New Cambridge Sensor uses acoustic waves to monitor environment

By on November 12, 2012

University of Cambridge researchers developed a new sensor platform that measure masses of small particles, which can be applied to environmental monitoring, according to the university.

The newly developed gravimetric sensors detect mass load through acoustic waves. Cambridge scientists were able to compensate for the nonlinear effect of temperature on acoustic readings, which is a new development for this type of sensor.

A resonator in the sensor emits a certain frequency that is affected by events in the environment, and the changes tell researchers what’s happening there. A second resonance reacts to temperature. This separates temperature from mass loading measurements, which negates temperature’s effects.

The sensor can measure masses as small as a virus in the air.

Gravimetry is measurement of the strength of a gravitational field.

Image: A gravimetric sensor fabricated from carbon nanotubes (Credit: Luis Garcia-Ganced)

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