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Cool! Researchers Find Way to ­se Hvac Ducts For Wireless Monitoring Technology

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North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers have developed a system based on radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that uses a building's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts for wireless-monitoring applications. The researchers say their work could lead to significant time and cost savings for building managers, since their system can be implemented without the expense and effort of installing wires. "This would work with anything you can create an electronic sensor for," says NCSU professor Dan Stancil.

The new research could lead to RFID-based smoke detectors, carbon-monoxide monitors, or sensors that can detect chemical, biological, or radiological agents.

The researchers say that HVAC ductwork is an excellent medium for radio transmissions because the ducts typically consist of hollow metal pipes, which can be used to guide the radio waves, keeping the waves from dispersing and helping to maintain a strong signal over a greater distance.

From North Carolina State University
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