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  • Environmental IoT Applications & Agriculture: Low-Cost, Batteryless 

    Scatter Radio Sensors

    Associate Prof. Aggelos Bletsas" aggelos@telecom.tuc.gr"

    School of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)

    Technical Univ. of Crete, Chania, Greece

    2nd Naftemporiki Technology

    Conference, Internet of Things – Evolution in Action, 

    Divani Caravel, Athens 
 " Dec. 8, 2016"

  • Problem: Networking all plants in a green- house/garden/field!" Why?" Ø  Water saving: precise irrigation

    (80% of water potential => agriculture)"

    Ø  Dense measurements => 30% water savings"

    Ø  Plant health monitoring: precision agriculture."

    “No-glue-technology” Challenge:" Ø  Reduce cost (in $$$ and Joules) of wireless networking: 

    from 75$-400$ => less than 1-5$/wireless sensor!"


  • State-of-the-Art (2013) Commercial (French/Dutch) Technology..."

    §  Humidity, temperature and sunlight to mobile (Bluetooth)." §  Problem: too expensive (what if 10000 plants?)!!!"


  • Approach: Backscatter (Reflection/RADAR) Radio"

    Ø Conventional Radio Transmitter:

    filters, mixers, amplifiers…"

    Ø  ~20mA (60mW), 100m – 1km


    Ø Backscatter/RFID Radio: 

    just 1 (transistor) switch!"

    Ø …less than 0.6mA, “smaller”



  • TUC/Bletsas Group Scatter Sensor Networks Research Outcome:"

    Ø  Range: 150+ m outdoors."

    Ø  Cost: 3-10€/wireless sensor 

    in quantities of 1."

    Ø  Power: Battery-less."

    Ø  Network Size: 100+" 5/8

  • 6/8

    Example 1: Soil Moisture/Environmental Humidity Sensing"

    Ø  Principle: convert capacitor changes to backscattered freq!"

    Ø  Cost ~5€ (quantity of 1), Power ~100μWatt, RMS 1.9% SM. ! Ø  Simple Networking (FDMA)."

  • Example 2: Plant = Sensor!

    Plant Electric Potential (EP) signal correlated..."

    Ø  ...with solar irradiance,"

    Ø  ...with plant watering! [IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., Feb. 2016]" 7/8

  • Towards Commercial Exploitation"

    Ø  Technology tested in real-world greenhouse conditions…"

    Ø  …has attracted International Awards and Distinctions 

    (e.g., IEEE Sensors 13, IEEE ICASSP 15) "

    Ø  Entrepreneurial Team ASTRAPI has been formed…"

    Ø  …in the process of securing IP…"

    Ø  …extensions to other markets/applications is also possible!