NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a robust wireless temperature sensor that does not require an electrical connection. The temperature sensor is built on NASA's SansEC sensor platform, which takes advantage of measuring dielectric changes. The temperature sensor is damage-tolerant, wireless, flexible, precise, and inexpensive. One promising application is for tire temperature sensors.
The sensor is made up of dielectric materials tuned to accurately measure a variable and wide range of temperatures. The sensor is wireless and is powered by an external magnetic field. As the temperature changes, the dielectric material changes its signature magnetic response, and the change is detected by a magnetic field response sensor. Applications for
this technology include temperature sensors for non-conductive surfaces where the conditions or operations require a robust and wireless sensor.
As an open-circuit sensor, it can sustain damage and still operate well. Because it is wireless, it can be used in places where wires are an impediment, like with rotating tires and turbines. The sensor is made of flexible materials that can be cut or scored to fit curved surfaces, and the detectable temperature range is tunable based on the choice of dielectric materials. In addition, compared to many other temperature sensors, it is inexpensive to make and easy to install.
This technology has potential uses in aerospace, automotive, food processing, and medical applications.