Wireless Innovation Forum Top Ten Most Wanted Innovations

Innovation #6: Increase Communications Time on Battery Charge by an Order of Magnitude

6.1 Executive Summary

The use of battery powered communications devices requires the user to carry either extra batteries or have frequent access battery recharging facilities. For some user scenarios it imposes a significant burden to carry additional batteries since the user must operate without access to battery charging facilities for extended periods of time. These users constantly have to trade the frequency of communications and what they communicate with its impact upon battery life. Battery life is generally quantified in hours given a ratio of a talk time and idle time; or percent transmit, percent receive, percent idle.

6.2 Application

For military, mobile users, firefighters in remote areas and others the extension of communications time on a battery charge by an order of magnitude would reduce the amount of batteries they would need to carry as well as allow them to communicate more frequently. For those users in remote areas for extended periods of time they must make tradeoffs between food, water, and other mission essential equipment and the amount of batteries that will be needed to power their communications devices.

6.3 Description

There are many different technical approaches to increasing the communications time on a battery charge such as reducing processor power consumption, increasing power amplifier efficiencies, signal processing techniques, improving battery chemistry and other techniques or technologies to get more energy per kg. New opportunity spaces include providing the radio with ability to understand the user’s performance requirements regarding various types of traffic and how that traffic relates to the overall mission objectives and the ability to switch amongst modes in response. The ability to achieve battery life enhancements may involve tradeoffs with various types of constraints in terms of size and weight.