Student: Katelyn Brinker, graduate student in Electrical Engineering, Iowa State University
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Reza Zoughi
Multi-Parameter Chipless RFID Sensing Tags Utilizing Additive Manufacturing
Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) plays a critical role in monitoring and maintaining our space and aerospace infrastructure. Wireless passive sensors are of especially high interest and value for these application areas due to not requiring a power source, having a small form-factor, and being minimally invasive to structures. This work aims to enhance these advantageous features by beginning the development of tunable multi-parameter wireless, passive, microwave sensors for simultaneously monitoring at least two parameters, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and strain, which will provide more integrated sensing capabilities in a smaller package. These sensors can be classified as chipless RFID tags, which have been the focus of my graduate research for the past four years. By building on my past works on chipless RFID, continuing to work with Dr. Reza Zoughi at the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, and harnessing the power of additive manufacturing, environmentally sensitive substrates that can be customized for specific dynamic range and sensing resolution needs will be created.
These substrates will be combined with engineered resonators to create multi-parameter sensing tags. In carrying out this research, the following steps will be taken: 1. Electrically and mechanically characterize environmentally sensitive materials, including additively manufacturable materials, and analyze their tunability. 2. Utilize CST Studio Suite® to conduct numerical electromagnetic modeling in order to optimally design multi-parameter tags. 3. Construct and test multi-parameter tags in order to verify design suitability and demonstrate the utility of this approach. 4. Optimize tags for specific applications in order to further demonstrate the tunability of this tag design methodology.