Reusing Wireless Power Transfer for Backscatter-assisted Relaying in WPCNs

by   Yuan Zheng, et al.

User cooperation is an effective technique to tackle the severe near-far user unfairness problem in wireless powered communication networks (WPCNs). In this paper, we consider a WPCN where two collaborating wireless devices (WDs) first harvest wireless energy from a hybrid access point (HAP) and then transmit their information to the HAP. The WD with the stronger WD-to-HAP channel helps relay the message of the other weaker user. In particular, we exploit the use of ambient backscatter communication during the wireless energy transfer phase, where the weaker user backscatters the received energy signal to transmit its information to the relay user in a passive manner. By doing so, the relay user can reuse the energy signal for simultaneous energy harvesting and information decoding (e.g., using an energy detector). Compared to active information transmission in conventional WPCNs, the proposed method effectively saves the energy and time consumed by the weaker user on information transmission during cooperation. With the proposed backscatter-assisted relaying scheme, we jointly optimize the time and power allocations on wireless energy and information transmissions to maximize the common throughput. Specifically, we derive the semi-closed-form expressions of the optimal solution and propose a low-complexity optimal algorithm to solve the joint optimization problem. By comparing with some representative benchmark methods, we simulate under extensive network setups and demonstrate that the proposed cooperation method effectively improves the throughput performance in WPCNs.


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