Kansas State University and Peregrine Semiconductors are demonstrating a battery-free technology that could improve embedded multi-sensor systems such as those that might be used to detect deterioration in busy bridge. “This type of radio technology may exist in your house, for instance if you have a temperature sensor outside that radios data to a display inside,” Kuhn said. “But those devices need to have their batteries changed. This radio doesn’t.” Peregrine Semiconductor says applications could include monitoring stress, temperature and pressure on bridges and other structures. K-State and Peregrine have already developed highly integrated, low power radio chips for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory using Peregrine’s UltraCMOS silicon-on-sapphire technology. The team has constructed a demonstration board using inexpensive solar cells to power the radio, but says they are also looking at piezoelectric, electrochemical and thermal energy approaches.