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Self efficient sensors to transmit data

Submitted by on 19 April, 2018 – 4:32 am

Engineers at Kansas State University have developed a radio with sensors and microprocessors that will broadcast data and is self-sufficient when it comes to power.

The device, called by the engineers an “energy-harvesting radio,” is basically a wireless sensor with microprocessor and radio that will transfer a flash of info gathered by the sensor every couple of seconds. Wireless sensors are not new ; they’ve already been in use to watch environmental info like brook pollution and weather.

Even at the patron level, there are weather radios sold at hi-tech gadget stores : folks place a radio sensor on the exterior of their home and read the weather report from a receiving device within.

The radios being developed by the KSU researchers power themselves and their microprocessor with alternative energy. And instead of only measuring the temperature or pollution levels, these radios can be employed to determine all kinds of things, like stress on bridges. Bill Kuhn, KSU professor of electric and PC engineering, and Xiaohu Zhang, a graduate student in electric engineering, are working on the project for San Diego, Calif.-based Peregrine Semiconductor.

Now , Kuhn and Zhang are using top-end calculator solar cells to power the radio. But the radio might be powered by electrochemical, thermal, or mechanical energy, according to the analysts. The research being developed by KSU together with NASA, the California Institute of Technology, and Peregrine will go toward developing radio sensors to be used in the Mars Scout Missions. The energy-harvesting radio also appears to be a hint of a showpiece for the communications chipmaker since the autonomous sensors occur to want the precise sort of technology that Peregrine focuses on : high-speed communications integrated circuits, aka low-power radio chips. In particular , the analysts are using Peregrine’s UltraCMOS silicon-on-sapphire technology. Whilst they’ve already managed to get the system to work, Kuhn and Zhang are now refining stuff like range, power, and frequency. Now , the radio sends out a burst of info from its sensor each five seconds. The scientists have to choose how frequently the radio should transmit to its receiver vs. How much power it should use, how much info it should process, and how far of a range it should be in a position to broadcast.


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