RF & Microwave Electronics

Wireless Device Senses Chemical Vapors

A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has developed a small electronic sensing device that can alert users wirelessly to the presence of chemical vapors in the atmosphere. The technology, which could be manufactured using familiar aerosol-jet printing techniques, is aimed at myriad applications in military, commercial, environmental, and healthcare areas.The current design integrates nanotechnology and radio-frequency identification (RFID) capabilities into a small working prototype. An array of sensors uses carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials to detect specific chemicals, while an RFID integrated circuit informs users about the presence and concentrations of those vapors at a safe distance wirelessly.Because it is based on programmable digital technology, the RFID component can provide greater security, reliability and range – and much smaller size – than earlier sensor designs based on non-programmable analog technology. The present GTRI prototype is 10 centimeters square, but further designs are expected to squeeze a multiple-sensor array and an RFID chip into a one-millimeter-square device printable on paper or on flexible, durable substrates such as liquid crystal polymer.SourceAlso: Learn about Extended-Range Passive RFID and Sensor Tags.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing, Sensors, Detectors, Medical, Communications, Wireless, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs, Nanotechnology, Defense, News

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Air And Missile Defense System To Get Smarter Software

When a missile is launched against an enemy target, it would be nice to have a lot of good information about that target. But when "decision makers push the fire button, they may have very little data, and sometimes not timely enough data," said Col. Rob Rasch Jr., project manager, Integrated Air and Missile Defense Project Office, or IAMD, at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. "Nowhere in the current Army architecture is there a way to share information from all of our various sensors and weapons to have better integrated coverage," he pointed out, referring to situational awareness for those operating Patriot and other missile defense systems like those used for short-range air defense.

Posted in: Photonics, Fiber Optics, Sensors, Software, Communications, Aerospace, Aviation, RF & Microwave Electronics, Antennas, Defense, News

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Wireless Tags Quickly Provide Details About Orthopedic Implants

A non-invasive system employing radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is designed to give physicians easy access to information about implants and patients. Radio-frequency technology that uses human tissue instead of air as a conduit for radio waves is the basis of the first electronic “tag” system designed to track and monitor orthopedic implants. A 2009 RAND Corporation (Europe) technical report found that RFID technology offers several advantages to medical care in such areas as wireless data transfer and patient/object identification, and as a sensor.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Orthopedics, RF & Microwave Electronics, Briefs, MDB

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Adapted Antennas Harness More Power From the Sun

A research team from Tel Aviv University is working on a solar panel composed of nano-antennas instead of semiconductors. By adapting classic metallic antennas to absorb light waves at optical frequencies, a much higher conversion rate from light into useable energy can be achieved.

Posted in: Materials, Plastics, Solar Power, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Energy, Antennas, News, GDM

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