23.12.2020: Printed Electronics in the Stratosphere

Together with the industry partners Sentinum and Murata, the Yamori IoT platform was developed and manufactured at FAPS. Yamori is the world’s smallest, highly integrated, industrial-grade, multi-stack LPWAN IoT device, enabling versatile sensor configurations and dramatically reducing the development effort for new connected products. 3D printed electronics allows for the space-saving integration of the antenna structures into the housing and their interconnection to the main board.

The antennas are printed contactlessly at FAPS using a 5-axis motion system from Neotech AMT. First, the polycarbonate substrate is plasma treated to prevent dewetting during the subsequent printing process. Then, the NFC antenna on the bottom and the LoRa and NB-IoT antennas on the walls are generated with silver nanoparticle ink using the AerosolJet process. Printing on the inside of the enclosure requires complex toolpath planning to eliminate collisions. In addition, a light sintering system is utilized to prevent the ink from running on the steep surfaces.

To test Yamori’s reliability, the IoT device was sent into the stratosphere with a helium balloon. During this breathtaking journey, the sensor covered a distance of nearly 200 km and reached an altitude of over 40,000 meters. The experiment demonstrated that the Yamori platform can withstand even the most adverse conditions of the stratosphere. With the help of the Yamori Cloud, the sensor data as well as the position of the device could be monitored during the mission.

For more information, see the Yamori Datasheet and the Yamori Website.


Markus Ankenbrand, M. Sc.

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Institute for Factory Automation and Production Systems (FAPS, Prof. Franke)