Integrated Milliwave Melter Monitoring System

Technology #12319

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Paul Woskov
Plasma Science and Fusion Center, MIT
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S.K. Sundaram
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Gene Daniel
Savannah River National Laboratory
Managed By
Christopher Noble
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Clean and Renewable Energy
Patent Protection

Milliwave melter monitoring system

US Patent 7,997,121
Millmeter-Wave High Level and Low Activity Waste Glass Research
EMSP HLW Workshop, Aiken, SC, January 18-21, 2005

Non-contact, remote monitoring system for physical parameters such as temperature and viscosity.


The technology is applicable to high-temperature melt processes as well as manufacture of glass, ceramics and refining of ores.

Problem Addressed

Conventional sensors do not have clear views for visible or infrared monitoring during waste vitrification operations.


The invention uses the millimeter-wave (MMW) electromagnetic spectrum that is ideally suited for remote measurements in harsh, optically unclean, and unstable processing environments. The sensitive MMW heterodyne receivers detect thermal emission to sense temperature and emissivity, and emit a coherent single frequency signal to detect position and movement, which could be used for sensing viscosity. A low loss MMW waveguide and optics transmission line system is also used to interface the receiver(s) with the melter and to manipulate the signals to achieve the desired measurements.


  • Non-contact remote measurements
  • Access visibly inaccessible environments
  • Monitor temperature, emissivity, viscosity and other parameters
  • Control remotely