- Fiber optic oilwell sensor wins R&D 100 award
- Tech wins $3+ million contract for wireless IT Navy network
- Nano-process leads to elastic 'metal'
- Long-range optical sensors for infrastructure monitoring
Fiber optic sensor systems developed by the Center for Photonics Technology (CPT) for down-hole oilwell applications was named one of the top 100 inventions of 2003 by R&D Magazine. The oilwell sensor can measure temperature, pressure, flow, and acoustic signals in the harsh environment of oilwells, where traditional electronic components fail.
The CPT sensor systems can reach depths exceeding 10,000 feet and provide real-time, long-term measurements of oil reservoirs. The packaged size of the sensor head is less than 1 mm in diameter – about 1/20 the size of competing technology. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), two-thirds of oil discovered in the United States remains in the ground, largely because of lack of such data.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded a $3.26 million grant to Virginia Tech for information technology research. The Ad-vanced Wireless Integrated Navy Network (AWINN) project follows the five-year, Navy Collaborative Integrated Information Technol-ogy Initiative (NAVCIITI) project. The AWINN and NAVCIITI programs together have total funding of $16 million.
AWINN supports Navy requirements in wireless secure communications, wideband multifunctional and smart antennas, visualization tools using the CAVE environment, computer networking, digital ships, real-time resource allocation and management, simulation of virtual scenarios, and ultra wideband (UWB) communications.
A nanotechnology process developed by FEORC has led to a spin-off firm developing a flexible, nanocomposite material that is both elastic and conductive. The material, developed by NanoSonic, Inc., is called Metal Rubber™ and can be stretched to about 300 percent of its original size and relax back to its original dimensions. The mechanically robust material is chemical- and wrinkle-resistant. Potential uses include electrical interconnections, electromagnetic shielding, stretchable circuits, antennas, and wearable computers. Pictured: Rick Claus examining a film made from the FEORC process.
A team led by Anbo Wang is investigating the use of a new, extended-range optical sensor to monitor energy and communications lines, bridges, dams, and other structures. The technology is based on sensors developed at Tech and will be tested with a wide area network spanning 250 miles between northern Virginia and Blacksburg.