"Riding the Airways: Ultra-Wideband Ambient Backscatter via Commercial Broadcast Systems" via Disney Research
Excerpt from the paper:
"Use of "all available ambient radio sources from FM radio stations, to digital TV stations, all the way up to cellular networks for backscatter communication. This technique is
depicted in Figure 1, which shows several commercial broadcast systems operating at frequencies from 80 MHz to 900 MHz."
Here the energy harvesting nodes use an UWB antenna and broadband switch to backscatter all ambient sources to a Universal Backscatter Reader (UBR). The reader then selects
the strongest set of RF sources in the environment and combines
them when decoding the backscatter data."
Ambient backscatter techniques utilize the ever-present cloud of TV and cellular signals already in the air.
"The team was able to demonstrate communication from node to reader over 22 m (72 ft) when using ambient signals from broadcast towers, and over 50 m (164 ft) with
data rates of up to 1 kbps by simultaneously harnessing 17 ambient signal sources."
Power line networking (PLN) - Broadband over power lines (BPL)
Wi-Fi box does not reach distant room? Impress the signal on the power circuitry of the house.
Plug the Wi-Fi in an electric socket in one room and take it from an electric socket in another room!
Use an adapter plug that bounces a wireless signal along the wired circuity of the house.
Power line networking (PLN)
« Power line networking (PLN) uses existing electrical wiring, whether in a building or in the utility grid, as network cables, meaning they also carry data signals. It can be a means of
extending an existing network into new places without adding new wires.
For example, a computer could be wired to a router as follows: an adapter is connected to a router of an existing wired local-area network, via its network port. A second adapter is connected to
an Ethernet-ready device like a computer. When both adapters are plugged into their wall sockets they will have a network connection via the electrical wiring in between the two wall sockets being
used. Some networking devices, such as routers or switches, also have power line connectivity built in. This adds no new wires since they need to be plugged into the wall to operate anyway.
The power line is transformed into a data line via the superposition of a low energy information signal to the power wave. Since electricity is 50 or 60 Hz, data is transmitted at at least 3 kHz
to ensure that the power wave does not interfere with the data signal. A technical challenge is that, because the power wiring is unshielded and untwisted, the wiring acts as an antenna, so that
the wiring emits radio energy, causing interference to the existing users of the same frequency band. The power lines can also act as receiving antennas, and receive interference from radio
signals. In many jurisdictions such transmissions are illegal. The U.S. is an exception, permitting limited-power wide-band signals to be injected into unshielded wiring, as long as the wiring is
not designed to propagate radio waves in free space. »
Broadband over power lines (BPL)
« Broadband over power lines (BPL) is a method of power line communication (PLC) that allows relatively high-speed digital data transmission over the public electric power distribution
BPL is based on PLC technology developed as far back as 1914 by US telecommunications company AT&T. Electricity companies have been bundling radio frequency on the same line as electrical
current to monitor the performance of their own power grids for years. »
(2016/4/13) "Facebook is building a new way to connect to the internet, employing millimeter-wave technology to connect buildings to the larger internet without fiber optic cable."
"Terragraph is notably similar to Starry, a new wireless system developed by Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia, which launched in January. Both Starry and Terragraph transmit data in the millimeter wave
spectrum, and employ a phased array of antennae to maintain a narrowly beamed signal. But while Starry touted proprietary antenna technology for increased range and signal strength, Terragraph is
based on the open WiGig standard, which has been publicly available since 2010. The open standard means third-party hardware can more easily be built with Terragraph-friendly antennae, including
phones, cars, and home Wi-Fi routers."