Development and Performance of a Battery-Free Disaster Prevention Radio “HOOPRA” Using the Energy Harvested from Radio Waves
Department of Mechanical and System Engineering,
Intelligent Materials Science and Technology Laboratory, University of Fukui
3-9-1 Bunkyo, Fukui 910-8507, Japan
A battery-free radio receiver, HOOPRA (hoop type radio), is proposed for acquiring information using middle wave AM radio broadcasting during unexpected power failures or disasters, with emphasis on wide coverage, immediate information acquisition, and energy saving. The HOOPRA utilizes middle waves for energy harvesting. As this radio is intended for use during disasters, the protection methods, receiving performance, and the applications of energy harvesting are reported in this paper. The HOOPRA is ring-shaped with a diameter of 20 cm when retracted, for portability and 60 cm when expanded, for usage and is lightweight (180 g). The HOOPRA works on the principle of a crystal radio but has an adequate receiving performance without an external antenna that is generally necessary for crystal radios and is portable. It could receive a radio broadcast within an area of radius 15 km from a transmitting station of the NHK Fukui Daiichi Broadcasting (JOFG, 5 kW). Further, the energy harvested from the middle waves utilizing the high sensitivity of the HOOPRA was found to light-up a white LED. In a field test with the HOOPRA, it was found that the receiving sensitivity was particularly enhanced near a tall building, probably owing to the diffraction effect of the radio waves. Use of this effect for enhancing the sensitivity of the battery-free radio is also explained.
-  I. Nakamura, “Mizou no kouikisaigai ga motarasita higai” (Major efforts of information and communication fields regarding the Great East Japan Earthquake), Rippo to Chosa (legislation and investigation), Vol.317, pp. 3-11, 2011 (in Japanese).
-  T. Kanayama and R. Tokumoto, “Report of the great eastern Japan earthquake,” Report of NKSJ-RM, Vol.52, pp. 1-12, 2011 (in Japanese).
-  Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, “The damage report of the Great East Japan Earthquake (No.140),” October 21, 2011 (in Japanese).
-  K. Nakano and S. Nakanishi, “Saiseikanou energy zenryo kaitoriseido no dounyu ni muketa giron” (Major efforts of information and communication fields regarding the Great East Japan Earthquake), Rippo to Chosa (legislation and investigation), Vol.322, pp. 38-47, 2011 (in Japanese).
-  Y. Horikawa, “The role of information capture of social media at the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster,” Information and Communications Policy Review, No.5, pp. 1-25, September, 2012 (in Japanese).
-  S. Sato, H. Koumoto, and S. Tatsuki, “Grasp of Utilization of Social Networking Services in Restoration Process,” Journal of Disaster Research, Vol.10 No.5, 948-955, 2015.
-  J. Setoyama, “Higashinihon daishinsai ni okeru jyohotsushin bunya no omona torikumi” (Major efforts of information and communication fields regarding the Great East Japan Earthquake), Rippo to Chosa (legislation and investigation), Vol.317, pp. 44-55, 2011 (in Japanese).
-  A. Shigyo, “The Great East Japan Earthquake: How Disaster Survivors Used the Media,” The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research, September, pp. 18-30, 2011 (in Japanese).
-  Housou network no kyoujinka ni kansuru kentoukai (1), Saigaiji no housou to kinoukyouka, 2013.2.27, NHK, http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000207131.pdf [accessed January 22, 2016]
-  T. Maeda, N. Morikawa, A.Iwaki, S. Aoi, and H. Fujiwara, “Finite-Difference Simulation of Long-Period Ground Motion for the Nankai Trough Megathrust Earthquakes,” Journal of Disaster Research, Vol.8 No.5, pp. 912-925, 2013.
-  K. A. Norton, “The Propagation of Radio Waves over the Surface of the Earth and in the Upper Atomosphere,” Part.I, Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, Vol.24, No.10, pp. 1367-1387, 1936.
-  K. A. Norton, “The Propagation of Radio Waves over the Surface of the Earth and in the Upper Atomosphere,” Part.II, Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers，Vol.25, No.9, pp. 1203-1236, 1937.
-  T. Kobayashi, K. Inoue, K. Kinoe, S. Hinoura, N. Suzuki, and Y. Katano, “Kurensya wo katuyousita idousiki hijyoyo chuha kuchusen no kaihatsu,” Broadcast Engineering, Vol.67, No.1, pp. 111-115, 2014.
-  D. Misra and J. Brewer, “Crystal radio detector [“cat’s whisker”]: the first wireless device,” Circuits and Devices Magazine, IEEE, Vol.17, No.2, p. 12, 2001.
-  V. M. Pestrikov, “A. S. Popov – The inventor of a first crystal radio,” EUROCON 2009, EUROCON ’09. IEEE, pp.1070-1077, 2009.
-  N. Shinohara, “Energy Harvesting Technologies for Battery-less Society,” The Journal of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers (J. IEICE), Vol.92, No.8, pp. 695-699, 2009.
This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.