Rapid reading for passive wireless coupled sensors
MetadataShow full item record
The objective of this thesis is to design and implement a rapid, reconfigurable and portable reader for wirelessly interrogating inductively coupled passive sensors. While the current method of impedance analyzer is sensitive and an accurate, the instruments used are bulky and slow, substantially hampering in-field testing and interrogation of sensors. Current methods cannot provide a quantifiable measure on minimum necessary read-speeds and instrument accuracy desirable for rapid sensing applications. This work summarizes the design and hardware implementation of two reader methods that address the aforementioned requirements. Both reader methods are based on a reflectometer approach: Swept-frequency Reflectometer Reader and Switched-frequency Interrogation Technique (SWIFT). The first method is a much faster alternative to in-lab and in-field testing for structural health monitoring, and is intended as an immediate replacement for the impedance analyzer method. Switched-frequency Interrogation is specifically designed to satisfy the need for rapid and accurate reading, potentially for in-motion sensing applications. This method provides a way of empirically relating minimum necessary read-time required for desired read-ranges. It also facilitates quantification of uncertainty in measurements, which is very critical in determining instrument accuracy in-field. The system design and implementation of both methods are described in detail and experimental results are presented to benchmark the performance of the readers. Issues of instrument reliability and practical limitations are also discussed, with potential solutions. Both methods are intended as universal techniques for wirelessly interrogating coupled passive sensors, not limited to their current form of implementation.