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InWIP-NETs : Integrated Wireless Information and Power Networks

Principal investigator: Prof. Björn Ottersten
Vice principal investigator: Dr. Symeon Chatzinotas
Partner: Université catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Funding: F.R.S.-FNRS CREDITS AND PROJECTS CALL 2015 (PDR)
Researcher: Sumit Gautam

About the Project

The recent trend gathered from developments in the domain of Wireless Communication indicate towards decreasing size of the devices along with increasing complexities in the deployment of their circuits. These continuous alterations in the device architectures trigger rapid drainage of battery sources with limited capacities.  In the case of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), it is often observed that some nodes within the network need to be installed at perilous or remote places due to certain physical constraints. The installation of such nodes does not only make the re-charging or replacement of their batteries impossible, but also causes interruption in the network operations owing to their limited power constraints. In this context, wireless transmission of power to such devices plays a considerable role in protracting the life of WSNs. Since most of the devices at present performs wireless communication, it is of practical interest to consider powering such devices either by utilizing the same electromagnetic (EM) / radio frequency (RF) wave that is used for communication, or by using other ambient sources of free energy.  

The goal of the current project is to investigate optimized resource allocation in Integrated Wireless Information and Power Networks (InWIP-NETs), that is networks supporting both the wireless information transfer and the wireless power transfer. In this project, the main objective is to investigate InWIP-NETs where a wireless power transfer network, composed of a variety of RF energy sources, is incorporated into a heterogeneous wireless information network, in order to deliver on-demand information and power wirelessly in a cost-efficient manner. The following specific targets have been considered to fulfil this main objective:

  1. The theoretical limits of InWIP-NETs encompassing existing simultaneous and traditional wireless information and power transfer (WIPT) techniques under a unifying multi-objective perspective will be studied. Investigation of innovative potential applications will be performed under different operating conditions. Novel global objective functions will be defined for describing specific information/energy rate tradeoffs, with special emphasis on the global energy efficiency of the system. The issues originating from the limited energy storage capabilities of the wireless terminals will also be addressed.
  2. Advanced transmission strategies for a heterogeneous multiplicity of RF energy and information sources (both referred to as base stations) will be investigated for both information and energy transfer in the downlink. Detailed study for resource allocation and scheduling in InWIP-NETs considering the heterogeneity of devices, networks and requirements will be presented in contrast to the homogeneous scenarios already investigated in the literature.
  3. Energy efficient joint transmit and power management strategies will be developed in order to allocate the terminal’s resources and optimally exploit the wireless power harvested in the downlink phase. The potential advantages of multicarrier processing in improving the power transfer efficiency for wideband receiver with energy harvesting capabilities will be investigated. Novel low-energy multiple access strategies will be developed for the uplink considering energy storage constraints.

 

Heterogeneity in InWIP-NETs may exist at different levels, i.e. devices (terminals, base stations) networks, and requirements. It is for homogeneous single or multiple antenna scenarios that existing works have analyzed the fundamental information rate-energy tradeoff (see Fig. 1). However, some of the terminals may have power transfer as the priority and some other nodes may have information as the priority, depending on their current status or capabilities (see Fig. 2). We plan to study such different kinds of possibilities for WIPT in various plausible scenarios suitable for InWIP-NETs.

Project Partners

  1. SIGCOM, SnT, University of Luxembourg (UL), Luxembourg, (https://wwwen.uni.lu/snt/research/sigcom)
  2. ICTEAM, Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium,
     (http://www.uclouvain.be/en-icteam.html)

Funding Details

  • Funding Source: F.R.S.-FNRS CREDITS AND PROJECTS CALL 2015 (PDR)
  • Project start date: October 2016
  • Expected End date: September 2020

Management Team

  • Principal investigator: Prof. Bjorn Ottersten (SnT)
  • Vice PI: Dr. Symeon Chatzinotas (SnT)

Research Team

Structure and Work Packages

  • WP1:Heterogeneous InWIP-NETs: Theoretical Limits and Applications 
    • T1.1: Theoretical limits of WIPT: A unifying multi-objective perspective.
    • T1.2: Definition of novel SWIPT scenarios and performance metrics.
  • WP2:Advanced Transmission and Resource Allocation Strategies at the Base Station
    • T2.1: Design of optimal multi-antenna transmission strategies.
    • T2.2: Design of optimal scheduling and resource allocation strategies.
    • T2.3: Distributed information and power transfer systems.
    • T2.4: Autonomous base stations and interference exploitation.
    • T2.5: Joint information and energy waveform design for wideband systems.
  • WP3:Energy Efficient Transceivers and Energy Management Strategies at the Terminal
    • T3.1: Joint power control and energy management strategies.
    • T3.2: Wideband receiver with multicarrier processing for information and power.
    • T3.3: Multiple access strategies for the uplink channel with energy storage constraints.