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Self-packaged High-Temperature Sensors for Harsh-Environment Applications
Keywords: Microwave & RF Applications, Harsh environments, wireless sensors
High-temperature sensors, especially operating robustly above 1000oC, are strongly desirable for in situ monitoring harsh environments, such as turbine engines. The extreme conditions inside harsh environments require the sensors to survive high temperature, high pressure and corrosive gases. In addition, the packaging and connection of these sensors also need to resist these extreme conditions, which has been shown to be a more challenging task than the sensor itself. Our research group at the University of Central Florida (UCF) developed a wireless passive sensing technique to address the aforementioned problems. High-temperature-stable and corrosive-gas-resistant polymer derived ceramics (PDCs) have been synthesized to achieve temperature-dependent dielectric constants, which are used as the temperature sensing mechanism. Moreover, the low loss tangents of these PDC materials are necessary for successful wireless passive sensing. In this paper, two types of temperature sensors are demonstrated based on the integrated resonator/antenna and reflective patch antenna, respectively. Both sensors include a high-quality-factor microwave resonator. Its resonant frequency is a function of the dielectric constant of PDC material, which is ultimately determined by the temperature inside harsh environments. These self-packaged wireless passive sensors do not require any connection to the external interrogating circuitry. The resonant frequency can be wirelessly detected by an interrogator which is located outside the harsh environments. The integrated resonator/antenna sensor seamlessly embeds the slot antenna into the dielectric resonator, which significantly reduces the sensor size and improves the antenna efficiency and bandwidth. The reflective patch antenna sensor uses the patch as both a high-quality-factor resonator and a radiator, which represents the highest integration level in high-temperature sensor design. The reflective patch antenna sensor is also low profile and easy to fabricate. Both types of sensors are self-packaged to withstand the extreme conditions. The design, fabrication, and measurement results of these sensors above 1000oC will be presented.
Haitao Cheng,
Universtiy of Central Florida
Orlando, FL
USA


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