Energy Efficient IR-UWB Wireless Communication Architecture for Wireless Sensor Networks


Supervisor: Prof. Daniela Dragomirescu (daniela at


Starting date: 1st October 2014 for 3 years

Location: LAAS-CNRS laboratory, University of Toulouse, France

Keywords: wireless sensor networks, wireless communication, digital IC design (VHDL, FPGA, ASIC), IR-UWB, signal processing, Matlab

This work will take place in the highly stimulating and competitive environment of an European project.

This Ph.D. subject proposes the design of a new generation of wireless sensor networks (WSN) based on Impulse Radio Ultra wide Band (IR-UWB), reconfigurable upon the application, reliable and ultra-low power. Applications like Structure Health Monitoring of aerospace structures or portable smart sensing systems for human protection can be targeted. These industrial applications impose very demanding specifications for the wireless communication protocol (in some cases, new services are needed like: localization, clock synchronization, real-time transmission, etc) on one side, and for the circuit design, on the other side, as the ultra-low power circuits are needed. Energy efficiency is the major driver in today development of the Wireless Sensor Networks. We chose Impulse Radio Ultra WideBand (IR-UWB) technique for our developments. IR-UWB is a very promising technique able to respond to the wireless communication protocol constraints and to energy efficiency constraints.

The objective of this Ph.D will be to design an ultra-low power IR-UWB transceiver robust to interferences and noise. IR-UWB signal processing techniques has to be study and innovator solution has to be proposed for the implementation of the IR-UWB transceiver. The first prototype will be developed on FPGA boards (and/or USRP boards) and the final IR-UWB transceiver will be an ASIC in CMOS technology. The design of an ultra-low power consumption of the CMOS transceiver will be a major concern. Modern ultra-low power circuits techniques from the nanometrics CMOS design kits will be used.

MAC layer adapted to the demands of the application and working on IR-UWB physical layer will be also studied and designed. A microprocessor integration on the chip for power management of the different parts (sensor, communication, computing, energy harvesting) of the system can also be studied.

Two contexts will be taken into account: static WSN and WSN with mobile nodes.  This work will be based on the previous research results obtained in our team in the case of static WSN. 

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with very good knowledge in circuit design (especially VHDL, FPGA, digital ASIC, synthesis), telecommunications and signal processing (Matlab).