Mahmoud Saadat

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BSEE, Sharif University of Technology, 2007
MSEE, Stanford University, 2009
Admitted to Ph.D. Candidacy: 2011-2012

Research: An Energy-Harvesting, Power-Aware Sensor Platform for Wireless Data Acquisition Applications

Conventional Wireless sensor devices utilize batteries as the main power source for the sensor circuit and wireless transceiver. However, it is often desired to eliminate the battery from the system due to its limited capacity, size, cost (initial and maintenance), environmental impact, and operating limits. Ambient energy harvesting has found to be the most viable alternative source for low throughput wireless sensing applications, where the sensors monitor a physical quantity that changes slowly and needs to be transmitted infrequently. Depending on the application, a sensor node can harvest solar, thermal, motion (vibration), RF, or other forms of ambient power.
This project involves design and implementation of an advanced Power Management IC (PMIC) for ambient energy harvesting. The core of the PMIC is a high-efficiency, ultra-low voltage, low-quiescent current step-up converter which can harvest energy from one or more energy transducers and provide multiple supply rails to power the subsequent blocks and charge the temporary storage component. A power-aware analog front-end and low-power ADC are operated on a supply line from the PMIC. The sampling rate and resolution of the ADC are adaptively adjusted based on the available energy that is harvested and stored by the PMIC.
Once the energy harvesting sensor platform is developed, the ambient energy transducer, micro-controller, and RF transceiver are added to the platform to create a complete energy harvesting wireless sensor node. While micro-controller and RF transceiver are not the primary focus of this work, possible methods to build a complete system on chip (SoC) will be explored.

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