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A New and Cost-Effective Technology to Produce Hybrid-Glass/Optical Bubble Probes

The ability to accurately quantify gas volumes in liquid flows has important applications in environmental science and industry. For example, environmental processes that significantly contribute to changes in earth’s climate, such as methane seeps from the sea floor and the exchange of gases between the ocean and atmosphere at the sea surface, demand precise sensors that are small and sensitive enough to measure the ratio of liquids and gases in these bubbly mixtures. These measurements also play a critical role in the operational efficiency of a wide variety of different engineering processes. Applications include, the monitoring the optimal amount of bubbled oxygen in the treatment of waste water and sewage, and the oil and gas industry, especially in undersea oil pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico alone, have spent billions of dollars annually on added refinement techniques to remove seawater that could be preventable if sensors were able to measure the ratio of crude oil, seawater and gas as the mixture is pumped through pipelines. These challenges exist in both research and industry because the current manufacturing process for making the needed gas/liquid probes have significant cost constraints. Clearly, there is a need for a new and cost-effective technology to produce these probes.

Compact Ballistically Launchable Drone Capable of Mid-Air or Ground Deployment

Multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are widely popular among hobbyists and professionals and have evolved from toys into fully featured imaging platforms. While the use of drones or UAVs in logistical operations continues to grow, one of the challenges with launching an unmanned flying platform is the need for a flat open space clear of obstructions on take-off. This limitation prevents the use of these platforms from encumbered or tight spaces such as wooded or urban areas. As drones continue to integrate into daily life, the ability to launch them from a variety of situations becomes a necessity. 

Hydrogen Gas Sensors Based On Patterned Carbon Nanotube Ropes

This is a fabrication method for hydrogen gas sensors; these sensors have more rapid response times and are more sensitive than current detection techniques.

GPS-Based Miniature Oceanographic Wave Measuring Buoy System

Oceanic monitoring helps coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems thrive. The coastlines and open oceans prove to be very important to maritime countries for recreation, mineral and energy exploitation, shipping, weather forecasting and national security. As solar power, GPS, and telecomm improvements have been made, directional wave buoys have emerged and set the standard in wave monitoring. Non-directional and directional wave measurements are of high interest to users because of the importance of wave monitoring for successful marine operations. Wave data and climatological information derived from the data are also used for a variety of engineering and scientific applications.

Novel Sensor to Transduce and Digitalize Temperature Utilizing Near-Zero-Power Levels

Temperature sensors are routinely found in devices used to monitor the environment, the human body, industrial equipment, and beyond. In many such applications, the energy available from batteries or the power available from energy harvesters is extremely limited, thus the power consumption of sensing should be minimized in order to maximize operational lifetime.

The Flying Wing Autonomous Underwater Glider Technology

The underwater glider can be categorized as an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that does not rely on an electrically driven propeller, but relies on small changes in its buoyancy and wings to move up and down. The pitch and roll is controlled by using an adjustable ballast. The AUV has been quite useful for collecting oceanographic data due to its unique propulsion system that uses very little energy and its ability to be on a sampling mission for weeks to months.

Highly Stretchable & Flexible Electronic Sensors

A new approach to creating highly stretchable electronic devices using twisted conductive microtubules.

Personal Use Colorimetric Fumigant Sensors

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed paper based sensors that rapidly detect low concentration of fumigants in the air.

Quantification Of Plant Chlorophyll Content Using Google Glass

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have invented a novel device that can quantify chlorophyll concentration in plants using a custom-designed Google Glass app.

All Microwave Stabilization Of Chip-Scale Frequency Combs

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed an optical frequency comb technology using small, cheap components for high precision time, frequency, distance, and energy measurements.

High Performance and Flexible Chemical And Bio Sensors Using Metal Oxide Semiconductors

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a simple method producing thin, sensitive In2O3-based conformal biosensors based on field-effect transistors using facile solution-based processing for future wearable human technologies as well as non-invasive glucose testing.

Enhanced Cell/Bead Encapsulation Via Acoustic Focusing

The invention consists of a multi-channel, droplet-generating microfluidic device with a strategically placed feature. The feature vibrates in order to counteract particle-trapping micro-vortices formed in the device. Counteracting these vortices allows for single particle encapsulation in the droplets formed by the device and makes this technology a good candidate for use in single cell diagnostics and drug delivery systems.

