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Surface acoustic wave resonators as passive buried sensors

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7 Author(s)

Acoustic wave devices are well known passive transducers for probing through a wireless link a physical quantity. Amongst the two main classes of designs-resonators and delay lines-the former have the advantage of providing informations in a narrow band signal and are hence compatible with an interrogation strategy compliant with radiofrequency (RF) emission regulations, while the latter are probed by a short RF pulse with larger instantaneous energy and shorter response time. We here demonstrate the measurement of temperature using the two configurations, and more specifically for sensors buried in soil. While we demonstrate long term stability and ruggedness of packaged resonators, and signal to noise ratio compatible with the envisioned application, the interrogation range in insufficient for most purposes and we focus towards the use of delay lines. Indeed, the interrogation method of the latter is similar to that used by ground penetrating RADAR (GPR) which displays interrogation ranges in the meter to tens of meters in the lower RF range, depending on soil water content, permittivity and conductivity.

Published in:

Frequency Control Symposium, 2009 Joint with the 22nd European Frequency and Time forum. IEEE International

Date of Conference:

20-24 April 2009