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Special Issue "State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "State-of-the-Art Sensors Technologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz

Department Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence, Faculty of Informatics, University Complutense of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34.1.3947546
Interests: computer vision; image processing; pattern recognition; 3D image reconstruction, spatio-temporal image change detection and track movement; fusion and registering from imaging sensors; superresolution from low-resolution image sensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to provide a comprehensive overview of state-of-the-art sensors technology in Spain. We invite research articles that will consolidate our understanding of the state-of-the-art in this area. The Special Issue will publish full research, review, and highly rated manuscripts addressing the above topic.

Prof. Dr. Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (40 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Compensation of PVT Variations in ToF Imagers with In-Pixel TDC
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1072; doi:10.3390/s17051072
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
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Abstract
The design of a direct time-of-flight complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor (dToF-CIS) based on a single-photon avalanche-diode (SPAD) array with an in-pixel time-to-digital converter (TDC) must contemplate system-level aspects that affect its overall performance. This paper provides a detailed analysis of the impact
[...] Read more.
The design of a direct time-of-flight complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor (dToF-CIS) based on a single-photon avalanche-diode (SPAD) array with an in-pixel time-to-digital converter (TDC) must contemplate system-level aspects that affect its overall performance. This paper provides a detailed analysis of the impact of process parameters, voltage supply, and temperature (PVT) variations on the time bin of the TDC array. Moreover, the design and characterization of a global compensation loop is presented. It is based on a phase locked loop (PLL) that is integrated on-chip. The main building block of the PLL is a voltage-controlled ring-oscillator (VCRO) that is identical to the ones employed for the in-pixel TDCs. The reference voltage that drives the master VCRO is distributed to the voltage control inputs of the slave VCROs such that their multiphase outputs become invariant to PVT changes. These outputs act as time interpolators for the TDCs. Therefore the compensation scheme prevents the time bin of the TDCs from drifting over time due to the aforementioned factors. Moreover, the same scheme is used to program different time resolutions of the direct time-of-flight (ToF) imager aimed at 3D ranging or depth map imaging. Experimental results that validate the analysis are provided as well. The compensation loop proves to be remarkably effective. The spreading of the TDCs time bin is lowered from: (i) 20% down to 2.4% while the temperature ranges from 0 °C to 100 °C; (ii) 27% down to 0.27%, when the voltage supply changes within ±10% of the nominal value; (iii) 5.2 ps to 2 ps standard deviation over 30 sample chips, due to process parameters’ variation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Implementation Issues of Adaptive Energy Detection in Heterogeneous Wireless Networks
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 932; doi:10.3390/s17040932
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
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Abstract
Spectrum sensing (SS) enables the coexistence of non-coordinated heterogeneous wireless systems operating in the same band. Due to its computational simplicity, energy detection (ED) technique has been widespread employed in SS applications; nonetheless, the conventional ED may be unreliable under environmental impairments, justifying
[...] Read more.
Spectrum sensing (SS) enables the coexistence of non-coordinated heterogeneous wireless systems operating in the same band. Due to its computational simplicity, energy detection (ED) technique has been widespread employed in SS applications; nonetheless, the conventional ED may be unreliable under environmental impairments, justifying the use of ED-based variants. Assessing ED algorithms from theoretical and simulation viewpoints relies on several assumptions and simplifications which, eventually, lead to conclusions that do not necessarily meet the requirements imposed by real propagation environments. This work addresses those problems by dealing with practical implementation issues of adaptive least mean square (LMS)-based ED algorithms. The paper proposes a new adaptive ED algorithm that uses a variable step-size guaranteeing the LMS convergence in time-varying environments. Several implementation guidelines are provided and, additionally, an empirical assessment and validation with a software defined radio-based hardware is carried out. Experimental results show good performance in terms of probabilities of detection ( P d > 0 . 9 ) and false alarm ( P f 0 . 05 ) in a range of low signal-to-noise ratios around [ - 4 , 1 ] dB, in both single-node and cooperative modes. The proposed sensing methodology enables a seamless monitoring of the radio electromagnetic spectrum in order to provide band occupancy information for an efficient usage among several wireless communications systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Homomorphic Filtering for Improving Time Synchronization in Wireless Networks
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 909; doi:10.3390/s17040909
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
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Abstract
Wireless sensor networks are used to sample the environment in a distributed way. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of the measurements to be tightly synchronized in order to guarantee that every sensor is sampling the environment at the exact same instant of
[...] Read more.
