Design optimization of transmitting antennas for weakly coupled magnetic induction communication systems

PLoS One. 2017 Feb 13;12(2):e0171982. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171982. eCollection 2017.


This work focuses on the design of transmitting coils in weakly coupled magnetic induction communication systems. We propose several optimization methods that reduce the active, reactive and apparent power consumption of the coil. These problems are formulated as minimization problems, in which the power consumed by the transmitting coil is minimized, under the constraint of providing a required magnetic field at the receiver location. We develop efficient numeric and analytic methods to solve the resulting problems, which are of high dimension, and in certain cases non-convex. For the objective of minimal reactive power an analytic solution for the optimal current distribution in flat disc transmitting coils is provided. This problem is extended to general three-dimensional coils, for which we develop an expression for the optimal current distribution. Considering the objective of minimal apparent power, a method is developed to reduce the computational complexity of the problem by transforming it to an equivalent problem of lower dimension, allowing a quick and accurate numeric solution. These results are verified experimentally by testing a number of coil geometries. The results obtained allow reduced power consumption and increased performances in magnetic induction communication systems. Specifically, for wideband systems, an optimal design of the transmitter coil reduces the peak instantaneous power provided by the transmitter circuitry, and thus reduces its size, complexity and cost.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Electric Power Supplies*
  • Equipment Design / methods*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Fields*
  • Magnetics*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Telecommunications / instrumentation*

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.