Ultrasonic communication system for wireless sensor nodes that explore unknown environments

Today, many environments stay inaccessible to humans, even with modern cutting-edge technologies. For instance, there is currently no technologies available to explore deep underground oil wells, or the inside of water distribution systems. In this context, the PHOENIX project proposes to explore these unknown environments with very small wireless sensor nodes, known as agents. Those agents are able to gather and process data from sensors, in order to get information in the surrounding environment. The agents will be inserted at a given location in the environment to explore, and will be taken out in another location after exploring the environment. Inside, they will be completely autonomous and without any contact to a base station.

In this project, you will help the research team to design a first prototype of a ''ball''  that will serve as an first agent. In particular, your task will be to design a complete ultrasound transceiver that will be used to enable a communication between the agents. Going in more details, you will:

  • Understand several US transmitter and receiver topologies and select the one that fits best to the application. The selection will be based on a very low-power consumption, sufficient quality of communication and on the system requirements defined in collaboration with the other members of the project.
  • Simulate the expected performances and evaluate the power consumption to fit the requirements.
  • Integrate you work with the other team members, where you will together design a Printed-Circuit Board (PCB) that will be inserted in the complete agent, as a ball of around a few cm diameter.
  • Test the overall agent in real conditions, by performing measurements in a fluid medium.