A smart archive box for museum artifact monitoring using battery-less temperature and humidity sensing

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Gawade, Dinesh R.
Ziemann, Steffen
Kumar, Sanjeev
Iacopino, Daniela
Belcastro, Marco
Alfieri, Davide
Schuhmann, Katharina
Anders, Manfred
Pigeon, Melusine
Barton, John
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For the first time, this paper reports a smart museum archive box that features a fully integrated wireless powered temperature and humidity sensor. The smart archive box has been specifically developed for microclimate environmental monitoring of stored museum artifacts in cultural heritage applications. The developed sensor does not require a battery and is wirelessly powered using Near Field Communications (NFC). The proposed solution enables a convenient means for wireless sensing with the operator by simply placing a standard smartphone in close proximity to the cardboard archive box. Wireless sensing capability has the advantage of enabling long-term environmental monitoring of the contents of the archive box without having to move and open the box for reading or battery replacement. This contributes to a sustainable preventive conservation strategy and avoids the risk of exposing the contents to the external environment, which may result in degradation of the stored artifacts. In this work, a low-cost and fully integrated NFC sensor has been successfully developed and demonstrated. The developed sensor is capable of wirelessly measuring temperature and relative humidity with a mean error of 0.37 °C and ±0.35%, respectively. The design has also been optimized for low power operation with a measured peak DC power consumption of 900 μW while yielding a 4.5 cm wireless communication range. The power consumption of the NFC sensor is one of the lowest found in the literature. To the author’s knowledge, the NFC sensor proposed in this paper is the first reporting of a smart archive box that is wirelessly powered and uniquely integrated within a cardboard archive box.
Battery-less NFC sensor , Cultural heritage objects , Energy harvesting , High-frequency RFID , Museum artifacts monitoring , Preventive conservation , Sensor technology , Smart archive box
Gawade, D. R., Ziemann, S., Kumar, S., Iacopino, D., Belcastro, M., Alfieri, D., Schuhmann, Ka., Anders, M., Pigeon, M., Barton, J., O'Flynn, B. and Buckley, J. L. (2021) 'A smart archive box for museum artifact monitoring using battery-less temperature and humidity sensing', Sensors, 21(14), 4903 (17pp). doi: 10.3390/s21144903