Wireless Integrated Microelectronic Vacuum Sensor System
The efficient utilization of ground test facilities and launch sites is critical for the success of NASA's New Vision for Space Exploration. The development of an innovative Wireless Integrated Microelectronic Vacuum Sensor System for monitoring vacuum-jacketed pipelines is proposed that would address the need of NASA for measurements of the insulating capability of cryogenic lines for ground testing, flight vehicles, and launch facilities. Recent advances in both MEMS vacuum gauge technology and low-power, long-range radio frequency transceivers has enabled the development of a low-cost, miniature device with sophisticated capabilities. The complete, self-contained, battery-operated system would fit within the volume of the current vacuum gauges only and provide periodic, continuous monitoring of vacuum conditions throughout the entire facility. Such a system would reduce operations costs and increase vacuum jacket reliability by eliminating the need for human intervention, reduce package, wiring size and weight, and provide constant network reporting and monitoring of the facility from any Internet enabled computer. Beyond this application for vacuum monitoring, the long-range wireless sensor networking capabilities developed under this program would be applicable to a vast array of other sensor types and control applications throughout Stennis Space Center and other NASA facilities.
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