An ultrasonic through-wall communication system with power harvesting

D. A. Shoudy, G. J. Saulnier, H. A. Scarton, P. K. Das, S. Roa-Prada, J. D. Ashdown, A. J. Gavens

Research output: Book / Book Chapter / ReportResearch Bookspeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Electromagnetic "wireless" techniques are ineffective for communicating through a solid steel barrier due to the shielding effect of the metal. Although holes can be made in the barrier to allow wires to pass through, they are often undesirable because they can reduce the integrity of the barrier. In contrast, ultrasound propagates readily through steel and can be used to convey information without degrading the barrier. Since it may be inconvenient to periodically access the sensor side of the barrier, it is also desirable to make the sensor/communication system operate for an indefinite period without servicing. Power harvesting can be used to derive electric power for the circuits from the ultrasonic power applied at the other side of the barrier, making batteries unnecessary. This paper describes an ultrasonic communication system with power harvesting using two ultrasonic transducers and continuous-wave ultrasound techniques. Experimental results are presented, which were obtained using a 5.7 cm thick steel block with 2.54 cm piezoelectric transducers at 1 MHz. The data shows reliable communication at rates of up to 55 kbps and power delivery of over 0.25 W.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2007 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium Proceedings, IUS
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event2007 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS - New York, NY, United States
Duration: 28 Oct 200731 Oct 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium
ISSN (Print)1051-0117


Conference2007 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York, NY


  • Communication
  • Power harvesting
  • Ultrasound


Dive into the research topics of 'An ultrasonic through-wall communication system with power harvesting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this