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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K017950/2
Title: SMARTER: Smart Multifunctional ARchitecture & Technology for Energy aware wireless sensoRs
Principal Investigator: Zhu, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Kirby, Dr PB
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Engineering Computer Science and Maths
Organisation: University of Exeter
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 May 2014 Ends: 31 March 2016 Value (£): 410,459
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electronic Devices & Subsys. RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The overall vision of the project is to develop comprehensive knowledge and an innovative methodology in the areas of energy autonomous wireless systems from a global system perspective, enabling self-powered, battery-free wireless sensing nodes to meet a wide range of structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. The research vision builds on the project partners' complementary skills and strengths in the area of 'towards zero -power ICT' with the potential to lead to multiple scientific and technical breakthroughs. The first breakthrough is to make use of the SHM sensing device itself to implement a single multifunctional device providing both structural health data and electrical energy harvested from mechanical vibrations. Another breakthrough will be to store the harvested energy in a fully integrated smart storage device, which adapts its storage capacity, according to the available energy in the environment and to the power consumption of the load. This adaptability will provide a constantly optimized matching between storage device and energy harvester to foster energy transfer. The energy storage itself will be a micro-ultracapacitor, so will have the desirable features of high specific energy, short time response, long lifetime and safe operation. This micro -ultracapacitor will be implemented in a silicon compatible technology so as to facilitate co-integration with other functions. Moreover, to drastically reduce the power consumption of the communication module, the proposed strategy is based on using impulse radio UWB (ultra-wideband) and dark silicon design approaches. A final innovation will be the co-location of the different devices (harvesting, sensing, storage, processing, data transmission) on the same flexible substrate, in order to enable conformal attachment of the device, a characteristic highly desirable in a SHM context wher e the surfaces to be monitored are seldom planar. Additionally, by this means the issue of the anisotropy of vibration harvesters is settled, the harvester being, by nature, properly oriented. More globally, the project aims at producing a device in which co-integration, co-location of functions, versatility of applications and energy autonomy are pushed to a maximum.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ex.ac.uk