DARPA Eyes Near-Zero-Power Tech to Extend Sensor Operational Life

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DARPAThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is seeking proposals on near-zero-power sensor technologies as part of the Near Zero Power RF and Sensor Operations program to address current power limitations of remote wireless military sensors.

DARPA said Monday the N-ZERO program aims to develop sensing functions that enable passive monitoring and eventual activation only upon the occurrence of relevant events or detection of specific electronic signatures.

“By cutting reliance on active power and enhancing battery life, N-ZERO aims to enable wireless, ubiquitous sensing that is energy efficient and safer for the warfighter,” said Troy Olsson, program manager at DARPA.

“Our goal is to use the right signal itself to wake up the sensor, which would improve sensors’ effectiveness and warfighters’ situational awareness by drastically reducing false alarms.”

The agency noted that it aims to drive down power consumption of sensors to less than 10 nanowatts when dormant to extend operational lifetime or to reduce battery size by at least a factor of 20 but retain the current operational lifetime.

The resulting technologies will potentially support future connected devices in the Internet of Things, DARPA added.

Responses to the broad agency announcement on FedBizOpps are due April 23.

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