The Internet of Things has been identified as one of the most important technological evolutions in the 21st century. Small devices with onboard sensors and wireless communication technology, deployed in large numbers, provide unprecedented opportunities for monitoring and controlling homes, cities, and the environment. Whereas data rates in the kbps range have been adequate for existing, mostly industrial, applications, sensor functionality has evolved vastly towards requiring high throughput communications. Whereas high throughput today is synonym for wired powering, the result of this project is that the ‘Internet of Things’ will not be limited to snail-speed communications or ultra-short distances. This high-speed long-range IoT however requires solutions with acceptable spectral efficiency, making optimal use of the available bandwidth for powering and uplink and downlink data transfer.
Achieving spectral efficient communication typically comes at a cost, most often a power cost. In this project, innovative system level solutions will be proposed to achieve high throughput communication with zero power cost. This will be achieved by co-designing a massive MIMO basestation as source of downlink power and control data, and a backscattering node that is able to reflect sensor data back in-band, adjacent-band, and out-of-band. Depending on the mode of operation, a trade-off can be achieved between spectral efficiency and range in the system.
This overall project is achieved by a team of PhD students, by which the PhD vacancy primarily focuses on the node hardware design, in close cooperation with other students working on the wireless networking aspects.