Sensitive Detection Of Chemical Species Using A Bacterial Display Sandwich Assay

96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Endocrine disrupting compounds are found in increasing amounts in our environment, originating from pesticides, plasticizers, and pharmaceuticals, among other sources. These compounds have been implicated in diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. The list of chemicals that disrupt normal hormone function is growing at an alarming rate, making it crucially important to find sources of contamination and identify new compounds that display this ability. However, there is currently no broad-spectrum, rapid test for these compounds, as they are difficult to monitor because of their high potency and chemical dissimilarity.   To address this, UC Berkeley researchers have developed a new detection system and method for the sensitive detection of trace compounds using electrochemical methods.  This platform is both fast and portable, and it requires no specialized skills to perform. This system enables both the detection of many detrimental compounds and signal amplification from impedance measurements due to the binding of bacteria to a modified electrode. The researchers were able to test the system finding sub-ppb levels of estradiol and ppm levels of bisphenol A in complex solutions. This approach should be broadly applicable to the detection of chemically diverse classes of compounds that bind to a single receptor.  

Micro-preconcentrators for Gas Sampling

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a miniature and low power concentration device for trace gas samples.

Advanced Chemical Sensing Method and Apparatus

Conventional chemical sensors or chemical resistors detect the molecule concentration by monitoring the resistance change caused by the reaction near the sensing material surface. One of the problems with these systems is with drift, when over time the analyte molecules poison the device’s sensing surface, causing weaker performance on selectivity and sensitivity. This often requires rigorous and timely calibrations to the sensor, which involves human intervention, and often times complete sensor replacement. To address this problem, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a vertical platform that dramatically improves the sensor’s ability to manage and recover from the poison environments. By examining and manipulating the sensing plane vis-à-vis the near field surface, researchers have demonstrated an effective and robust chemical sensing platform for a range of gas sensing applications.

Individual Identity Verified Through Device-Free, WiFi Based Framework

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a device-free, WiFi based framework that can isolate individual identity, from a small group of users, simply by observing variations in WiFi signals through a user’s gait.

Improved Energy Harvesting for Current-Carrying Conductors

There are an estimated 130 million wooden poles that support overhead power lines in the US.  Extreme weather, aging, storms or sabotage can all lead to potential damage of these poles and power lines, which can leave large areas without basic necessities.  Due to this risk, it’s anticipated that power utility companies will deploy sensors and corresponding energy harvesters to better respond to potential damage of this critical electricity grid infrastructure. To address this anticipated mass deployment of sensors and harvesters, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed technology improvements to harvesting of electrical energy from energized conductors carrying alternating currents, such as those on overhead and underground power lines (as well as power-supplying conductors in offices and dwellings).  These enhanced harvesters would improve the economics of deploying sensors across a national power grid.  The Berkeley harvesters can readily provide enough power to supply wireless communication devices, energy storage batteries and capacitors, as well as sensors such as accelerometers, particulate matter measuring devices, and atmospheric sensors.

Distributed Dynamic Strain Fiber Optics Measurement For Use In Sensors

96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Structural health monitoring (SHM) is becoming critical in structural engineering and geotechnical engineering applications in recent years. The use of fiber optic distributed sensors for SHM has the advantage of long sensing distance, distributed sensing information and small size.  Distributed fiber optic sensors can be used to monitor distributed temperature and strain information but also has application for used in detection of seismic activity, security sensing, and traffic/railway/bridge monitoring.   UC Berkeley researchers have developed methods and sensors for distributed dynamic strain measurement using optical fiber that results in a larger sensing signal, better signal-to-noise ratio and longer sensing distance up to a few km lengths. The system can take strain readings at every 4m along an 1km length optical fiber at 2.5 kHz sampling speed with a strain resolution of 30 microstrain.  

Mobile Agricultural Chemical Analysis Platforms

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed mobile sensing platforms with capabilities that allow for sampling and field testing of agricultural samples to detect chemicals that may be of interest in a variety of settings, ranging from disease diagnostics to post-harvest monitoring.

