced micromechanical circuits to realize micromechanical mixer-filters with reconfigurable attributes. With their substantial size, cost and performance advantages, these devices can...

BPN766: Active Q-Control for Improved Insertion Loss Micromechanical Filters

Thura Lin Naing
Tristan Rocheleau

This project aims to develop channel-selecting Micromechanical filters with controllable bandwidth using resonators wired in closed-loop feedback with ASIC amplifiers.

Project end date: 02/03/15

BPN596: Smart Fence and Other Wireless Sensing Applications for Critical Industrial Environments

Fabien J. Chraim

Following the successful showcase of the Smart Fence technology, this project aims at using MEMS and Optical Sensors in combination with Low-Power radios to implement industrial wireless sensing applications. Using inertial sensors, valve position monitoring and machine vibration sensing are added for safeguarding both personnel and equipment. Finally, gas leak detection and localization is implemented and tested using IR combustible gas sensors. This project is concerned both with the COTS-based hardware and software behind each application.

Project end date: 02/...

BPN713: Ring GINA: Highly Miniaturized Ring-Format Wearable Mote

Joseph Greenspun
David Burnett

Computer input devices such as mice and keyboards have remained largely unchanged since the dawn of the personal computer. The Ring GINA platform is capable of sensing and interpreting a user’s hand and finger movements to emulate and enhance the functions of these standard input devices. A wearable platform frees the user from the need to know hand position relative to a keyboard or mouse, and grants the ability to perform gestures in open space or on any surface. Here, a method is presented that utilizes these rings as a text input system. In moving forward, efforts are being...