Wireless sensor networks are used to sample the environment in a distributed way. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of the measurements to be tightly synchronized in order to guarantee that every sensor is sampling the environment at the exact same instant of time. The synchronization drift gets bigger in environments suffering from temperature variations. Thus, this work is focused on improving time synchronization under deployments with temperature variations. The working hypothesis demonstrated in this work is that the clock skew of two nodes (the ratio of the real frequencies of the oscillators) is composed of a multiplicative combination of two main components: the clock skew due to the variations between the cut of the crystal of each oscillator and the clock skew due to the different temperatures affecting the nodes. By applying a nonlinear filtering, the homomorphic filtering, both components are separated in an effective way. A correction factor based on temperature, which can be applied to any synchronization protocol, is proposed. For testing it, an improvement of the FTSP synchronization protocol has been developed and physically tested under temperature variation scenarios using TelosB motes flashed with the IEEE 802.15.4 implementation supplied by TinyOS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A Strain-Based Method to Estimate Slip Angle and Tire Working Conditions for Intelligent Tires Using Fuzzy Logic
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 874; doi:10.3390/s17040874
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 16 April 2017
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Abstract
Tires equipped with sensors, the so-called “intelligent tires”, can provide vital information for control systems, drivers and external users. In this research, tire dynamic strain characteristics in cornering conditions are collected and analysed in relation to the variation of tire working conditions, such
[...] Read more.
Tires equipped with sensors, the so-called “intelligent tires”, can provide vital information for control systems, drivers and external users. In this research, tire dynamic strain characteristics in cornering conditions are collected and analysed in relation to the variation of tire working conditions, such as inflation pressure, rolling speed, vertical load and slip angle. An experimental tire strain-based prototype and an indoor tire test rig are used to demonstrate the suitability of strain sensors to establish relations between strain data and lateral force. The results of experiments show that strain values drop sharply when lateral force is decreasing, which can be used to predict tire slip conditions. As a first approach to estimate some tire working conditions, such as the slip angle and vertical load, a fuzzy logic method has been developed. The simulation and test results confirm the feasibility of strain sensors and the proposed computational model to solve the non-linearity characteristics of the tires’ parameters and turn tires into a source of useful information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Improved Object Detection Using a Robotic Sensing Antenna with Vibration Damping Control
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 852; doi:10.3390/s17040852
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
Some insects or mammals use antennae or whiskers to detect by the sense of touch obstacles or recognize objects in environments in which other senses like vision cannot work. Artificial flexible antennae can be used in robotics to mimic this sense of touch
[...] Read more.
Some insects or mammals use antennae or whiskers to detect by the sense of touch obstacles or recognize objects in environments in which other senses like vision cannot work. Artificial flexible antennae can be used in robotics to mimic this sense of touch in these recognition tasks. We have designed and built a two-degree of freedom (2DOF) flexible antenna sensor device to perform robot navigation tasks. This device is composed of a flexible beam, two servomotors that drive the beam and a load cell sensor that detects the contact of the beam with an object. It is found that the efficiency of such a device strongly depends on the speed and accuracy achieved by the antenna positioning system. These issues are severely impaired by the vibrations that appear in the antenna during its movement. However, these antennae are usually moved without taking care of these undesired vibrations. This article proposes a new closed-loop control schema that cancels vibrations and improves the free movements of the antenna. Moreover, algorithms to estimate the 3D beam position and the instant and point of contact with an object are proposed. Experiments are reported that illustrate the efficiency of these proposed algorithms and the improvements achieved in object detection tasks using a control system that cancels beam vibrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A Multi-Sensorial Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) System for Low-Cost Micro Aerial Vehicles in GPS-Denied Environments
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 802; doi:10.3390/s17040802
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 8 April 2017
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Abstract
One of the main challenges of aerial robots navigation in indoor or GPS-denied environments is position estimation using only the available onboard sensors. This paper presents a Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) system that remotely calculates the pose and environment map of different
[...] Read more.
