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11 March 2019

EU Horizon 2020 project ULISSES to develop wearable on-chip optical air sensors

Senseair AB, AMO GmbH, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology (OIPT), Graphenea Semiconductor SL, Universität der Bundeswehr München, Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and SCIPROM Sàrl have launched the project ULISSES, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (under grant agreement No 825272). The project aims to develop a new class of miniaturize on-chip optical gas sensors, enabling low-cost distributed sensing nodes for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Project partners will collaborate to combine silicon photonics with two-dimensional (2D) materials, to enable fully integrated optical gas sensing nodes for the IoT. These nodes should be able to be manufactured in large volumes at low cost and achieve performance improvements in terms of size and power consumption. The development would enable personal gas sensors embedded in wearable devices, as well as public infrastructure such as street lighting, buses and taxis, or even in small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The new technology aims to empower the general public to monitor and put demands on their air quality.

Gas sensors are already widely used in industry and agriculture, to ensure safety of personnel and to monitor and automate processes. However, rising general awareness of the importance of urban indoor and outdoor air quality is now driving demand for accurate, low-cost and mobile gas sensor technology. Optical gas sensors offer the highest sensitivity, stability and specificity in the market, but their current cost, power consumption and size hinder them from being widely employed by the general public. ULISSES technology should enable compact, low-cost and low-power gas sensor nodes to be networked for comprehensive and real-time monitoring of air quality in urban areas. This new approach will provide valuable information to city planners, employers and landlords to ensure a healthy indoor and outdoor environment.

By leveraging recent breakthroughs by ULISSES partners in waveguide-integrated 2D materials-based photodetectors, 1D nanowire mid-IR emitters and mid‏-IR waveguide-based gas sensing, ULISSES is targeting a three-order-of-magnitude reduction in sensor power consumption, permitting maintenance-free battery-powered operation for the first time. Furthermore, ULISSES will implement a new edge-computing self-calibration algorithm that leverages node-to-node communications to eliminate the main cost driver of low-cost gas sensor fabrication and maintenance.

Over the next four years, gas sensor supplier Senseair AB will coordinate the ULISSES project with the help of SCIPROM. Using systems developed by Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology, AMO will fabricate the silicon photonics chips with integrated silicon waveguides and 2D material-based photodetectors developed by KTH and AMO. The 2D materials will be provided by the Universität der Bundeswehr München and Graphenea. Senseair will lead the various application demonstrators and prepare the sensors for IoT applications together with KTH. ICN2 will provide modelling and simulation support, in order to optimize sensor design and efficiency.

Tags: OIPT

Visit:  www.ulisses-project.eu

Visit:  www.oxford-instruments.com/plasma

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