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A telemetry microsystem, including multiple sensors, integrated instrumentation and a wireless interface has been implemented. We have employed a methodology akin to that for System-on-Chip microelectronics to design an integrated circuit instrument containing several "intellectual property" blocks that will enable convenient reuse of modules in future projects. The present system was optimized for low-power and included mixed-signal sensor circuits, a programmable digital system, a feedback clock control loop and RF circuits integrated on a 5 mm × 5 mm silicon chip using a 0.6 μm, 3.3 V CMOS process. Undesirable signal coupling between circuit components has been investigated and current injection into sensitive instrumentation nodes was minimized by careful floor-planning. The chip, the sensors, a magnetic induction-based transmitter and two silver oxide cells were packaged into a 36 mm × 12 mm capsule format. A base station was built in order to retrieve the data from the microsystem in real-time. The base station was designed to be adaptive and timing tolerant since the microsystem design was simplified to reduce power consumption and size. The telemetry system was found to have a packet error rate of 10-3 using an asynchronous simplex link. Trials in animal carcasses were carried out to show that the transmitter was as effective as a conventional RF device whilst consuming less power.
Date of Publication: July 2005