One of the main challenges of aerial robots navigation in indoor or GPS-denied environments is position estimation using only the available onboard sensors. This paper presents a Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) system that remotely calculates the pose and environment map of different low-cost commercial aerial platforms, whose onboard computing capacity is usually limited. The proposed system adapts to the sensory configuration of the aerial robot, by integrating different state-of-the art SLAM methods based on vision, laser and/or inertial measurements using an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF). To do this, a minimum onboard sensory configuration is supposed, consisting of a monocular camera, an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and an altimeter. It allows to improve the results of well-known monocular visual SLAM methods (LSD-SLAM and ORB-SLAM are tested and compared in this work) by solving scale ambiguity and providing additional information to the EKF. When payload and computational capabilities permit, a 2D laser sensor can be easily incorporated to the SLAM system, obtaining a local 2.5D map and a footprint estimation of the robot position that improves the 6D pose estimation through the EKF. We present some experimental results with two different commercial platforms, and validate the system by applying it to their position control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of an Optical Test Bench for Tire Properties Measurement and Tread Defects Characterization
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 707; doi:10.3390/s17040707
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Tire characteristics and behavior are of great importance in vehicle dynamics since the forces transmitted in the tire-road contact are the main contributors to global vehicle performance. Several research groups have focused on the study and modeling of tires. Some of the most
[...] Read more.
Tire characteristics and behavior are of great importance in vehicle dynamics since the forces transmitted in the tire-road contact are the main contributors to global vehicle performance. Several research groups have focused on the study and modeling of tires. Some of the most important factors that need to be known are tread characteristics and pressure distribution in the tire-ground contact patch. In this work, a test bench has been used to adequately determine the aforementioned factors. The measurement principle of the test bench is the frustration of total internal reflection (FTIR) of light. It makes use of a laterally illuminated glass on which the tire leans. An interposed plastic interface between them causes the reflection of light. Finally, a video camera captures the bright image formed through the glass. The brightness level in each pixel of the image is related to existing normal pressure. A study of the parameters that affect the test bench calibration such as type of interface material used, diffuse light, hysteresis, creep and transverse light absorption is performed. Experimental tests are conducted to relate tire inflation pressure and camber angle to the pressure distribution. Furthermore, the test bench is used to detect and evaluate the influence of defects in the tire on the contact pressures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle An IoT Reader for Wireless Passive Electromagnetic Sensors
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 693; doi:10.3390/s17040693
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
In the last years, many passive electromagnetic sensors have been reported. Some of these sensors are used for measuring harmful substances. Moreover, the response of these sensors is usually obtained with laboratory equipment. This approach highly increases the total cost and complexity of
[...] Read more.
In the last years, many passive electromagnetic sensors have been reported. Some of these sensors are used for measuring harmful substances. Moreover, the response of these sensors is usually obtained with laboratory equipment. This approach highly increases the total cost and complexity of the sensing system. In this work, a novel low-cost and portable Internet-of-Things (IoT) reader for passive wireless electromagnetic sensors is proposed. The reader is used to interrogate the sensors within a short-range wireless link avoiding the direct contact with the substances under test. The IoT functionalities of the reader allows remote sensing from computers and handheld devices. For that purpose, the proposed design is based on four functional layers: the radiating layer, the RF interface, the IoT mini-computer and the power unit. In this paper a demonstrator of the proposed reader is designed and manufactured. The demonstrator shows, through the remote measurement of different substances, that the proposed system can estimate the dielectric permittivity. It has been demonstrated that a linear approximation with a small error can be extracted from the reader measurements. It is remarkable that the proposed reader can be used with other type of electromagnetic sensors, which transduce the magnitude variations in the frequency domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Automated Software Acceleration in Programmable Logic for an Efficient NFFT Algorithm Implementation: A Case Study
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 694; doi:10.3390/s17040694
Received: 29 January 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
Non-equispaced Fast Fourier transform (NFFT) is a very important algorithm in several technological and scientific areas such as synthetic aperture radar, computational photography, medical imaging, telecommunications, seismic analysis and so on. However, its computation complexity is high. In this paper, we describe an
[...] Read more.
