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Peel-and-Stick Sensors Powered by Directed RF Energy

PARC, a Xerox Company, is developing a low-cost system of peel-and-stick wireless sensors that will enable widespread building environmental sensor deployment with the potential to deliver up to 30% energy savings. The system is embodied by a set of RF hubs that provide power to automatically located sensor nodes, and relay data wirelessly to the building management system (BMS). The sensor nodes are flexible electronic labels powered by rectified RF energy transmitted by an RF hub and can contain multiple printed and conventional sensors. The system design overcomes limitations in wireless sensors related to power delivery, lifetime, and cost by eliminating batteries and photovoltaic devices. Sensor localization is performed automatically by the inclusion of a programmable multidirectional antenna array in the RF hub. Comparison of signal strengths while the RF beam is swept allows for sensor localization, reducing installation effort and enabling automatic recommissioning of sensors that have been relocated, overcoming a significant challenge in building operations. PARC has already demonstrated wireless power and temperature data transmission up to a distance of 20m with 71s between measurements, using power levels well within the FCC regulation limits in the 902-928 MHz ISM band. The sensor’s RF energy harvesting antenna achieves high performance with dimensions below 5cm x 9cm.

Schwartz, D. E.; Smith, C. J.; Lee, J.; Gowri, S.; Saavedra, J.; Baudenon, Q.; Daniel, G.; Lalau-Keraly, C. Peel-and-Stick Sensors Powered by Directed RF Energy. ASME Journal of Electronic Packaging.