miniature SENSor Antenna Systems – SENSAS
The recent advances of low power electronics and sensing technologies have led to the increasing number of various types of wireless sensors (physical, biological and chemical sensors). In the future, these sensors will be everywhere and many will be in our personal objects devices, embedded in our clothes or even inside our body. RFID technology, using tags coupled with passive or semi-active sensors fed by energy harvesting systems, is an illustrative example of these autonomous devices. The coupling of sensors with future wireless connected objects will open the door to a plethora of innovative products and services covering numerous consumer and industrial applications including health care, smart homes, media entertainment, process control and environment monitoring.
The antennas used in these wireless sensors play a key role in the power and spectrum efficiency of the wireless links, and, because they escape to the miniaturization trend observed for electronics and sensor technologies, they often determine the size and the cost of the wireless sensors. The generalization of these devices is partly conditioned by the non-intrusive features and their discretion. Any attempt to reduce the sensor’s size requires a significant reduction of the antenna size, most particularly at sub-GHz frequencies.
Therefore, the objective of SENSAS project is to address the challenging issues of size, cost and power consumption of wireless sensors from antenna side point of view:
• By taking one step further the antenna size reduction and addressing well known drawbacks associated to antenna miniaturization such as radiation efficiency and frequency bandwidth dropping or increased sensitivity to the context. These drawbacks are even more apparent with tiny sensors, since there is no large ground plane available from which the miniature antenna could get benefit.
• By increasing the communication primary function of the antenna with a sensing capability of a targeted parameter such as temperature, pressure or electrical current leading to the concept of sensing antennas. Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology will be particularly considered for the sensors and its coupling to the antennas.
Novel ultra-miniature and smart antennas, which are able to adapt to their changing environment and, for some of them, integrating sensing capabilities, will be studied, designed and realized within the framework of dedicated work packages. The tricky experimental characterization of these ultra-compact sensing antennas will be equally treated to validate the performances of the developed concepts. Finally, solutions issued from the various works packages will be put together to demonstrate the results of the project, through a chosen use cases in line with the targeted consumer and industrial applications.
The SENSAS project associates the skills of:
• Two universities specialist in antennas design (IETR Rennes, LEAT Nice)
• The main Research & Innovation Laboratory of a worldwide company developing technology for the “Media & Entertainment” industry (Technicolor)
• The research team of a leading French company in advanced wireless sensors solutions based on the SAW technology (SENSeOR)
• One of the biggest applied research laboratories in Europe dealing with microelectronics, micro-systems and wireless telecommunication systems (CEA-LETI)
The SENSAS project is in keeping with two main orientations of the INFRA 2013 program: firstly, the thematic axis 1 “Technologies for infrastructures” thanks to the exploration of disruptive approaches for the size reduction and increased functionalities of a key enabling technology of wireless sensors, and, secondly, the thematic axis 2 “Infrastructure for future networks” in the sense that mastering the cost, the power consumption and the reconfiguration of wireless sensors will facilitate their ubiquitous use and integration in heterogeneous and interconnected wireless networks.
Monsieur Christophe Delaveaud (Laboratoire d'Electronique et des Technologies de l'Information, Commissariat à l'Energie atomique et aux Energies alternatives)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
CEA-LETI Laboratoire d'Electronique et des Technologies de l'Information, Commissariat à l'Energie atomique et aux Energies alternatives
Technicolor Technicolor R&D France
IETR Institut d'Electronique et de Télécommunication de Rennes, Université de Rennes
LEAT Laboratoire d'Electronique, Antennes et Télécommunications, Université de Nice
Help of the ANR 1,149,504 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2013 - 42 Months