Chowdhury Awarded NSF I-Corps Grant
ECE Associate Professor Kaushik Chowhury was awarded a $50K NSF I-Corps grant for his “Software-Defined Distributed Wireless Charging”.
Abstract Source: NSF
The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to facilitate the continuous operation of consumer devices as well as enable uninterrupted safety-critical applications such as elderly care, patient and structural health monitoring. The project can potentially enhance the quality of life by eliminating concerns of frequent charging of low-power electronic devices. By wireless charging of small form factor sensors, the expenses and environmental concerns associated with battery-replacements can also be mitigated. This project will result in an extensive customer discover process, through which high-impact sectors will be shortlisted from the sectors of healthcare, wearables, automative industry, and smart homes/offices. It will spur innovations across the wide spectrum of applications scenarios in context of the emerging Internet of Things paradigm by addressing the critical energy needs of the network
This I-Corps project defines a new network architecture that is capable of distributed wireless RF-based charging by combining both hardware and software platforms. The proposed technique of collaborative beamforming allows an exponential increase in wireless charging rates due to constructive interference and real-time adaptation of energy signals using minimal receiver feedback. This project leverages a software-defined distributed energy beamforming plane to ensure continuous feedback used for selecting various parameters at the energy transmitters that give high charging rates. Finally, it assesses energy needs over the network and is able to schedule energy broadcasts proactively. While omni-directional and MIMO-based beamforming from a single charger have been investigated recently, this I-Corps project attempts to explore innovative applications of distributed and concurrent energy transfers from multiple spatially-located energy transmitters (ETs).