SBIR Phase I: Energy Storage, Electrical Distribution, and Packaging for Wireless Sensor Networks
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Potomac Photonics Inc
4445 Nicole Drive, Lanham, MD, 20706
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project comprises the development and synthesis of technologies for miniaturizing the interconnection, packaging and battery power systems used in the wireless sensor nodes of distributed sensing systems. Laser-based approaches to making very fine feature conductor patterns, vias, and mechanical structures in a variety of organic and inorganic materials will be employed to substantially reduce the size of sensor circuitry. These techniques will also provide flexibility of form factor in sensor construction, allowing the geometry of sensing nodes to be adapted to the requirements of specific applications. Sensor nodes developed in this project will incorporate an advanced, rechargeable thin-film battery that exhibits an energy storage density substantially exceeding that of any battery currently on the commercial market. The battery technology is compatible with a variety of energy scavenging methods, such as radio frequency, solar, vibration, and thermal. The combination of circuit miniaturization and high-density energy storage that will be achieved in this project is easily adaptable to most sensor designs and will be applicable to almost any wireless sensing system. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is leveraged by the large number of potential applications of wireless sensing technology. After an extended incubation period, wireless sensing networks are experiencing a surge of market growth. A market opportunity for more than 100 million sensor nodes is projected for 2019. Potential applications come from areas as diverse as infrastructure monitoring for bridges, roadways and pipelines, geology and atmospheric sciences, electrical metering, parking management, patient monitoring and medical studies, elderly care, industrial process control, crop water management, and home automation. In the health care area alone, wireless sensor networks could potentially produce an estimated $25 billion savings world wide. Feasibility of many potential applications will be strongly influenced by the availability of miniaturized sensor nodes with suitable form factors that can be operated without maintenance for extended periods. Targeting miniaturization and power sources, the proposed project addresses key bottlenecks in sensor network implementation. It will have a significant impact on these large developing markets, and well as spin-off applications in medical and consumer electronics.
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