Sensors/Data Acquisition

Perspiration Power: Biofuel Cell Reacts to Sweat

Engineers from the University of California – San Diego have developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from an often-unpleasant source: sweat. The flexible UCSD-developed devices are capable of powering wearables and electronics such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios.

Posted in: Energy, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Sensors
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Secure 3D Printing: 'Three-Layer' System Protects Parts from Hackers

A 3D printer is essentially a small embedded computer — and can be exploited like one.

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a “three-layer” way of certifying that an additively manufactured part has not been compromised.

Posted in: News, News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Detectors, Sensors
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Sprayable Sensing Network Monitors Structural Health

Sprayed sensors were developed that can be networked to render real-time information on the health status of a structure, detecting hidden flaws. The sprayed nanocomposite sensors and an ultrasound actuator are used to actively detect the health condition of the structure to which they are fixed.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Sensors
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Soft, Stretchy Fabric Sensors Enable Wearable Robots

A highly sensitive, soft, capacitive sensor made of silicone and fabric that moves and flexes with the human body can unobtrusively and accurately detect movement. The technology consists of a thin sheet of silicone sandwiched between two layers of silver-plated, conductive fabric forming a capacitive sensor that registers movement by measuring the change in capacitance.

Posted in: News, Detectors, Sensors
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Researcher Sees the Power of Solar Glasses

New eyeglasses from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology generate solar power. Featuring semitransparent organic solar cells, the eyewear powers a microprocessor and two small displays integrated into the solar glasses’ temples. In a Tech Briefs Q&A, one KIT researcher explains why the proof-of-concept is the first step to even smarter devices.

Posted in: News, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Solar Power, Detectors, Sensors
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Low-Cost Chip Extends Life of Battery Sensors

Batteries in sensors last longer – in some cases, more than ten times longer.

A voltage detector chip was developed that requires only a few trillionths of a Watt (picowatts) to activate other circuits, enabling engineers to design sensors that continuously listen, without using power from a battery or mains. The result is smaller batteries, or a battery life that is extended, in some cases by years. The voltage detector can also eliminate standby power.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Batteries, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Batteries, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators
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Micromachined Sensors Monitor Train Rails and Predict Failures

Sensors designed to predict helicopter transmission failures are now used to detect problems in train tracks.

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and environmental resources.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors, Failure analysis, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Railway vehicles and equipment
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Wireless Tamper Detection Sensor and Sensing System

The sensors can detect and locate cracks, material strain, or impact damage.

NASA's Langley Research Center researchers have developed a wireless, connection-free inductor capacitor sensor system that can be placed on or embedded in materials and structures to monitor for and detect damage. The sensors can also be used to detect package tampering and pilfering. This innovation — SansEC (Sans Electrical Connections) — makes sensors more damage-resilient and more environmentally friendly to manufacture and use.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Capacitors, Sensors and actuators, Wireless communication systems, Capacitors, Sensors and actuators, Wireless communication systems, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Prognostics
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Intelligent Displacement Sensor Deployment Using MTConnect Protocol over Ethernet

The protocol interfaces to an intelligent sensor and provides data gathering using a PC application.

Quality measurements for design validation and certification requirements sometimes call for hundreds or thousands of sensors and actuators. Maintaining such a complex system is difficult, especially over an extended time period and inevitable personnel changes. Many hours are spent tracking down sensor problems related to the sensor, associated cables, mounting hardware, or some part of the data acquisition system. These are expensive, labor-intensive hours that consume valuable technical resources.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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RFID System for Management of High-Risk Materials

This system safeguards the management of sensitive items in storage, transportation, and disposition.

For years, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been used in a variety of applications, from passports to inventory tracking. Homeland security concerns have heightened the need for sensitive, real-time tracking of thousands of radioactive and hazardous material packages to ensure accountability, safety, security, and worker and public health.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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