Arrays of Remote Autonomous Sensors Using On-Board Hybrid Power Supplies

Period of Performance: 01/01/2004 - 12/31/2004

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Bipolar Technologies Corp.
4724 Brentwood Circle
Provo, UT 84604
Principal Investigator

Abstract

There is significant need for arrays of miniature sensors that are completely wireless. Ideally these sensors would be built as an integrated device, including sensing elements, computation/signal conditioning, communication, and an on-board power supply. However, they have not been developed due to the difficulty with integrating sensing ele-ments, and the absence of miniature power supplies. The purpose of this Phase I program is to address these two issues, and make viable, wireless, miniature sensors. Bipolar Technologies has pioneered the development of micro-scopic rechargeable batteries, built with IC processes, for direct integration into microcircuits. When combined with miniature energy scavengers, a hybrid power supply can be created, to provide autonomy for wireless sensors. During Phase I, the concept of using a miniature hybrid power supply will be demonstrated with arrays of prototype sensors, built with commercial off-the-shelf components. Microscopic, microfabricated lithium polymer batteries will be engineered, fabricated and used as part of the hybrid power supply. Phase II will be used to refine the micro-fabrication processes used to make batteries and sensors, so that completely integrated multisensors can be delivered to and used by NASA. This micropower supply will enable a new class of completely wireless sensors.