Magneto-Mechanical Transmitters for Ultralow Frequency Near-Field Data Transfer

Rhinithaa P. Thanalakshme, Ali Kanj, Jun Hwan Kim, Elias Wilken-Resman, Jiheng Jing, Inbar H. Grinberg, Jennifer T. Bernhard, Sameh Tawfick, Gaurav Bahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electromagnetic signals in the ultralow frequency (ULF) range below 3 kHz are well suited for underwater and underground wireless communication thanks to low signal attenuation and high penetration depth. However, it is challenging to design ULF transmitters that are simultaneously compact and energy efficient using traditional approaches, e.g., using coils or dipole antennas. Recent works have considered magneto-mechanical alternatives, in which ULF magnetic fields are generated using the motion of permanent magnets, since they enable extremely compact ULF transmitters that can operate with low energy consumption and are suitable for human-portable applications. Here we explore the design and operating principles of resonant magneto-mechanical transmitters (MMT) that operate over frequencies spanning a few 10 s of Hz up to 1 kHz. We experimentally demonstrate two types of MMT designs using both single-rotor and multirotor architectures. We study the nonlinear electro-mechanical dynamics of MMTs using point dipole approximation and magneto-static simulations. We further experimentally explore techniques to control the operation frequency and demonstrate amplitude modulation up to 10 bits-per-second. We additionally demonstrate how using oppositely polarized MMT modules can permit systems that have low dc-field but do not sacrifice the ac magnetic field produced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3710-3722
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • Magnetic dipoles
  • magnetic modulators
  • magneto-mechanical systems
  • ultralow frequency (ULF) transmitters
  • wireless communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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