Not so close for comfort

Novel magnetic sensors for harsh environments

Intelligent and autonomous systems rely on numerous sensors to capture data about their condition, whether a vehicle, satellite or machinery in order to calculate appropriate outputs.

The accuracy of information they collect will often depend on the physical separation between the sensor and the output being measured. There is a growing need to position sensors as close as possible to working/moving parts, often under high ambient temperatures and thermal gradients caused by frictional and mechanical stresses. Coupled with this is the requirement to reduce overall system weight and cost, including ancillary electronics and active cooling systems.

Developments through latest projects in compound semiconductor (CS)-based (GaN and GaAs) magnetic sensors will not only allow for high voltage and high temperature (~200C) operation, but will also allow for increased dynamic range of measurement and for the ancillary electronics to be integrated onto the sensor chip, reducing overall system weight and size. Application opportunities for these novel sensors are immense (e.g. current sensing, high resolution metrology and magneto-imaging for medical and Non-Destructive Testing) and are looking for new collaborative projects to drive innovation.


Challenges & Opportunities

  • What type of harsh-environment applications would benefit from novel CS-based sensors, with high voltage and temperature of operation?
  • How close would the sensor need to be in order for optimum and workable signal-to-noise ratios?
  • What are the challenges of the environment for the system-under-test?
  • Would the CS-based sensors enable a new measurement that was previously not possible to obtain and how would the application benefit from machine learning/AI for predictive models?


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