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A Fully Functional Extreme Environment SiC Wireless Temperature Sensing System
Keywords: SiC, wireless, temperature sensing
With funding from Siemens Energy, Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc. (APEI, Inc.) researchers designed and developed a patent pending Silicon Carbide (SiC) wireless temperature sensing system capable of operation under extreme temperature and mechanical loads, such as inside the turbine engine compartment. The exact functioning temperatures cannot be reported, however, the targeted operational temperature of this system is approaching the maximum operating temperature of SiC, in addition to very high g-load. The system is designed to be embedded in the turbine engine in a non-intrusive manner to provide real-time health monitoring of critical turbine components. The SiC wireless temperature sensing system consists of a thermal-spray thermocouple as a sensing element; signal conditioning circuitry to amplify the thermocouple signal and convert it into AC format while embedding the cold-junction temperature into the signal; a frequency modulator for the signal to modulate a radio frequency (RF) carrier generated by a RF oscillator; and finally a power amplifier to amplify and transmit the modulated RF signal. The RF signal will then be captured by a commercial receiver located outside turbine engine and demodulated to recover the desired temperature information. In addition, extreme environment packaging technologies, including substrate fabrication, wire bonding, die attachment and system integration, were also developed to ensure the functionality and reliability of the system under extreme environments. The entire system was fabricated and tested over the targeted temperature range by APEI, Inc. This paper will discuss the complete design of the wireless sensing system, test results, and the packaging solutions developed for this system.
Jie Yang, Research Engineer
Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc.
Fayetteville, AR

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