- freely available
Sensors 2006, 6(6), 557-577; doi:10.3390/s6060557
2 Structure and functions of an intelligent sensor
2.1 Intelligent sensor architecture
- A sensing element that links the external world to a sensor system by generating electrical signal (e.g. voltage, current) with response to physical properties of the environment such as temperature, pressure, light intensity, sound, vibration, etc.
- An interface element for signal conditioning and data conversion. The signal obtained from the sensing element is modified, enhanced and converted to a discrete time digital data stream before passing through a processing element.
- A processing element that includes a microcontroller with an associated memory and software; this is the main component of the architecture where the incoming signal is processed.
- A communication element, which provides a two-way communication between the processing element and users. The communication are wireless, optical fibres, serial buses, and interfacing to successful communication with the outside world.
- A power source.
- Reduced down time.
- Fault tolerant systems.
- Adaptability for self-calibration and compensation.
- Higher reliability.
- Master/Slave sensors mapping capability.
- Lower weight.
- Lower cost.
- Lower maintenance.
2.2 Intelligent sensor functionalities
2.2.1 Compensation functionality
- Non-linear compensation that linearises the relationship between input and output.
- Cross-sensitivity compensation such as temperature control compensation.
- Time based or long term drift compensation due to degradation of the sensor elements .
2.2.2 Processing functionality
2.2.3 Communication functionality
2.2.4 Validation functionality
2.2.5 Integration functionality
2.2.6 Data fusion functionality
2.3 Interface with the outside world
4. Applications of intelligent sensor and agents in manufacturing
5. Future requirements for a full process control
5.1 Sensor Master/clusters set-up for single/hybrid processes
5.2 In process Parameter evaluation
5.3 Extreme environment sensors for manufacturing processes and cutting interfaces
5.4 Plug and Play sensors with standardization of interfaces
5.5 Scalability and implementation in micro-systems
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