Electronics2015, 4(3), 507-525; doi:10.3390/electronics4030507 (registering DOI) - published 29 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is an imaging method that is able to estimate the electrical conductivity distribution of living tissue. This work presents a field programmable gate array (FPGA)-based multi-frequency EIT system for complex, time-resolved bioimpedance measurements. The system has the capability to work with measurement setups with up to 16 current electrodes and 16 voltage electrodes. The excitation current has a range of about 10 µA to 5 mA, whereas the sinusoidal signal used for excitation can have a frequency of up to 500 kHz. Additionally, the usage of a chirp or rectangular signal excitation is possible. Furthermore, the described system has a sample rate of up to 3480 impedance spectra per second (ISPS). The performance of the EIT system is demonstrated with a resistor-based phantom and tank phantoms. Additionally, first measurements taken from the human thorax during a breathing cycle are presented.
Abstract: Flexible and transparent electronics have been studied intensively during the last few decades. The technique establishes the possibility of fabricating innovative products, from flexible displays to radio-frequency identification tags. Typically, large-area polymeric substrates such as polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are used, which produces new requirements for the integration processes. A key element for flexible and transparent electronics is the thin-film transistor (TFT), as it is responsible for the driving current in memory cells, digital circuits or organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs). In this paper, we discuss some fundamental concepts of TFT technology. Additionally, we present a comparison between the use of the semiconducting organic small-molecule pentacene and inorganic nanoparticle semiconductors in order to integrate TFTs suitable for flexible electronics. Moreover, a technique for integration with a submicron resolution suitable for glass and foil substrates is presented.
Abstract: Solid-state memory is an essential component of the digital age. With advancements in healthcare technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), the demand for ultra-dense, ultra-low-power memory is increasing. In this review, we present a comprehensive perspective on the most notable approaches to the fabrication of physically flexible memory devices. With the future goal of replacing traditional mechanical hard disks with solid-state storage devices, a fully flexible electronic system will need two basic devices: transistors and nonvolatile memory. Transistors are used for logic operations and gating memory arrays, while nonvolatile memory (NVM) devices are required for storing information in the main memory and cache storage. Since the highest density of transistors and storage structures is manifested in memories, the focus of this review is flexible NVM. Flexible NVM components are discussed in terms of their functionality, performance metrics, and reliability aspects, all of which are critical components for NVM technology to be part of mainstream consumer electronics, IoT, and advanced healthcare devices. Finally, flexible NVMs are benchmarked and future prospects are provided.
Abstract: Due to the growing number of vehicles on the roads worldwide, road traffic accidents are currently recognized as a major public safety problem. In this context, connected vehicles are considered as the key enabling technology to improve road safety and to foster the emergence of next generation cooperative intelligent transport systems (ITS). Through the use of wireless communication technologies, the deployment of ITS will enable vehicles to autonomously communicate with other nearby vehicles and roadside infrastructures and will open the door for a wide range of novel road safety and driver assistive applications. However, connecting wireless-enabled vehicles to external entities can make ITS applications vulnerable to various security threats, thus impacting the safety of drivers. This article reviews the current research challenges and opportunities related to the development of secure and safe ITS applications. It first explores the architecture and main characteristics of ITS systems and surveys the key enabling standards and projects. Then, various ITS security threats are analyzed and classified, along with their corresponding cryptographic countermeasures. Finally, a detailed ITS safety application case study is analyzed and evaluated in light of the European ETSI TC ITS standard. An experimental test-bed is presented, and several elliptic curve digital signature algorithms (ECDSA) are benchmarked for signing and verifying ITS safety messages. To conclude, lessons learned, open research challenges and opportunities are discussed.
Abstract: Using multiple channels in wireless sensor networks helps increase the overall throughput and avoid interferences. In addition, introducing multi-interface nodes further helps in increasing the packet delivery rate for those specific nodes. In this paper, we evaluate a channel allocation method based on neighborhood discovery up to 3 hops and a hybrid MAC protocol designed for high data rate wireless sensor networks. We propose a network segmentation that takes into consideration the existence of multi-interface sink in order to further increase to packet delivery ratio. Our protocol, called HMC-MAC, uses Time Devision Multiple Access (TDMA) for sequencing nodes activity, and Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA)/CA with Frequency Devision Multiple Access (FDMA) for simultaneous data exchange. We evaluated our method using NS2 simulator and results show that HMC-MAC protocol improves the overall network performance compared to other protocols especially with high data rate and burst traffic.
Abstract: This paper describes the design and implementation of three-level power converters for wind-driven permanent-magnet synchronous generators with unbalanced loads. To increase voltage stress and reduce current harmonics in the electrical power generated by a wind generator, a three-phase, three-level rectifier is used. Because a synchronous rotating frame is used on the AC-input side, the use of a neutral-point-clamped controller is proposed to increase the power factor to unity and reduce current harmonics. Furthermore, a novel six-leg inverter is proposed for transferring energy from the DC voltage to a three-phase, four-wire AC source with a constant voltage and a constant frequency. The power converters also contain output transformers and filters for power buffering and filtering, respectively. All three output phase voltages are fed back to control the inverter output during load variations. A digital signal processor is used as the core control device for implementing a 1.5 kV, 75 kW drive system. Experimental data show that the power factor is successfully increased to unity and the total current harmonic distortion is 3.2% on the AC-input side. The entire system can attain an efficiency of 91%, and the voltage error between the upper and lower capacitors is approximately zero. Experimental results that confirm the high performance of the proposed system are presented.