Sensors/Data Acquisition

X1 Human Interface Detection System (HIDS)

This sensor technology can detect pressures, such as ground force reactions, down to 30 g in weight. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas This innovation is a sensor technology that can detect pressures, such as ground force reactions, down to 30 g in weight with a minimum resolution of 5 × 5 mm (resolution dictated by the limitations of the resistor grid array). This device uses a commercially available resistor grid array and custom sensing hardware and software. The sensor hardware encompasses an area no greater than 2-3/8 × 2-3/8 in. (≈6 × 6 cm) and, combined with the software, can process more than 900 pressure points at a minimum rate of 72 scans/second (each scan = 900 sensors). The custom hardware and software is, by design, adaptable to all operating systems, as well as custom data protocols and data transfers. In addition to determining relative pressures and center of pressure measurements, the device also uses a sensing system to detect weight (force) within 2% accuracy using a strategic load cell topology. This pressure system, in combination with a force detection system, is called X1 HIDS.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Sensors

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Spacesuit Glove Cut/Damage Warning System

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Current spacesuit gloves used by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have sustained cuts during extravehicular activities (EVAs) due to sharp edges and burrs, possibly on damaged ISS handrails. A warning system in the glove would aid in identifying the location of sharp objects and the extent of damage to the glove. This work investigated various e-textile and flexible circuit technologies to determine the best ones for creating a glove cut/damage warning system for integration into a spacesuit glove.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Sensors

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Imaging Sensor Eliminates Extraneous Light

Anew imaging sensor created by a team at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Toronto allows depth cameras to operate effectively in bright sunlight. The researchers, including Srinivasa Narasimhan, CMU associate professor of robotics, developed a mathematical model to help cameras capture 3D information and eliminate unneeded light or “noise” that often wash out the signals necessary to detect a scene’s contours.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Authentication by Heart: Radar's New Role in Biometrics

The field of wireless vital sign monitoring has a relatively long history, almost as long as radar itself. Doppler radar has been the primary sensor technology for detecting blood flow or fetal heart rate. Over the past decade, there has been an increasing interest and need for creating wireless long-range vital sign monitoring systems. In addition, there has been a strong preference for using non-contact technologies for detection applications, especially for search-and-rescue operations that require the ability to see through debris, walls, and snow. There are also several emerging applications using short-range radar systems for automotive safety systems, remote health monitoring, and heart-based biometric authentication.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Finding the Right Custom Magnetic Sensor For Your Application

Successful magnetic circuits are built upon proper planning and design principles. Experienced design engineers take a holistic approach to the design process by considering the full magnetic circuit. Open communication between the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) team and the customer helps the engineer anticipate the project’s unique parameters and tailor the design accordingly.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Highway Sensor Deployment Gives Valuable Data to ‘Connected’ Drivers

In an effort to improve traffic flow, driver safety, and asset management, the Michigan Department of Transportation (DOT) has installed 17 sensors on a 50-mile stretch of one of the state’s busy Interstate highways. The “connected corridor” deployment will provide useful data for drivers of cars equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technology.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors

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Green Pulsed Lasers

The new Revolution series of q-switched, green, pulsed lasers from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) provides average power up to 80W at a wavelength of 527 nm, with a beam profile featuring an extremely smooth energy distribution. They also deliver pulse rate flexibility; the repetition rate can be smoothly adjusted from single shot to 10 kHz, with an additional option that extends pulse repetition rates up to 40 kHz.

Posted in: Products, Sensors

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