Torque measurement with tunable metamaterial and a modified Doppler radar

Alexander Schossmann, Dirk Hammerschmidt, Christof Michenthaler, Alexander Bergmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Torque is a key parameter in any type of drive system. Real-time torque sensing allows to monitor true power transfer, which is crucial for drive control systems, especially in terms of efficiency and safety improvement. However, up to now, there is a lack of available torque sensor technology meeting the high demands within powertrains or robotics, such as robustness against electromagnetic interferences, vibrations and limited installation space. In this work we present a new concept for torque measurement using tunable millimetre-wave metamaterials together with a continuous wave radar chip as read out. The concept is to mechanically translate torque signals into a shift of the metamaterial resonance frequency which in turn leads to a tuning of phase and amplitude of its reflection spectra. Determining the amplitude tuning with in-phase and quadrature demodulation then allows to calculate the torque. We show the feasibility of this concept with finite element simulations. Further, we build a demonstrator providing the proof-of-concept, using a modified millimetre-wave Doppler radar chip for read out. The demonstrator gives a sensitivity for torque measurement of (15.7 ± 0.4) mV/Nm. We believe that our proposed torques sensor concept paves the way towards future torque sensor technology that is suitable for applications in powertrains and robotics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationI2MTC 2022 - IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference
Subtitle of host publicationInstrumentation and Measurement under Pandemic Constraints, Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9781665483605
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference: I2MTC 2022 - Ottawa, Canada
Duration: 16 May 202219 May 2022


Conference2022 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference
Abbreviated titleI2MTC 2022


  • metamaterials
  • millimetre waves
  • torque measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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