Indoor airborne ultrasonic wireless communication using OFDM methods

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Jiang, Wentao
Wright, William M. D.
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
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Concerns still exist over the safety of prolonged exposure to radio frequency (RF) wireless transmissions and there are also potential data security issues due to remote signal interception techniques such as Bluesniping. Airborne ultrasound may be used as an alternative to RF for indoor wireless communication systems for securely transmitting data over short ranges, as signals are difficult to intercept from outside the room. Two types of air-coupled capacitive ultrasonic transducer were used in the implementation of an indoor airborne wireless communication system. One was a commercially available SensComp series 600 ultrasonic transducer with a nominal frequency of 50 kHz, and the other was a prototype transducer with a high-k dielectric layer operating at higher frequencies from 200 to 400 kHz. Binary phase-shift keying (BPSK), quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK), and quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM)-based orthogonal frequency division multiplexing modulation methods were successfully implemented using multiple orthogonal sub-channels. The modulated ultrasonic signal packets were synchronized using a wireless link, and a least-squares channel estimation algorithm was used to compensate the phase and amplitude distortion introduced by the air channel. By sending and receiving the ultrasonic signals using the SensComp transducers, the achieved maximum system data rate was up to 180 kb/s using 16-QAM with ultrasonic channels from 55 to 99 kHz, over a line-of-sight transmission distance of 6 m with no detectable errors. The transmission range could be extended to 9 and 11 m using QPSK and BPSK modulation schemes, respectively. The achieved data rates for the QPSK and BPSK schemes were 90 and 45 kb/s using the same bandwidth. For the high-k ultrasonic transducers, a maximum data rate up to 800 kb/s with no measurable errors was achieved up to a range of 0.7 m. The attainable transmission ranges were increased to 1.1 and 1.2 m with data rates of 400 and 200 kb/s using QPSK and BPSK, respectively.
Air-coupled ultrasound , Capacitive ultrasonic transducers , Channel estimation , Ultrasonic communication , Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing , OFDM
Jiang, W. and Wright, W. M. D. (2017) 'Indoor airborne ultrasonic wireless communication using OFDM methods', IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, 64(9), pp. 1345-1353. doi:10.1109/TUFFC.2017.2725583
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