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Micro-Power Energy Harvester and Sensor Architecture using Low Illumination Light (LIL) Energy Harvesting and Radioisotope Power Sources


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An energy harvesting system (EHS) that can power unattended sensors for more than a decade without having to replace an energy source is of great interest to the US Army for use in communication nodes operating in remote locations as well as health monitoring sensors for all types of personnel. Most of our EHS is fabricated from commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) materials such as the energy harvesting evaluation board, thin-film batteries, a low-power microcontroller, and various sensor loads. The indium gallium phosphate or gallium arsenide photovoltaic cells and radioisotope power sources that will serve as input within the microwatt power range into the EHS are from previous US Army COTS projects. The overall design of the EHS offers the user the ability to conduct input and output power calculations, which will identify the quantity of EHS components needed. Future capabilities include a self-sustaining, cost-effective solution that involve a motion-activated camera to take a picture and transmit it back to the nearest receiver when there is enough power to do so within the EHS.



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