Wireless Applications

ViaLogy Offers Platform Integrating Wireless MEMS and RFID Devices

April 6, 2007

The scaleable solution rapidly and accurately detects weak signals buried in high-noise background and clutter.


LONDON /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ViaLogy presented a network-centric, interoperable sensor-signal-processing platform, deploying embedded MEMS and RFID sensors, at the CANEUS/NASA "Fly-By-Wireless" Workshop, held in conjunction with the 5th annual RFID World Congress in Grapevine, TX.

Lightweight composites are becoming increasingly important in aircraft, aerospace structures, transportation systems, and underground oil and gas pipelines. To date, most of the work has focused on deploying and machining composites for control surfaces, skin, structures, and cryogenic tanks and vessels. While high stiffness, strength, superior fatigue tolerance to thermal variations, and stealthy radar cross section make composites attractive, their adoption has been rather limited due to high cost, manufacturability, complex failure mechanisms, and maintainability. Typically, design-to-reliability challenges can be overcome with additional structure-health monitoring circuitry and sensors. However, this is difficult to achieve for composites with current technology without surface mounting hundreds of hardwired stress and strain gauges and other sensors to detect incipient micro-fracture that can rapidly degenerate to total structure failure. Thus, aerospace and reusable launch vehicle engineering has been limited in exploiting the promise of composites due to weight and power overhead from additional sensors.

ViaLogy's Pulsed Microwave Data Link (PMDL) platform combines synergistic advances in MEMS sensors; power-optimized active-radio-frequency (RF) scanning for embedded MEMS/RFID tag interrogation; Internet protocol–enabled MEMS interoperability for wireless interconnect switches; smart summarization; and weak-signal processing to extract diagnostic signatures. ViaLogy has a patent pending on this solution.

PMDL addresses two challenges unique to embedded wireless MEMS/RFID implementations with inherent requirements for high scalability—namely continuous monitoring for degradation, recalibration, and mortality of the devices themselves and resulting uncertainty in signature quality and ability of proprietary weak signal processing to robustly extract failure-modes and signatures in high-clutter RF environments with complex propagation properties intrinsic to molecular constructs seen in composites.

Dr. Sandeep Gulati, ViaLogy CTO and VP for Product Development, commented, "We are focused on broad market applications where our network-centric and sensor-agnostic weak-signal-processing platform becomes an enabler. In addition, we see a convergence between our wireless MEMS and RFID solutions and an immediate value proposition in increasing RFID read accuracy for embedded tags in the aerospace industry."

Dr. John Mai, Product Manager for RFID Platforms, recently joined ViaLogy to head this effort. Previously, Dr. Mai was the Special Assistant to the General Director of the RFID Technology Center (RTC) within the Industrial Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu, Taiwan. There, he was involved with all of the center's advanced projects, ranging from all-printed RFID developments to next-generation, compact UHF RFID readers. He also initiated a polymer-MEMS device R&D program between the RTC and Stanford University.

According to Dr. Mai, an aerospace engineer by training; "Localizing a crack in a epoxy composite cryogenic propellant tank using embedded MEMS sensors or correctly reading a metallic RFID tag embedded within a multilayer composite printed circuit board, buried deep in a loaded pallet present the same clutter rejection challenge. There is an economic penalty that can quickly propagate and escalate for missed detection in both cases." He added, "As the supply-chain industry moves toward item-level tagging, fast and accurate read capability enabled by PMDL will become a market differentiator."

Dr. Mai is leveraging his experience in business with the Asia-Pacific region to position the ViaLogy solution into a market that it is believed could consume 48% of the world's RFID tags by 2010.

About ViaLogy: Network-Centric Signal Processing
ViaLogy is a leading innovator of network-centric, real-time signal-processing platforms for sensor applications. ViaLogy is currently deploying and designing computational systems, powered by its patented technologies, for applications in life sciences, public safety and security, surveillance, defense, and geoseismology. ViaLogy focuses on market-driven problems where automation, timeliness, quality, and reliability of information processing are essential. ViaLogy's core competency incorporates rapidly and accurately detecting weak signals buried in high-noise background and clutter. This technology can be used to solve problems involving sensor integration and information overload challenges involving video, telephony, and control sensors, as well as for enhancement of numerous signal-processing applications. For more information, visit our Web site.


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