A low-power, wireless gas-sensing system is designed to safeguard the apparatus to which it is attached, as well as associated personnel. It also ensures the efficiency and operational integrity of the hydrogen-powered apparatus. This sensing system can be operated with lower power consumption (less than 30 nanowatts), but still has a fast response. The detecting signal can be wirelessly transmitted to remote locations, or can be posted on the Web. This system can also be operated by harvesting energy.

The electrical signal response of the sensor to the hydrogen gas can be amplified by a differential detection interface (DDI) connected to the low-power gas sensor. A microcontroller is connected and programmed to process the electrical signal, which is then wirelessly transmitted. The system also includes a central monitoring station with a wireless receiver configured to receive the sensor data signal from the wireless transmitter of the sensor device. The system further includes a power source with at least one vibrational energy harvester, solar energy harvester, and a battery.

This work was done by Jenshan Lin, David P. Norton, Stephen J. Pearton, and Fan Ren of the University of Florida for Glenn Research Center. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Physical Sciences category.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steve Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. Refer to LEW-18484-1.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2010 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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