Weak Radio Frequency Signal Detection Based on Piezo-Opto-Electro-Mechanical System: Architecture Design and Sensitivity Prediction

We propose a novel radio-frequency (RF) receiving architecture based on micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) and optical coherent detection module. The architecture converts the received electrical signal into mechanical vibration through the piezoelectric effect and adopts an optical detection module to detect the mechanical vibration. We analyze the response function of piezoelectric film to an RF signal, the noise limited sensitivity of the optical detection module and the system transfer function in the frequency domain. Finally, we adopt simple on-off keying (OOK) modulation with bandwidth 1 kHz and carrier frequency 1 GHz, to numerically evaluate the detection sensitivity. The result shows that, considering the main noise sources in wireless channel and circuits, the signal detection sensitivity can reach around -160 dBm with a 50 $\Omega$ impedance. Such sensitivity significantly outperforms that of the currently deployed Long Term Evolution (LTE) system, when normalizing the transmission bandwidth also to 1 kHz.

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