Aerospace & Defence

One small step for man, one giant leap for RF modules

19th July 2017
Alice Matthews

Developer of Radio-Frequency (RF)-based ultra-miniature wireless modules for integration into microchips, Insight SiP, has announced that its RF ISP130301 module went into space as a key component of the BodyCap e-Tact wearable device used by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of its health monitoring programme.

Insight SiP’s RF module acted as a miniature radio transmitter in the BodyCap e-Tact wearable device to wirelessly connect the e-Tact smart sensor, worn by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, to the e-Tact device as he performed his duties on-board the International Space Station (ISS). The e-Tact device continuously measured Pesquet’s movements, his body temperature and orientation.

“We’re thrilled to hear about our modules going into orbit,” said Nick Wood, Insight SiP President “This is a perfect illustration of how our modules set the benchmark for quality in what must be the most demanding environment one can imagine.”

The ISP130301 provides a balance of power and performance at a competitive price for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Applications. Based on Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF51 chip, the company claims it is one of the smallest BLE/Bluetooth Smart modules on the market, at a size of 8x11x1.2mm. With integrated crystals and DC/DC converter, this product is a suitable choice for customers wanting to balance cost and sophistication.

BodyCap recently launched the e-Tact wearable device, an innovative solution for monitoring human activity and providing diagnostic information on diseases. This miniature patch continuously monitors human activity, body tilt and temperature and can have a strong added value for patient suffering cancer, diabetes, obesity and/or sleep disorders.

This type of application is part of wave of 'Medicine 2.0' applications, which combine continuous monitoring, and leverage the power of big data to provide early warning of health issues whilst offering the patient access and control over their own data. The e-Tact's functions go beyond medical care. It can be used in a broader range of applications such as fitness and sport, ergonomics and military.

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