Info
Info
News Article

III-V Solar Cells Soar With Birds

A new technology incorporating III-V solar cells and MEMS technology can be implemented in tracking birds
STMicroelectronics and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Faculty of Science have developed a sophisticated bird-tracking system developed by the university.


The tracker contains sensors that measure both the air temperature and the internal temperature of the device. A lithium battery, charged by a highly efficient compound semiconductor triple-junction solar cell, provides power to the system, and a ZigBee transceiver manages wireless data communication to and from the device.





Multi-junction solar cells contain several p-n junctions. Each junction is tuned to a different wavelength of light, reducing one of the largest inherent sources of losses, and thereby increasing efficiency.


The chip also uses advanced MEMS sensing technology from ST.


Weighing as little as a 20 euro cent coin or a US quarter and smaller than a car key so as not to impede the birds' flight, the tracking systems are sophisticated data loggers that can be attached to the back of the birds. The trackers enable valuable scientific research on bird behaviour by measuring GPS position every 3 seconds.


In addition to the bird's location, determined via the GPS, the tracker collects acceleration and direction data from ST's digital compass that integrates low-power, high-performance motion and magnetic sensing in a miniature form factor. The MEMS chip monitors the direction and vertical/horizontal orientation of the animal and can determine the body angle of birds flying in a crosswind.


Data from the trackers is currently being shared among bird-research institutes and biologists to verify computer models that predict bird behaviour and migration patterns.


"MEMS technologies are finding their way into a broad range of applications and only ST has the breadth of technologies available to serve as a one-stop supplier," says Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice President and General Manager of ST's Analogue, MEMS and Sensors Group. "The light weight, low power, and high accuracy of the MEMS make it ideal for innovative projects like UvA's bird tracking system to study avian migration and behaviour."


"Animals have a lot to teach us and, especially as the Earth's climate changes, there are many projects that we can undertake to study animal behaviour and migration patterns," adds Ir. Willem Bouten of UvA. "STMicroelectronics is a strong partner for us in developing technologies that are suitable and adaptable to researching challenging problems that could help us address the effects of global warming and land use change."


 




AngelTech Live III: Join us on 12 April 2021!

AngelTech Live III will be broadcast on 12 April 2021, 10am BST, rebroadcast on 14 April (10am CTT) and 16 April (10am PST) and will feature online versions of the market-leading physical events: CS International and PIC International PLUS a brand new Silicon Semiconductor International Track!

Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.

2021 is no different. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. We shall consider a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.

We shall also look at microLEDs, a display with many wonderful attributes, identifying processes for handling the mass transfer of tiny emitters that hold the key to commercialisation of this technology.

We shall also discuss electrification of transportation, underpinned by wide bandgap power electronics and supported by blue lasers that are ideal for processing copper.

Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.

Having attracted 1500 delegates over the last 2 online summits, the 3rd event promises to be even bigger and better – with 3 interactive sessions over 1 day and will once again prove to be a key event across the semiconductor and photonic integrated circuits calendar.

So make sure you sign up today and discover the latest cutting edge developments across the compound semiconductor and integrated photonics value chain.

REGISTER FOR FREE

VIEW SESSIONS

Info
×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
X
Info
X
Info
{taasPodcastNotification}
Live Event