Non-equispaced Fast Fourier transform (NFFT) is a very important algorithm in several technological and scientific areas such as synthetic aperture radar, computational photography, medical imaging, telecommunications, seismic analysis and so on. However, its computation complexity is high. In this paper, we describe an efficient NFFT implementation with a hardware coprocessor using an All-Programmable System-on-Chip (APSoC). This is a hybrid device that employs an Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) as Processing System with Programmable Logic for high-performance digital signal processing through parallelism and pipeline techniques. The algorithm has been coded in C language with pragma directives to optimize the architecture of the system. We have used the very novel Software Develop System-on-Chip (SDSoC) evelopment tool that simplifies the interface and partitioning between hardware and software. This provides shorter development cycles and iterative improvements by exploring several architectures of the global system. The computational results shows that hardware acceleration significantly outperformed the software based implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A Smart Sensor for Defending against Clock Glitching Attacks on the I2C Protocol in Robotic Applications
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 677; doi:10.3390/s17040677
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents a study about hardware attacking and clock signal vulnerability. It considers a particular type of attack on the clock signal in the I2C protocol, and proposes the design of a new sensor for detecting and defending against this type of
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a study about hardware attacking and clock signal vulnerability. It considers a particular type of attack on the clock signal in the I2C protocol, and proposes the design of a new sensor for detecting and defending against this type of perturbation. The analysis of the attack and the defense is validated by means of a configurable experimental platform that emulates a differential drive robot. A set of experimental results confirm the interest of the studied vulnerabilities and the efficiency of the proposed sensor in defending against this type of situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Radar Interferometry for Monitoring the Vibration Characteristics of Buildings and Civil Structures: Recent Case Studies in Spain
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 669; doi:10.3390/s17040669
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
The potential of a coherent microwave sensor to monitor the vibration characteristics of civil structures has been investigated in the past decade, and successful case studies have been published by different research teams. This remote sensing technique is based on the interferometric processing
[...] Read more.
The potential of a coherent microwave sensor to monitor the vibration characteristics of civil structures has been investigated in the past decade, and successful case studies have been published by different research teams. This remote sensing technique is based on the interferometric processing of real aperture radar acquisitions. Its capability to estimate, simultaneously and remotely, the displacement of different parts of the investigated structures, with high accuracy and repeatability, is its main advantage with respect to conventional sensors. A considerable amount of literature on this technique is available, including various case studies aimed at testing the ambient vibration of bridges, buildings, and towers. In the last years, this technique has been used in Spain for civil structures monitoring. In this paper, three examples of such case studies are described: the monitoring of the suspended bridge crossing the Ebro River at Amposta, the communications tower of Collserola in Barcelona, and an urban building located in Vilafranca del Penedès, a small town close to Barcelona. This paper summarizes the main outcomes of these case studies, underlining the advantages and limitations of the sensors currently available, and concluding with the possible improvements expected from the next generation of sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle An Electricity Price-Aware Open-Source Smart Socket for the Internet of Energy
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 643; doi:10.3390/s17030643
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 11 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Internet of Energy (IoE) represents a novel paradigm where electrical power systems work cooperatively with smart devices to increase the visibility of energy consumption and create safer, cleaner and sustainable energy systems. The implementation of IoE services involves the use of multiple
[...] Read more.
