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Signal Propagation and Multiplexing Challenges in Electronic Textiles

  • J. F. Muth (a1), E. Grant (a1), K. A. Luthy (a1), L. S. Mattos (a1), J. C. Braly (a1), A. Dhawan (a2), A. M. Seyam (a2) and T. K. Ghosh (a2)...


Weaving, knitting or placing electronic circuits within a textile matrix offer exciting possibilities for large-scale conformal circuits where the circuit dimensions can be measured on the scale of yards instead of inches. However, compared with conventional printed circuit board circuits, the textile manufacturing process and the electrical/mechanical properties of the fibers used in making the textile place unusual constraints on the electrical performance of textile circuits. In the case of distributed sensors connected via an electronic fabric, signal attenuation and the ability to form reliable interconnections are major challenges. To explore these challenges we have woven and knitted a variety of electrical transmission lines and optical fibers in fabrics to analyze their performance. The formation of interconnects and disconnects between conductors woven in textiles is also discussed, and a passive acoustic array is described as a possible electronic textile application.



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