Ambuj Varshney, Oliver Harms, Carlos Pérez-Penichet, Christian Rohner, Frederik Hermans and Thiemo Voigt LoRea: A Backscatter Architecture That Achieves a Long Communication Range. In Proceedings of the 15th ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems, ACM SenSys ’17 (pp. 18:1–18:14). New York, NY, USA: ACM. (2017).
There is the long-standing assumption that radio communication in the range of hundreds of meters needs to consume mWs of power at the transmitting device. In this paper, we demonstrate that this is not necessarily the case for some devices equipped with backscatter radios. We present LOREA an architecture consisting of a tag, a reader and multiple carrier generators that overcomes the power, cost and range limitations of existing systems such as Computational Radio Frequency Identification (CRFID). LOREA achieves this by: First, generating narrow-band backscatter transmissions that improve receiver sensitivity. Second, mitigating self-interference without the complex designs employed on RFID readers by keeping carrier signal and backscattered signal apart in frequency. Finally, decoupling carrier generation from the reader and using devices such as WiFi routers and sensor nodes as a source of the carrier signal. An off-the-shelf implementation of LOREA costs 70 USD, a drastic reduction in price considering commercial RFID readers cost 2000 USD. LOREA’s range scales with the carrier strength, and proximity to the carrier source and achieves a maximum range of 3.4 km when the tag is located at 1 m distance from a 28 dBm carrier source while consuming 70 μW at the tag. When the tag is equidistant from the carrier source and the receiver, we can communicate upto 75 m, a significant improvement over existing RFID readers.