A wireless embedded sensor based on magnetic higher order harmonic fields: Application to liquid pressure monitoring

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A wireless sensor based on the magnetoelastic, magnetically soft ferromagnetic alloy was constructed for remote measurement of pressure in flowing fluids. The pressure sensor was a rectangular strip of ferromagnetic alloy Fe40 Ni38 Mo4 B18 adhered on a solid polycarbonate substrate and protected by a thin polycarbonate film. Upon excitation of a time-varying magnetic field through an excitation coil, the magnetically soft sensor magnetized and produced higher order harmonic fields, which were detected through a detection coil. Under varying pressures, the sensor's magnetoelastic property caused a change in its magnetization, altering the amplitudes of the higher order harmonic fields. A theoretical model was developed to describe the effect of pressure on the sensor's higher order harmonic fields. Experimental observations showed the second-order harmonic field generated by the pressure sensor was correlated to the surrounding fluid pressure, consistent with the theoretical results. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the sensor exhibited good repeatability and stability with minimal drift. Sensors with smaller dimensions were shown to have greater sensitivity but lower pressure range as compared to their larger counterparts. Since the sensor signal was also dependent on the location of the sensor with respect to the excitation/detection coil, a calibration algorithm was developed to eliminate signal variations due to the changing sensor location. Because of its wireless and passive nature, this sensor is useful for continuous and long-term monitoring of pressure at inaccessible areas. For example, sensors with these capabilities are suitable to be used in biomedical applications where permanent implantation and long-term monitoring are needed. © 2006 IEEE.

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IEEE Sensors Journal