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M/W Localization, identification and wireless reading of passive sensors at millimetre-wave frequencies

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Date Limite Candidature : lundi 6 décembre 2021

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General information

Reference : UPR8001-HERAUB-001
Workplace : TOULOUSE
Date of publication : Monday, November 15, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : AUBERT Hervé
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 12 January 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The thesis aims to develop a new wireless system that simultaneously locates, identifies and remotely reads passive sensors (i.e., without DC power, without battery, and without a recovery or energy transmission device). The main idea is to use millimetre frequencies to locate and read data from passive (batteryless), wireless (wireless) and electronic chip or integrated circuit (chipless) sensors to measure physical quantities such as temperature, pressure or humidity remotely and without contact.
Indeed, there is a growing interest in mobile wireless communication technologies, particularly those of the sixth generation (6G) aiming for a very strong interconnection of many devices and heterogeneous networks and a high reliability of connectivity between people and so-called smart objects. 6G systems and those of future generations must not only ensure ubiquitous communication, but they will also have to offer real-time location services for connected objects, ensuring high spatial resolution and the lowest possible power consumption. The fields of application are numerous and cover for example navigation of autonomous vehicles and drones, tracking, tracking and surveillance of goods.
In this context, the LAAS-CNRS develops original wireless systems combining a reader (commercially available frequency modulation radar) and sensors without battery, without electronic chip and wireless to measure physical quantities simultaneously and remotely. Using these original systems, distances between the reader and the sensors of several tens of meters (>50 meters) have been reached by this Laboratory, which constitutes the state of the art of the field (see, e.g, D. HENRY et al., “Long Range Wireless Interrogation of Passive Humidity Sensors using Van-Atta Cross-Polarization Effect and Different Beam Scanning Technique,” IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 65, Issue 12, pp. 5345-5354, December 2017). Very recently, LAAS-CNRS developed a new technique for classifying signals measured by a wireless reader (i.e., a standard 24 GHz commercial frequency modulated radar) allowing three passive sensors to be identified simultaneously and at long distances (see D. HENRY et al., “Classification of Radar Echoes for Identification and Remote Reading of Chipless Millimeter-wave Sensors,” IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 69, Issue 1, pp. 926-937, January 2021). The aim is to demonstrate that the proposed classification technique makes it possible to identify and read simultaneously more (>10) sensors distributed in various environments. This is the main objective of the research work to be conducted by the doctoral student. The limitations of the proposed signal classification technique will be explored and solutions to push them back will have to be proposed as part of the thesis.
The Ph.D. student must therefore specifically:
(1) design, fabricate and characterize a dozen temperature sensors without battery, electronic chip and wireless by developing the additive and micro-fluidic technology recently developed at the LAAS-CNRS (see T. MARCHAL et al., “Wireless Measurement of the Pressure from the Ka-Band Radar Echo of a 3D-Printed Microfluidic Depolarizing Sensor,” IEEE International Microwave Symposium, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 6-11 June 2021);
(2) Extend the signal processing (classification) technique developed at the LAAS-CNRS to simultaneously identify the ten temperature sensors made and deployed in environments more or less congested with metal objects. This will include minimizing the impact of multiple electromagnetic reflections (multi-paths) on the accuracy of wireless temperature measurement.

Work Context

The research work will be supervise by Hervé Aubert, Professor at the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, France, and researcher in the Micro- and Nano-systems for wireless communications (MINC) team at the LAAS-CNRS. The work will take place in collaboration with the CEA Leti and the SIRADEL company as part of the S2LAM project funded by the National Research Agency. Under this project, the LAAS-CNRS partners are responsible for developing beam-forming techniques to improve the budget wireless link between a reader and the sensors, and for exploiting the signal backscattered by the illuminated scene to reconstruct an environmental map. A proof of software concept and a proof of hardware concept will eventually be performed by all partners in a so-called “factory of the future” (Industrial IoT (IIoT) / Factory of the Future (FoF) scenarios).

Constraints and risks

no identified constraints or risks.

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