Recently backscatter networks have received booming interest because, they offer a battery-free communication paradigm using propagation radio waves as opposed to active radios while providing comparable sensing functionalities, ranging from light and temperature sensors to recent microphones and cameras. While sensing data on backscatter nodes has been seen on a clear path to increase in both volume and variety, backscatter communication is not well prepared and optimized for conveying such continuous and high-volume data. To bridge this gap, we propose a high-throughput rate adaptation scheme for backscatter networks by exploring the unique characteristics of backscatter links and the design space of the ISO 18000-6C (C1G2) protocol. Our key insight is that while prior work has left the downlink unattended, we observe that the quality of downlink is affected significantly by multipath fading and thus can degrade the uplink and overall throughput considerably. Therefore, we introduce a novel rate mapping algorithm that chooses the best rate for both the downlink and uplink. Also, we design an efficient channel estimation method fully compatible with the C1G2 protocol and a reliable probing trigger, substantially saving probing overhead. Our scheme is prototyped using a COTS RFID reader and tags. The results show that we achieve up to 2.5x throughput gain over state-of-the-art approaches across various mobility, channel, and network-size conditions.
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Thesis advisor: Liu, Jiangchuan
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