The biggest problem with replacing the IR sensor is getting a part number from Intel. The helpful people here may be able to get it. Then (maybe) you can find the part listed by Digikey or some other part vendor. Maybe you already tried this but just in case I would try to remove the NUC and open it up. Then take an old toothbrush and scrub the sensor and leads with alcohol. Allow time for it to dry out before reassembling. If you can, I would verify that the remote is also working.
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