The Internet of Energy (IoE) represents a novel paradigm where electrical power systems work cooperatively with smart devices to increase the visibility of energy consumption and create safer, cleaner and sustainable energy systems. The implementation of IoE services involves the use of multiple components, like embedded systems, power electronics or sensors, which are an essential part of the infrastructure dedicated to the generation and distribution energy and the one required by the final consumer. This article focuses on the latter and presents a smart socket system that collects the information about energy price and makes use of sensors and actuators to optimize home energy consumption according to the user preferences. Specifically, this article provides three main novel contributions. First, what to our knowledge is the first hardware prototype that manages in a practical real-world scenario the price values obtained from a public electricity operator is presented. The second contribution is related to the definition of a novel wireless sensor network communications protocol based on Wi-Fi that allows for creating an easy-to-deploy smart plug system that self-organizes and auto-configures to collect the sensed data, minimizing user intervention. Third, it is provided a thorough description of the design of one of the few open-source smart plug systems, including its communications architecture, the protocols implemented, the main sensing and actuation components and the most relevant pieces of the software. Moreover, with the aim of illustrating the capabilities of the smart plug system, the results of different experiments performed are shown. Such experiments evaluate in real-world scenarios the system’s ease of use, its communications range and its performance when using HTTPS. Finally, the economic savings are estimated for different appliances, concluding that, in the practical situation proposed, the smart plug system allows certain energy-demanding appliances to save almost €70 per year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle An Alternative Wearable Tracking System Based on a Low-Power Wide-Area Network
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 592; doi:10.3390/s17030592
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (10658 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work presents an alternative wearable tracking system based on a low-power wide area network. A complete GPS receiver was integrated with a textile substrate, and the latitude and longitude coordinates were sent to the cloud by means of the SIM-less SIGFOX network.
[...] Read more.
This work presents an alternative wearable tracking system based on a low-power wide area network. A complete GPS receiver was integrated with a textile substrate, and the latitude and longitude coordinates were sent to the cloud by means of the SIM-less SIGFOX network. To send the coordinates over SIGFOX protocol, a specific codification algorithm was used and a customized UHF antenna on jeans fabric was designed, simulated and tested. Moreover, to guarantee the compliance to international regulations for human body exposure to electromagnetic radiation, the electromagnetic specific absorption rate of this antenna was analyzed. A specific remote server was developed to decode the latitude and longitude coordinates. Once the coordinates have been decoded, the remote server sends this information to the open source data viewer SENTILO to show the location of the sensor node in a map. The functionality of this system has been demonstrated experimentally. The results guarantee the utility and wearability of the proposed tracking system for the development of sensor nodes and point out that it can be a low cost alternative to other commercial products based on GSM networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Deciphering Egyptian Hieroglyphs: Towards a New Strategy for Navigation in Museums
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 589; doi:10.3390/s17030589
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
This work presents a novel strategy to decipher fragments of Egyptian cartouches identifying the hieroglyphs of which they are composed. A cartouche is a drawing, usually inside an oval, that encloses a group of hieroglyphs representing the name of a monarch. Aiming to
[...] Read more.
This work presents a novel strategy to decipher fragments of Egyptian cartouches identifying the hieroglyphs of which they are composed. A cartouche is a drawing, usually inside an oval, that encloses a group of hieroglyphs representing the name of a monarch. Aiming to identify these drawings, the proposed method is based on several techniques frequently used in computer vision and consists of three main stages: first, a picture of the cartouche is taken as input and its contour is localized. In the second stage, each hieroglyph is individually extracted and identified. Finally, the cartouche is interpreted: the sequence of the hieroglyphs is established according to a previously generated benchmark. This sequence corresponds to the name of the king. Although this method was initially conceived to deal with both high and low relief writing in stone, it can be also applied to painted hieroglyphs. This approach is not affected by variable lighting conditions, or the intensity and the completeness of the objects. This proposal has been tested on images obtained from the Abydos King List and other Egyptian monuments and archaeological excavations. The promising results give new possibilities to recognize hieroglyphs, opening a new way to decipher longer texts and inscriptions, being particularly useful in museums and Egyptian environments. Additionally, devices used for acquiring visual information from cartouches (i.e., smartphones), can be part of a navigation system for museums where users are located in indoor environments by means of the combination of WiFi Positioning Systems (WPS) and depth cameras, as unveiled at the end of the document. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle New System of Shrinkage Measurement through Cement Mortars Drying
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 522; doi:10.3390/s17030522
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
Cement mortar is used as a conglomerate in the majority of construction work. There are multiple variants of cement according to the type of aggregate used in its fabrication. One of the major problems that occurs while working with this type of material
[...] Read more.
