A new method for rapid prototyping of purpose-specific sensor enclosures: Example application and implications for data coherence

Georgios Maniatis, Trevor Hoey, Joseph Sventek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sensors deployed in natural environments, such as rivers, beaches and glaciers, experience large forces and damaging environmental conditions. Sensors need to be robust, securely operate for extended time periods and be readily relocated and serviced. The sensors must be housed in materials that mimic natural conditions of size, density, shape and roughness. We have developed an encasement system for sensors required to measure large forces experienced by mobile river sediment grains. Sensors are housed within two discrete cases that are rigidly conjoined. The inner case exactly fits the sensor, radio components and power source. This case can be mounted within outer cases of any larger size and can be precisely moulded to match the shapes of natural sediment. Total grain mass can be controlled by packing the outer case with dense material. Case design uses Solid-WorksTM software, and shape-matching involved 3D laser scanning of natural pebbles. The cases were printed using a HP DesignjetTM 3D printer that generates high precision parts that lock rigidly in place. The casings are watertight and robust. Laboratory testing produces accurate results over a wider range of accelerations than previously reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-779
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sensor and Actuator Networks
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Environmental sensors
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Robust enclosures
  • Wireless sensors

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