Sensors/Data Acquisition

Optical Sensor for Unknown Gas Detection

A new sensor combines two spectroscopy methods in one device for flexibility and high sensitivity.

Gas sensors are usually engineered to detect a specific molecule in one of many potential categories: toxic gases, combustible gases, and VOCs. A number of technologies, such as infrared, photoionization, catalytic, and electrochemical, are used to test for differing molecular species. Each method has specifications for resolution, sensitivity, temperature, and humidity range. Gas sensors are most useful when they have high sensitivity and flexibility in the gases they can detect.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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Occupancy Sensing Using Wi-Fi Routers

In 2015, commercial and residential buildings accounted for 40% of the energy consumption in the United States according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As the owners of these buildings seek to decrease costs and reduce energy consumption they have begun to adopt building energy management systems (BEMS). BEMS have developed alongside intelligent building technologies such as sensors and wireless networks to manage energy usage, and according to expert services firm Navigant, the global BEMS market is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 18.2% to $12.8 Billion in 2025.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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Expert in A Suitcase Cuts Power Bills 10% In Small Commercial Buildings

Sensor Suitcase is designed to make energy efficiency easier.

The Sensor Suitcase is a portable case that contains easy-to-use sensors and other equipment that make it possible for anyone to identify energy-saving opportunities in small commercial buildings. The automated and reusable system combines hardware and software in one package so its users can identify cost-effective measures that can save small commercial buildings about 10 percent on their energy bills. It helps someone with minimal training collect and automatically process building data, which the system uses to generate specific recommendations to improve energy efficiency.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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Clean Water with Sandia Sensor Solution

A new sensor is the heart of an easy-to-use, table-top tool that quickly and cheaply detects extremely low levels of trihalomethane.

Water utilities have a Goldilocks problem: If they don't add enough chlorine, nasty bacteria that cause typhoid and cholera survive the purification process. Too much chlorine produces disinfection byproducts such as chloroform, which increase cancer risks. The amount of chlorine needs to be “just right” for safe drinking water.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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Project Helps Provide More Precise Detection and Understanding of Seismic Activity In Oklahoma

A network of sensors was used to study what properties lead to induced seismicity.

Induced seismicity is earthquake activity that occurs because of changes in subsurface stress brought about by human activity. Using geology, geophysics, reservoir modeling, and rock mechanics to develop assessment models, this project evaluated the potential for, and increase in, seismic activity in central Oklahoma, including the relationship between oil and gas operations and induced seismicity. The study confirmed and more fully investigated the link between increased seismic activity and wastewater disposal, which significantly increased between July 1, 2014, and the end of 2015. Over the course of the study, more than 95 percent of the earthquakes in Oklahoma occurred in a small portion of the state, where about 70 percent of wastewater was injected.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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Flying Metal Detectors?

Navy tests new unmanned mine-detection system.

Scientists have demonstrated a new way to detect buried and submerged mines. Data is collected by sensors aboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The information can then be used to create images to display locations of submerged mines on a device such as an Android. The system was demonstrated by successfully identifying a submerged dummy mine and differentiating it from surrounding debris.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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Printed Sensors Monitor Tire Wear in Real Time

Carbon nanotubes bring tire wear monitoring into the car.

Electrical engineers at Duke University have invented an inexpensive printed sensor that can monitor the tread of car tires in real time, warning drivers when the rubber meeting the road has grown dangerously thin. If adopted, the device will increase safety, improve vehicle performance, and reduce fuel consumption.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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DIGITALIZATION: The New Critical Success Factor

The terms Industry 4.0, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and the Digital Factory are being pitched around like a rugby ball, and almost always with a decided lack of clear definition. Let’s set the record straight.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers, Sensors
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Perspiration Power: Biofuel Cell Reacts to Sweat

Engineers from the University of California – San Diego have developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from an often-unpleasant source: sweat. The flexible UCSD-developed devices are capable of powering wearables and electronics such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios.

Posted in: Energy, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Sensors
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Secure 3D Printing: 'Three-Layer' System Protects Parts from Hackers

A 3D printer is essentially a small embedded computer — and can be exploited like one.

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a “three-layer” way of certifying that an additively manufactured part has not been compromised.

Posted in: News, News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Detectors, Sensors
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