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Passive RFID Sensors for Industrial Manufacturing Systems, Topic 19d

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0022597
Agency Tracking Number: 0000265731
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C54-19d
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-06-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-03-26
Small Business Information
158 Wheatland Dr.
Pembroke, VA 24136
United States
DUNS: 008963758
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Richard Claus
 (540) 626-6266
Business Contact
 Amanda Moye
Phone: (540) 626-6266
Research Institution

The problem this DOE program addresses is the wiring required by sensors in large manufacturing
systems. Running wiring requires time and interior space needed by cable trays and complicates the
rearrangement of production systems. This problem is being addressed by developing small, passive
radio frequency identification sensors for the wireless instrumentation of industrial manufacturing
systems. Radio frequency identification systems offer advantages for industrial systems requiring
many sensors, because they are designed to identify many individual tags. Passive radio frequency
identification systems use tags that consist of an antenna and an integrated circuit mounted on the
tag. The central radio frequency identification electronic control system, or the ‘reader,’
communicates a unique identifier to one of the tags. That tag recognizes its identifier and its
integrated harvests energy from the reader signal to power up and communicate its identifier back
to the reader. In this way, the reader can recognize that specific tags are present over a short
distance range, limited by the amount of power the tag integrated circuits can harvest.
During Phase I, NanoSonic will redesign conventional passive radio frequency identification sensor
systems to allow the combination battery-free operation, large analog sensor distance
communication range, a large number of individual sensors, and small sensor element footprints.
The radio frequency identification reader would be redesigned to generate higher transmitted radio
frequency power than currently available systems, and the integrated circuits in the sensor elements
redesigned to incorporate energy harvesting circuits to detect and store received RF energy. The
long radio frequency identification tag address transmitted back to the reader would consist of the
local tag identifier and digitized local sensor data. To reduce sensor element size, high impedance
magnetodielectric antenna substrate materials would be designed by ferroelectric materials
researchers at Penn State. Sensor tag and antenna size is estimated at less than 1cm2. The system
would be designed to use standard analog resistance or capacitance-based sensing elements.
Commercial Applications – Potential products resulting from this program are the sensors, systems
and developed antenna materials. Potential industrial customers would be companies interested in
monitoring many sensors during product manufacturing, or companies that need to monitor critical
infrastructure such as pipelines, power lines and substations, power generation facilities, and
transportation systems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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