Cement mortar is used as a conglomerate in the majority of construction work. There are multiple variants of cement according to the type of aggregate used in its fabrication. One of the major problems that occurs while working with this type of material is the excessive loss of moisture during cement hydration (setting and hardening), known as shrinkage, which provokes a great number of construction pathologies that are difficult to repair. In this way, the design of a new sensor able to measure the moisture loss of mortars at different age levels is useful to establish long-term predictions concerning mortar mass volume loss. The purpose of this research is the design and fabrication of a new capacitive sensor able to measure the moisture of mortars and to relate it with the shrinkage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A Wireless Sensor System for Real-Time Monitoring and Fault Detection of Motor Arrays
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 469; doi:10.3390/s17030469
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents a wireless fault detection system for industrial motors that combines vibration, motor current and temperature analysis, thus improving the detection of mechanical faults. The design also considers the time of detection and further possible actions, which are also important for
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a wireless fault detection system for industrial motors that combines vibration, motor current and temperature analysis, thus improving the detection of mechanical faults. The design also considers the time of detection and further possible actions, which are also important for the early detection of possible malfunctions, and thus for avoiding irreversible damage to the motor. The remote motor condition monitoring is implemented through a wireless sensor network (WSN) based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. The deployed network uses the beacon-enabled mode to synchronize several sensor nodes with the coordinator node, and the guaranteed time slot mechanism provides data monitoring with a predetermined latency. A graphic user interface offers remote access to motor conditions and real-time monitoring of several parameters. The developed wireless sensor node exhibits very low power consumption since it has been optimized both in terms of hardware and software. The result is a low cost, highly reliable and compact design, achieving a high degree of autonomy of more than two years with just one 3.3 V/2600 mAh battery. Laboratory and field tests confirm the feasibility of the wireless system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle ECCE Toolkit: Prototyping Sensor-Based Interaction
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 438; doi:10.3390/s17030438
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Building and exploring physical user interfaces requires high technical skills and hours of specialized work. The behavior of multiple devices with heterogeneous input/output channels and connectivity has to be programmed in a context where not only the software interface matters, but also the
[...] Read more.
Building and exploring physical user interfaces requires high technical skills and hours of specialized work. The behavior of multiple devices with heterogeneous input/output channels and connectivity has to be programmed in a context where not only the software interface matters, but also the hardware components are critical (e.g., sensors and actuators). Prototyping physical interaction is hindered by the challenges of: (1) programming interactions among physical sensors/actuators and digital interfaces; (2) implementing functionality for different platforms in different programming languages; and (3) building custom electronic-incorporated objects. We present ECCE (Entities, Components, Couplings and Ecosystems), a toolkit for non-programmers that copes with these issues by abstracting from low-level implementations, thus lowering the complexity of prototyping small-scale, sensor-based physical interfaces to support the design process. A user evaluation provides insights and use cases of the kind of applications that can be developed with the toolkit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A Wearable Wireless Sensor Network for Indoor Smart Environment Monitoring in Safety Applications
Sensors 2017, 17(2), 365; doi:10.3390/s17020365
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents the implementation of a wearable wireless sensor network aimed at monitoring harmful gases in industrial environments. The proposed solution is based on a customized wearable sensor node using a low-power low-rate wireless personal area network (LR-WPAN) communications protocol, which as
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This paper presents the implementation of a wearable wireless sensor network aimed at monitoring harmful gases in industrial environments. The proposed solution is based on a customized wearable sensor node using a low-power low-rate wireless personal area network (LR-WPAN) communications protocol, which as a first approach measures CO2 concentration, and employs different low power strategies for appropriate energy handling which is essential to achieving long battery life. These wearables nodes are connected to a deployed static network and a web-based application allows data storage, remote control and monitoring of the complete network. Therefore, a complete and versatile remote web application with a locally implemented decision-making system is accomplished, which allows early detection of hazardous situations for exposed workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle From Sensor Networks to Internet of Things. Bluetooth Low Energy, a Standard for This Evolution
Sensors 2017, 17(2), 372; doi:10.3390/s17020372
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract
