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SBIR/STTR

SAW passive wireless sensor-RFID tags with enhanced range, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

SAW passive wireless sensor-RFID tags with enhanced range, Phase I
This proposal describes the development of passive wireless surface acoustic wave (SAW) RFID sensor-tags with enhanced range for remote monitoring of large groups of conventional sensors. Passive wireless sensing tags using SAW technology have been demonstrated by Robert Brocato at Sandia National Labs and others. These sensor-tags consist of a SAW device with an antenna attached to one port and sensor(s) and reference impedance(s) connected to the other ports. RF signals are reflected off of the surface wave device, and their reflection characteristics are modified by changes in the impedance of the attached sensor(s). This proposal describes development of novel passive wireless SAW sensor tags that combine radio frequency identification (RFID) coding with dispersive and low-loss SAW transducers and reflectors. The proposed devices utilize RFID reflective delay line coding techniques to produce devices capable of data densities over 32 bits, enabling production of large codesets. Variations in the reflected RFID code are used to identify the device and to provide a measure of the attached sensor(s), along with any internal sensing function(s). The use of dispersive low-loss transducers and reflectors provides increased processing gain and over 10 times the range of conventional SAW RFID tags. The proposed sensor devices also operate in a manner that is inherently immune to RF backscatter signals, further enhancing S/N. Successful completion of the proposed Phase I activities will establish the technical feasibility of these sensor-tags, will evaluate their performance in the laboratory when used with at least two external sensor devices, and will provide performance projections for use with other sensors. At the end of Phase I, devices will be at TRL 4. Phase II will result in development of multiple uniquely identifiable passive sensor-tags and interrogation systems operable to wirelessly monitor sensors of interest to specific NASA programs (TRL6). More »

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