A remote query pressure sensor based on magnetic higher order harmonic fields

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The design and fabrication of a wireless, passive pressure sensor based on the change in magnetic higher order harmonic fields is described. The sensor was made of an airtight pressure chamber with two opposite membranes: a rigid membrane attached to a magnetically soft ferromagnetic strip (sensing element) and a flexible membrane attached to a permanent magnetic strip (biasing element). The flexible membrane of the chamber deflected with changing pressure, thus varying the separation distance between the sensing and biasing elements. The change in separation distance in turn altered the biasing field experienced by the sensing element, varying the pattern of its magnetic higher order harmonic fields allowing remote pressure monitoring through a magnetic coil. In this work, different materials were used to fabricate the flexible membranes for sensors of different dynamic ranges. Experimental results showed the shifts in magnetic higher order harmonic fields were linear for all sensors, but with different sensitivity depending on the elasticity of the flexible membrane. The novelty of this sensor is its wireless, passive nature, which is ideal for applications where wire connections are prohibited. In addition, the simple sensor design reduces cost, allowing disposable use. Potential applications of such a sensor technology include long-term structural monitoring (concrete, asphalt) and in vivo pressure monitoring inside the human body. © 2008 IEEE.

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IEEE Sensors Journal