Smart Fiber

At a glance

To help prevent damage to wind power system turbine blades, the EU initiated the SmartFiber project, which involved developing a reliable method to constantly monitor the structural health of fiberglass composite components. As part of a project team that includes Imec, FBGS Technologies, Ghent University (Belgium), Airborne, XenICs and Optocap, Fraunhofer IIS developed the wireless interface which provides power to the embedded system and at the same time reads out and transmits the acquired data at high speed.

The system relies on embedded sensors that capture and analyze stress data such as temperature and tension. This information is transmitted by the wireless interface developed by Fraunhofer IIS.


The challenge of this project lies in creating a way to read out and transmit data using components embedded in composite materials (i.e. fiber-reinforced), while simultaneously providing power to the electronics. Researchers at Fraunhofer IIS successfully embedded the system in glass fiber materials and will eventually adapt it for carbon fiber composites.


Smart Fiber: Eingebettete drahtlose Daten- und Energieübertragung, embedded
Smart Fiber: Eingebettete drahtlose Daten- und Energieübertragung

The technology is similar to RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). However, the major advantage is that apart from reading out the data, the integrated electronics were designed to provide a data transmission interface and a source of power for the embedded sensors.

Embedded systems require wireless communication capability. While embedded in the component, the sensor monitors the real-time structural condition of the material with respect to the thermal and physical strain. This information is then transmitted with the integrated Fraunhofer IIS interface to an external receiver. Because of the layered properties of the fiber composite material, the innovative wireless transmitters feature an extremely flat design (3 to 4 mm). By the end of the project, the transmitters will fit within a 2.5-square-centimeter space.


The wireless transmission and power system can be deployed wherever demand exists for intelligent wireless embedded solutions. This includes wind turbine blades, aircraft, gas and oil drilling platforms, boat/ship hulls and propellers. The technology can also be embedded in carbon fiber composite materials.


Through its extensive know-how, Fraunhofer IIS help you implement a low-cost RFI system customized to your individual requirements. We have access to state-of-the-art measurement technologies and methods and a complete test center for simulating real scenarios.