Enabling 'internet Of Photonic Things' With Miniature Sensors

- Sep 13, 2018-

A team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis is the first to successfully record environmental data using a wireless photonic sensor resonator with a whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) architecture.

In the spring of 2017, the photon sensor recorded data in two cases: one that measured temperatures in real time over 12 hours, and the other an aerial map of the temperature distribution mounted on a SAN luis city park drone.For comparison purposes, both measurements come with a commercial thermometer with a bluetooth connection.The comparison is good.

In the grand world of the "internet of things" (IoT), there are vast numbers of spatially distributed wireless sensors predominately based on electronics.These devices are often hampered by electromagnetic interference, such as interference audio or visual signals from low-flying aircraft and kitchen grinders, which can create unnecessary noise to the radio.

Wireless sensors, whether electronic or photonic (light-based), can monitor environmental factors such as humidity, temperature and pressure. Applications for wireless sensors encompass environmental and health-care monitoring, precision agricultural practices and smart cities' data-gathering, among other possibilities. Smart cities are connected cities driven by internet data-harvesting. Precision agriculture USES digital geographic information systems to carry out precise agricultural practices, such as soil mapping, which makes precise fertilizer and chemical applications and seed selection possible, thus improving the efficiency and profitability of agriculture.

The researchers also mounted their system on an unmanned drone in May 2017 alongside the commercial thermometer.As the drone flies from one measured position to another,the resonance frequency of the WGM shifted in response to temperature variations.

The miniaturization of resonator sensing systems represents an exciting opportunity for IoT, as it will enable IoT to exploit a new class of photonic sensors with unprecedented sensitivity and capabilities," said Chenyang Lu, the Fullgraf Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering and a co-author of the paper.

Enabling 'internet of photonic things' with miniature sensors

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