RF-Powered Micromechanical Clock Generator

Realizing the potential of massive sensor networks requires overcoming cost and power challenges. When sleep/wake strategies can adequately limit a network node's sensor and wireless power consumption, then the power limitation comes down to the real-time clock (RTC) that synchronizes sleep/wake cycles. With typical RTC battery consumption on the order of 1µW, a low-cost printed battery with perhaps 1J of energy would last about 11 days. However, if a clock could bleed only 10nW from this battery, then it would last 3 years. To attain such a clock, researchers at UC Berkeley developed a mechanical circuit that harnesses squegging to convert received RF energy (at -58dBm) into a local clock while consuming less than 17.5nW of local battery power. The Berkeley design dispenses with the conventional closed-loop positive feedback approach to realize an RCT (along with its associated power consumption) and removes the need for a sustaining amplifier altogether. 

Shaped Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer Device

Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers (pMUTs) have attracted industry attention for their good acoustic matching, small geometry, low cost-by-batch fabrication, and compatibilities with CMOS and consumer electronics. While planar pMUTs have reasonable performance over bulk piezoelectric transducers, certain deficits remain in terms of coupling and acoustic pressure outputs, DC displacements, bandwidth, and power consumption. To address these deficiencies, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a next generation of shaped pMUTs which are no longer fully defined by resonance frequency and can accommodate larger pressure outputs and bandwidths. This new pMUT apparatus can significantly boost overall performance while dramatically reducing power as compared to flat diaphragm state-of-the-art pMUTs.

Self-Cleaning Mass Sensor For Particulate Matter Monitoring

Airborne particulates (such as vehicle exhaust, dust, and metallics) are a health hazard.  Monitors for measuring particulate matter (PM) concentrations in air are typically designed for stationary industrial use; and while they are quite sensitive, they are also bulky, heavy, and expensive.  Accordingly, there is a need for PM concentration monitors that are inexpensive and portable so that they can be more pervasive, and also used by mass-market consumers. Recently, various types of portable PM monitors have been developed.  One class of monitor uses optical technology to measure particulates flowing through (not deposited on) the device.  This optical technology is not sensitive to extremely small particles (with diameters of 200 nanometers or less), yet these small particles are a serious health hazard.  Another class of PM monitor uses various technologies to measure the mass of particles deposited on (not flowing through) the device.  This type of monitor can be quite sensitive, but eventually, it can become overloaded with deposited particles.  Moreover, multiple layers of particles can eliminate the possibility of determining the chemical nature of the particles. To address these shortcomings, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a means of periodically cleaning deposited particles from mass-sensing components of deposit-based PM sensors.  The Berkeley technology results in PM sensors that are not only portable and low-cost, but also have long-lasting functionality.

Apparatus and Method for 2D-based Optoelectronic Imaging

The use of electric fields for signaling and manipulation is widespread, mediating systems spanning the action potentials of neuron and cardiac cells to battery technologies and lab-on-a-chip devices. Current FET- and dye-based techniques to detect electric field effects are systematically difficult to scale, costly, or perturbative. Researchers at the University of California Berkeley have developed an optical detection platform, based on the unique optoelectronic properties of two-dimensional materials that permits high-resolution imaging of electric fields, voltage, acidity, strain and bioelectric action potentials across a wide field-of-view.

MyShake: Earth Quake Early Warning System Based on Smartphones

Earthquakes are unpredictable disasters. Earthquake early warning (EEW) systems have the potential to mitigate this unpredictability by providing seconds to minutes of warning. This warning could enable people to move to safe zones, and machinery (such as mass transit trains) to be slowed or shutdown. The several EEW systems operating around the world use conventional seismic and geodetic network infrastructure – that only exist in a few nations. However, the proliferation of smartphones – which contain accelerometers that could potentially detect earthquakes – offers an opportunity to create EEW systems without the need to build expensive infrastructure. To take advantage of this smartphone opportunity, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a technology to allow earthquake alerts to be issued based on detecting earthquakes underway using the sensors in smartphones. Called MyShake, this EEW system has been shown to record magnitude 5 earthquakes at distances of 10 km or less. MyShake incorporates an on-phone detection capability to distinguish earthquakes from every-day shakes. The UC Berkeley technology also collects earthquake data at a central site where a network detection algorithm confirms that an earthquake is underway as well as estimates the location and magnitude in real-time. This information can then be used to issue an alert of forthcoming ground shaking. Additionally, the seismic waveforms recorded by MyShake could be used to deliver rapid microseism maps, study impacts on buildings, and possibly image shallow earth structure and earthquake rupture kinematics.

Method and Apparatus for Preventing Biofouling of Aquatic Sensors

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a system to prevent biofouling of dissolved oxygen (DO) and other aquatic sensors using an in-line ultrasonic device.

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