The integration of autonomous wireless elements in health monitoring network increases the reliability by suppressing
power supplies and data transmission wiring. Micro-power piezoelectric generators are an attractive alternative to
primary batteries which are limited by a finite amount of energy, a limited capacity retention and a short shelf life (few
years). Our goal is to implement such an energy harvesting system for powering a single AWT (Autonomous Wireless
Transmitter) using our SSH (Synchronized Switch Harvesting) method. Based on a non linear process of the
piezoelement voltage, this SSH method optimizes the energy extraction from the mechanical vibrations.
This AWT has two main functions : The generation of an identifier code by RF transmission to the central receiver and
the Lamb wave generation for the health monitoring of the host structure. A damage index is derived from the variation
between the transmitted wave spectrum and a reference spectrum.
The same piezoelements are used for the energy harvesting function and the Lamb wave generation, thus reducing mass
and cost. A micro-controller drives the energy balance and synchronizes the functions. Such an autonomous transmitter
has been evaluated on a 300x50x2 mm3 composite cantilever beam. Four 33x11x0.3 mm3 piezoelements are used for the
energy harvesting and for the wave lamb generation. A piezoelectric sensor is placed at the free end of the beam to track
the transmitted Lamb wave.
In this configuration, the needed energy for the RF emission is 0.1 mJ for a 1 byte-information and the Lamb wave
emission requires less than 0.1mJ. The AWT can harvested an energy quantity of approximately 20 mJ (for a 1.5 Mpa
lateral stress) with a 470 μF storage capacitor. This corresponds to a power density near to 6mW/cm3.
The experimental AWT energy abilities are presented and the damage detection process is discussed. Finally, some
envisaged solutions are introduced for the implementation of the required data processing into an autonomous wireless
receiver, in terms of reduction of the energy and memory costs.
The damping of vibration resonance is a crucial problem for light and elongated structures. Different kinds of solutions have been developed in order to address the problem of volume or mass, or temperature dependence which are common to the passive approach. In the semi-passive technique proposed here, damping is obtained through the use of piezoelectric patches bonded on the structure. These piezoelements are controlled with a very simple approach only requiring switches which are driven periodically and synchronously with the structure motion. The overall control circuit requires a very few amount of energy. Results obtained on a beam and on a plate demonstrate that this self-adaptive technique is able to control simultaneously different modes on a broad frequency range.
A new approach of energy reclamation from mechanical vibrations is presented in this paper. The conversion from mechanical energy into electrical energy is achieved using piezoelectric materials. The originality of the proposed approach is based on a nonlinear treatment of the voltage delivered by a piezoelectric insert embedded in a vibrating structure. This nonlinear processing induces a strong increase of the power conversion capability of the piezoelectric insert. The theoretical principle of the nonlinear treatment is exposed, and the analytical model of an electrical generator is developed. The results given by the model are compared to those of an experimental set-up. Experimental results show that the extracted electrical energy may be increased beyond 400%.
BOLD (Blind to the Optical Light Detectors) is an international initiative dedicated to the development of novel imaging detectors for UV solar observations. It relies on the properties of wide bandgap materials (in particular diamond and Al-Ga-nitrides). The investigation is proposed in view of the Solar Orbiter (S.O.) UV instruments, for which the expected benefits of the new sensors -primarily visible blindness and radiation hardness- will be highly valuable. Despite various advances in the technology of imaging detectors over the last decades, the present UV imagers based on silicon CCDs or microchannel plates exhibit limitations inherent to their actual material and technology. Yet, the utmost spatial resolution, fast temporal cadence, sensitivity, and photometric accuracy will be decisive for the forthcoming solar space missions. The advent of imagers based on wide-bandgap materials will permit new observations and, by simplifying their design, cheaper instruments. As for the Solar Orbiter, the aspiration for wide-bandgap material (WBGM) based UV detectors is still more sensible because the spacecraft will approach the Sun where the heat and the radiation fluxes are high. We describe the motivations, and present the program to achieve revolutionary flight cameras within the Solar Orbiter schedule as well as relevant UV measurements.