Developing a highly sensitive and reliable sensing platform for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) in extreme environments is the focus of a three-year collaborative project with Griffith University, Stanford University and NASA JPL.
“This is a unique partnership with research teams from world-leading organisations at the forefront of micro- and nano-systems for operation within harsh environments, including space exploration and earth-based extreme industries,” says Dr Hoang Phuong Phan from the Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Centre who has been awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award.
He said the sensing platform will be able to withstand environments encompassing high temperature, corrosion and shock.
“These conditions have posed many technical challenges in sensing and electrical components especially silicon-based devices.
“Harsh environments exist in the multi-trillion-dollar industries of automobile, energy, chemical production, and space exploration. The project will elucidate the piezoresistive and thermoresistive effects in silicon carbide nanowires, which are the building blocks of robust mechanical and thermal sensors used in extreme conditions.”
The implementation of the sensor networks will help solve industrial problems such as energy efficiency of combustion engines, and safety issues of oil/gas transportation.
“The findings from this project expect to provide Australia with the cutting-edge expertise necessary for developing next-generation SHM technology,’’ Dr Phan said.