Current sensor networks need to be improved and updated to satisfy new essential requirements of the Internet of Things, where cutting-edge applications will appear. These requirements are: total coverage, zero fails (high performance), scalability and sustainability (hardware and software). We are going to
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Current sensor networks need to be improved and updated to satisfy new essential requirements of the Internet of Things, where cutting-edge applications will appear. These requirements are: total coverage, zero fails (high performance), scalability and sustainability (hardware and software). We are going to evaluate Bluetooth Low Energy as wireless transmission technology and as the ideal candidate for these improvements, due to its low power consumption, its low cost radio chips and its ability to communicate with users directly, using their smartphones or smartbands. However, this technology is relatively recent, and standard network topologies are not able to fulfil its new requirements. To address these shortcomings, the implementation of other more flexible topologies (as the mesh topology) will be very interesting. After studying it in depth, we have identified certain weaknesses, for example, specific devices are needed to provide network scalability, and the need to choose between high performance or sustainability. In this paper, after presenting the studies carried out on these new technologies, we propose a new packet format and a new BLE mesh topology, with two different configurations: Individual Mesh and Collaborative Mesh. Our results show how this topology improves the scalability, sustainability, coverage and performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle New Approaches to Exciting Exergame-Experiences for People with Motor Function Impairments
Sensors 2017, 17(2), 354; doi:10.3390/s17020354
Received: 3 October 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 12 February 2017
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Abstract
The work presented here suggests new ways to tackle exergames for physical rehabilitation and to improve the players’ immersion and involvement. The primary (but not exclusive) purpose is to increase the motivation of children and adolescents with severe physical impairments, for doing their
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The work presented here suggests new ways to tackle exergames for physical rehabilitation and to improve the players’ immersion and involvement. The primary (but not exclusive) purpose is to increase the motivation of children and adolescents with severe physical impairments, for doing their required exercises while playing. The proposed gaming environment is based on the Kinect sensor and the Blender Game Engine. A middleware has been implemented that efficiently transmits the data from the sensor to the game. Inside the game, different newly proposed mechanisms have been developed to distinguish pure exercise-gestures from other movements used to control the game (e.g., opening a menu). The main contribution is the amplification of weak movements, which allows the physically impaired to have similar gaming experiences as the average population. To test the feasibility of the proposed methods, four mini-games were implemented and tested by a group of 11 volunteers with different disabilities, most of them bound to a wheelchair. Their performance has also been compared to that of a healthy control group. Results are generally positive and motivating, although there is much to do to improve the functionalities. There is a major demand for applications that help to include disabled people in society and to improve their life conditions. This work will contribute towards providing them with more fun during exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Strain-Based Method to Estimate Tire Conditions Using Fuzzy Logic for Intelligent Tires
Sensors 2017, 17(2), 350; doi:10.3390/s17020350
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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Abstract
The so-called intelligent tires are one of the most promising research fields for automotive engineers. These tires are equipped with sensors which provide information about vehicle dynamics. Up to now, the commercial intelligent tires only provide information about inflation pressure and their contribution
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The so-called intelligent tires are one of the most promising research fields for automotive engineers. These tires are equipped with sensors which provide information about vehicle dynamics. Up to now, the commercial intelligent tires only provide information about inflation pressure and their contribution to stability control systems is currently very limited. Nowadays one of the major problems for intelligent tire development is how to embed feasible and low cost sensors to obtain reliable information such as inflation pressure, vertical load or rolling speed. These parameters provide key information for vehicle dynamics characterization. In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm based on fuzzy logic to estimate the mentioned parameters by means of a single strain-based system. Experimental tests have been carried out in order to prove the suitability and durability of the proposed on-board strain sensor system, as well as its low cost advantages, and the accuracy of the obtained estimations by means of fuzzy logic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A Quantitative Comparison of Calibration Methods for RGB-D Sensors Using Different Technologies
Sensors 2017, 17(2), 243; doi:10.3390/s17020243
Received: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 27 January 2017
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Abstract
