Lab Spotlight

SansEC, NASA’s No-Electric Wireless Sensor

NASA Langley Labspotlight

SansEC is a NASA-developed wireless sensor technology that is damage-tolerant and requires no electrical connections. These copper foil sensors can take measurements from a distance so effectively that they can easily sense a 100-milliwatt signal from 30 feet away even with noise exceeding 30 decibels. Unlike other sensors, a SansEC sensor can be designed for a variety of measurements that are unrelated to each other—like temperature and fluid level—and easily switch from one to another or do both simultaneously.

NASA scientists envision a staggering variety of applications for SensEC. For example, it could form a “smart skin” that protects aircraft from lightning strikes and detects ice on the wings; help a home security system detect intruders walking across a floor in your house; sense snow and ice on driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots; detect spoiled food and issues in pipelines and wells; monitor tires for wear and other issues; or be added to bandages to monitor wounds.

Lab Spotlight