Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Space Industry and Business News .




TECH SPACE
Sensors for the real world
by Staff Writers
Cambridge UK (SPX) Nov 07, 2012


illustration only

Over the last decade there has been an increased interest in developing resonators for gravitmetric sensing; however, the sensors' response to variations in temperature has prevented them from being used outside the laboratory. New sensors developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge negate the effects of temperature so that they may be used in industries including health care, telecommunications and environmental monitoring.

Sensors built from high frequency bulk acoustic wave (BAW) resonators consist of a piezoelectric layer sandwiched between two electrodes, to which a variable frequency signal is applied. The resonator vibrates at a given frequency, and the properties of the resulting acoustic wave allow researchers to determine what is occurring in the environment.

The main application of these nanoscale sensors is to measure a mass load. By tracking changes in the acoustic wave, mass changes on the sensors can be detected. The resonators can be altered to detect a number of different things, from antigens/antibodies to environmental contaminants.

The major issue which has prevented the adoption of these resonators in commercial sensing applications has been their unwanted response to temperature. When the temperature changes, the acoustic wave changes along with it, so it is impossible to determine whether the change has been motivated by something the resonator is trying to detect or a change in temperature. For this reason, the use of these resonators has been limited to laboratories where environmental conditions can be tightly controlled.

Many researchers have attempted to compensate for the effects of temperature, but as these effects are non-linear, they can only be minimised, not eliminated completely.

Now, researchers from the Department of Engineering have designed a thin film bulk acoustic wave resonator that allows simultaneous measurement of temperature and mass loading in a single device. The resonator has been designed so that it has two resonances which react differently to mass and temperature changes.

"This has two consequences," says Dr Luis Garcia-Gancedo, a member of Dr Andrew Flewitt's group in the Department of Engineering.

"First, we are able to eliminate the effects of temperature completely regardless of its non-linearity. Secondly, we are able to measure mass and temperature with extremely high sensitivity at exactly the same location, which we haven't been able to do before."

With the assistance of Cambridge Enterprise, the team is looking at two primary applications for the resonators: biological systems and physical sensing. The resonators could be used for applications such as detecting viruses in a health care setting, or contaminants in drinking water. Other potential applications include air quality or pressure monitoring.

The resonator is able to detect masses to the order of 10-15 grams, which is approximately the size of one virus. The size of the resonator (typically a few micrometres square) means that they can easily be embedded in various devices.

"One of the problems with existing sensing technology is that if you're trying to measure two different physical properties, the sensors are often based on two different mechanisms," says Dr Garcia-Gancedo.

"The integration of two different sensing mechanisms means that you often end up with a bulky item. But what we have developed uses exactly the same technology with exactly the same electronics, without any increase in size."

.


Related Links
Cambridge Enteprise University of Cambridge
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
US judge tosses Apple suit against Motorola
San Francisco (AFP) Nov 5, 2012
A federal judge on Monday tossed out an Apple lawsuit accusing Google-owned Motorola Mobility of trying to charge the iPhone maker too much for licenses to essential technology for mobile devices. US District Court Judge Barbara Crabb dismissed the case after a week of pre-trial legal wrangling that evidently convinced her that the matter was headed for prolonged litigation instead of earnes ... read more


TECH SPACE
Sensors for the real world

Soluble circuit boards to reduce e-waste

Megaupload boss aims to lie low

How Butterfly Wings Can Inspire New High-Tech Surfaces

TECH SPACE
Raytheon BBN Technologies' WNaN next generation network software selected for NIE 13.1 experiment

Raytheon announces Small Format Guard to secure data transfer for mobile and tactical forces

Pentagon to end exclusive deal with RIM's Blackberry

Space Systems Loral Selected by USAF to Develop Next Gen Protected Military Satellite Communications

TECH SPACE
Russian Proton Briz-M Launches Yamal Satellites Into Orbit

SpaceX Transitions to Third Commercial Crew Phase with NASA

Globalstar Birds To Launch On Soyuz Next February

Ariane 5s are readied in parallel for Arianespace's next heavy-lift flights

TECH SPACE
Gazprom to Launch Two Satellites by Yearend

Research cruise testing EGNOS satnav for ships

Two SOPS accepts command and control of newest GPS satellite

Telit Introduces LTE Module Expanding Automotive Product Line with 4G for North American and European Markets

TECH SPACE
Hundreds of flights canceled in New York storm

Australia's Chief of Air Force Visits Northrop Grumman's F-35 Production Facility in Palmdale

Boeing Delivers Fifth Production P-8A Poseidon Aircraft to US Navy

Boeing's Indian deal may take six months: officials

TECH SPACE
Quantum kisses change the color of nothing

Ultrasensitive photon hunter

Northrop Grumman Begins Sampling New Gallium Nitride MMIC Product Line

Japan's electronics sector in race against time

TECH SPACE
NASA's SPoRT Team Tracks Hurricane Sandy

Sizing up biomass from space

NASA Radar Penetrates Thick, Thin of Gulf Oil Spill

Satellite images tell tales of changing biodiversity

TECH SPACE
Smog in Indian capital blamed on vehicle increase

USDA Patents Method to Reduce Ammonia Emissions

EU Council adopts marine fuel sulfur cuts

More than 50 detained in China pollution protests




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement