Systems and Methods for Ultrasonic Pulse Communication in Solid Substrates




Information exchange with ultrasonic pulses offers an energy efficient approach for event monitoring in wireless sensor networking. Since the purpose of this wireless sensor network is to detect the occurrence of a certain event, the information is binary in nature – a single ultrasonic pulse represents the detection of such an event. In contrast to this, traditional radio communication requires multiple bits, due to radio packet structure, to represent the same information. Hence, the traditional model of communication in wireless sensor networks for binary event detection is highly inefficient.


Description of Technology


This technology is a generalized ultrasonic sensor node, small enough to be embedded into structural materials, which can communicate with neighboring nodes via ultrasound and can be programmed to monitor a specific component of the structure.  This technology can be used to create a network of generalized ultrasonic sensor nodes embedded in a construction material. The structural material could be fashioned into modular components. The nodes are embedded in a manner such that mechanically connecting the modules to one another results in a sensor network. Communication between nodes is achieved via mechanical wave propagation in solid substrates, using ultrasonic waves. Multi-hop pulse networking is applied in order to exchange information over large distances and an ultrasonic pulse compression mechanism is applied in order to reduce overhead.


Key Benefits

  • Lower power consumption
  • No overhead for network design and implementation
  • Low cost



  • Event monitoring in wireless sensor networking
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Aircraft Wing monitoring
  • Bridge monitoring


Patent Status


Patent pending




Subir Biswas, Stephan Lorenz, Bo Dong, Qiong Huo


Tech ID




Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University