Bistatic backscatter radio for power-limited sensor networks

John Kimionis, Aggelos Bletsas, John N. Sahalos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


For applications that require large numbers of wireless sensors spread in a field, backscatter radio can be utilized to minimize the monetary and energy cost of each sensor. Commercial backscatter systems such as those in radio frequency identification (RFID), utilize modulation designed for the bandwidth limited regime, and require medium access control (MAC) protocols for multiple access. High tag/sensor bitrate and monostatic reader architectures result in communication range reduction. In sharp contrast, sensing applications typically require the opposite: extended communication ranges that could be achieved with bitrate reduction and bistatic reader architectures. This work presents non-coherent frequency shift keying (FSK) for bistatic backscatter radio; FSK is appropriate for the power limited regime and also allows many RF tags/sensors to convey information to a central reader simultaneously with simple frequency division multiplexing (FDM). However, classic non-coherent FSK receivers are not directly applicable in bistatic backscatter radio. This work a) carefully derives the complete signal model for bistatic backscatter radio, b) describes the details of backscatter modulation with emphasis on FSK and its corresponding receiver, c) proposes techniques to overcome the difficulties introduced by the utilization of bistatic architectures, such as the carrier frequency offset (CFO), and d) presents bit error rate (BER) performance for the proposed receiver and carrier recovery techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2013
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479913534
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event2013 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2013 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: 9 Dec 201313 Dec 2013


Other2013 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA


  • BER
  • Bistatic
  • FSK
  • RFID
  • WSN


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