All materials have four distinguishing electromagnetic parameters, namely the real and imaginary parts of the electrical permittivity (E' and E'') and the magnetic susceptibility (X' and Y').
The RF sensor operates by defining a sensitive volume and interrogating the values of these parameters for whatever materials invade this volume.
Any or all of the parameters may be simultaneously measured by either a single sensor or a sensor pair and the sensor deduces the nature and behaviour of the invading items from the resulting signature. The sensitive volume is defined by a radio frequency antenna which is tuned to the sensor electronics.
The size and nature of the antenna and the nature of the material detected govern the optimum operating frequency of the RF sensor, which can be a few Kilohertz for large systems or tens of Gigahertz for very small ones. An inductive antenna is used for susceptibility detection and a capacitive antenna is used for permittivity detection. The size of the antenna determines the sensitive volume and choice of construction materials of the antenna determines permissible operating temperature.
The sensor operates by exciting the antenna at the specified operating frequency. Changes in the real part of the electromagnetic parameter being measured change the operating frequency (FM). Changes in the
imaginary parameter produce amplitude variations in the carrier (AM).
The frequency and amplitude modulations are then processed to produce the desired outcome.
RF technology works with
Non ferrous metals
RF Sensors can measure
Linear and rotational position
Linear and rotational displacement
Linear and Rotational speed
Delamination in Composites
Operate from DC to 1 GHz
Operate from -170° to >1,000°C
Have low power consumption making them ideal for wireless applications
Current projects include
Sensors to measure rotational speed and position at high temperature for automotive and aerospace applications.
Remote Sensors to measure temperatures to >1,000°C
Sensors to detect lateral drift of rubber conveyor belts
Sensors to discriminate opaque plastics for recycling,
including ABS with and without FR
Sensors to detect water in oil down to 1 ppm
Sensors to detect particulates in fluids
Sensors to detect chemical change in fluids
For more information contact Ross walker at
Oxford RF Sensors Ltd.
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