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Wireless Communication and Power Supply Strategy for Sensor Applications Within Closed Metal Walls

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5 Author(s)
Hubert Zangl ; Institute of Electrical Measurement and Measurement Signal Processing, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria ; Anton Fuchs ; Thomas Bretterklieber ; Michael J. Moser
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Passive or semiactive wireless sensors, i.e., sensors that require neither wires nor external power supply/batteries, are attractive for many measurement problems. Standard approaches based on Radio Frequency Identification technology usually have difficulties when a fairly conductive matter such as steel or a large amount of water is in the vicinity of the devices. This paper investigates methods for power and data transmission, even through the metal walls, e.g., of a tank or a pipe using super low frequency carrier signals. The feasibility is demonstrated by means of finite-element analysis and laboratory experiments and validated with a prototype setup for both a steel pipe and a tin container. Experimental results for capacitive fill-level measurement inside a metallic container are reported.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 6 )