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Proceedings Paper

Studies of acoustic-electric feed-throughs for power transmission through structures
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Paper Abstract

There are numerous engineering design problems where the use of wires to transfer power and communicate data thru the walls of a structure is prohibitive or significantly difficult that it may require a complex design. Using physical feedthroughs in such systems may make them susceptible to leakage of chemicals or gasses, loss of pressure or vacuum, as well as difficulties in providing adequate thermal or electrical insulation. Moreover, feeding wires thru a wall of a structure reduces the strength of the structure and makes the structure prone to cracking due to fatigue that can result from cyclic loading and stress concentrations. One area that has already been identified to require a wireless alternative to electrical feedthroughs would be the container of any Mars Sample Return Mission, which would need wireless sensors to sense a pressure leak and to avoid potential contamination. The idea of using elastic or acoustic waves to transfer power was suggested recently by [Y. Hu, et al., July 2003]. This system allows for the avoidance of cabling or wiring. The technology is applicable to the transfer of power for actuation, sensing and other tasks inside any sealed container or vacuum/pressure vessel. An alternative approach to the modeling presented previously [Sherrit et al., 2005] used network analysis to solve the same problem in a clear and expandable manner. Experimental tests on three different designs of these devices were performed. The three designs used different methods of coupling the piezoelectric element to the wall. In the first test the piezoelectric material was bolted using a backing structure. In the second test the piezoelectric was clamped after the application of grease. Finally the piezoelectric element was attached using a conductive epoxy. The mechanical clamp with grease produced the highest measured efficiency of 53% however this design was the least practical from a fabrication viewpoint. The power transfer efficiency of conductive epoxy joint was 40% and the stress bolts (12%). The experimental results on a variety of designs will be presented and the thermal and non-linear issues will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 March 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6171, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, 617102 (30 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.657736
Show Author Affiliations
Stewart Sherrit, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Benjamin Doty, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Mircea Badescu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Xiaoqi Bao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jack Aldrich, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Zensheu Chang, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6171:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
Edward V. White, Editor(s)

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