Test & Measurement

Wireless sensor kit tracks down the hot spots

13th November 2009
ES Admin
The TempTrackr multipoint wireless temperature measurement kit from Aspen Electronics is ideal for monitoring the temperature on equipment and installations in remote locations or where power and communication to the sensor is restricted. Designed for systems integrators and OEMs, the system is easy to install and use, highly portable and robust, with superior performance for real-time in-process temperature sensing.
Developed by Vectron International’s SenGenuity division, and manufactured in Germany, the starter kit contains three passive wireless temperature sensors, capable of measuring temperatures between 0 and 120oC from a maximum interrogation distance of 1.78m. The SAW (surface acoustic wave) based sensors require no power source as they harvest energy from bursts of RF emitted by a wireless interrogator which excite resonators within each device.

Each of the wireless temperature sensors are supplied with three dipole antennas. The wireless interrogator comes with its own dipole antenna and can operate with up to six sensors. With multiple interrogation antennas, the system can support up to 12 sensors. A USB connector provides the power to the interrogator and connects to any computer for displaying and analysing the data acquired. In operation, a feedback signal conditioned by the temperature is created by the resonator and fed back electromagnetically to the wireless interrogator using the same antenna set.

The TempTrackr™ system is particularly suited to applications where access is restricted or difficult, such as rotating machinery and manufacturing or process control lines. It will also appeal for use in high temperature, high pressure or high voltage environments in the avionics or automotive sectors, for example, and for wireless sensor networks in remote locations for environmental monitoring or geological exploration.

The system has the capability of reading multiple independent sensors in parallel, while the use of independent frequency bands (between 428 and 439MHz) ensure each can be individually identified. This is essential for applications where it is important to trace the precise location of temperature changes.

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