Low Power Electronics and Energy Harvesting for Anti-tamper Applications

Period of Performance: 11/12/2008 - 05/12/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Radiance Technologies Inc.
350 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35805
Principal Investigator


The proposed research will couple an energy harvester device with an energy storage device, to provide onboard power for anti-tamper sensors that operate unattended over extended periods of time. The proposed concept consists of arrays of micro-cantilever beams that are fabricated from piezoelectric material. The power produced from a grinding or scanning acoustic microscopy attack, or from environmental vibrational energy, can either power an AT sensor or trigger or be stored for later use. Our team proposes to design these arrays so they can be placed in an environment where they will sense vibration-based interrogation, or scavenge environmental vibrational energy that would otherwise go unused. Associated micro-circuitry will store and use this energy. This concept will provide micro to milliwatts of electrical power to operate AT sensors. There are many sources of acoustic and vibrational energy that can be harvested in order to provide power for chemical/biological sensors to give early warning of a terrorist attack, or they cn be placed in the high acoustic and vibration-rich environment of a propulsion system engine bay to monitor health-monitoring systems. The micro-beams are robust and long-lived, they require no user intervention, and they will provide an easy retrofit capability for legacy systems.