RGB-D (Red Green Blue and Depth) sensors are devices that can provide color and depth information from a scene at the same time. Recently, they have been widely used in many solutions due to their commercial growth from the entertainment market
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RGB-D (Red Green Blue and Depth) sensors are devices that can provide color and depth information from a scene at the same time. Recently, they have been widely used in many solutions due to their commercial growth from the entertainment market to many diverse areas (e.g., robotics, CAD, etc.). In the research community, these devices have had good uptake due to their acceptable levelofaccuracyformanyapplicationsandtheirlowcost,butinsomecases,theyworkatthelimitof their sensitivity, near to the minimum feature size that can be perceived. For this reason, calibration processes are critical in order to increase their accuracy and enable them to meet the requirements of such kinds of applications. To the best of our knowledge, there is not a comparative study of calibration algorithms evaluating its results in multiple RGB-D sensors. Specifically, in this paper, a comparison of the three most used calibration methods have been applied to three different RGB-D sensors based on structured light and time-of-flight. The comparison of methods has been carried out by a set of experiments to evaluate the accuracy of depth measurements. Additionally, an object reconstruction application has been used as example of an application for which the sensor works at the limit of its sensitivity. The obtained results of reconstruction have been evaluated through visual inspection and quantitative measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Practical Considerations in the Implementation of Collaborative Beamforming on Wireless Sensor Networks
Sensors 2017, 17(2), 237; doi:10.3390/s17020237
Received: 28 November 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
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Abstract
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are composed of spatially distributed autonomous sensor devices, named motes. These motes have their own power supply, processing unit, sensors and wireless communications However with many constraints, such as limited energy, bandwidth and computational capabilities. In these networks, at
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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are composed of spatially distributed autonomous sensor devices, named motes. These motes have their own power supply, processing unit, sensors and wireless communications However with many constraints, such as limited energy, bandwidth and computational capabilities. In these networks, at least one mote called a sink, acts as a gateway to connect with other networks. These sensor networks run monitoring applications and then the data gathered by these motes needs to be retrieved by the sink. When this sink is located in the far field, there have been many proposals in the literature based on Collaborative Beamforming (CB), also known as Distributed or Cooperative Beamforming, for these long range communications to reach the sink. In this paper, we conduct a thorough study of the related work and analyze the requirements to do CB. In order to implement these communications in real scenarios, we will consider if these requirements and the assumptions made are feasible from the point of view of commercial motes and their constraints. In addition, we will go a step further and will consider different alternatives, by relaxing these requirements, trying to find feasible assumptions to carry out these types of communications with commercial motes. This research considers the nonavailability of a central clock that synchronizes all motes in the WSN, and all motes have identical hardware. This is a feasibility study to do CB on WSN, using a simulated scenario with randomized delays obtained from experimental data from commercial motes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Euro Banknote Recognition System for Blind People
Sensors 2017, 17(1), 184; doi:10.3390/s17010184
Received: 13 October 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents the development of a portable system with the aim of allowing blind people to detect and recognize Euro banknotes. The developed device is based on a Raspberry Pi electronic instrument and a Raspberry Pi camera, Pi NoIR (No Infrared filter)
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This paper presents the development of a portable system with the aim of allowing blind people to detect and recognize Euro banknotes. The developed device is based on a Raspberry Pi electronic instrument and a Raspberry Pi camera, Pi NoIR (No Infrared filter) dotted with additional infrared light, which is embedded into a pair of sunglasses that permit blind and visually impaired people to independently handle Euro banknotes, especially when receiving their cash back when shopping. The banknote detection is based on the modified Viola and Jones algorithms, while the banknote value recognition relies on the Speed Up Robust Features (SURF) technique. The accuracies of banknote detection and banknote value recognition are 84% and 97.5%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Hybrid Intelligent System to Perform Fault Detection on BIS Sensor During Surgeries
Sensors 2017, 17(1), 179; doi:10.3390/s17010179
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents a new fault detection system in hypnotic sensors used for general anesthesia during surgery. Drug infusion during surgery is based on information received from patient monitoring devices; accordingly, faults in sensor devices can put patient safety at risk. Our research
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This paper presents a new fault detection system in hypnotic sensors used for general anesthesia during surgery. Drug infusion during surgery is based on information received from patient monitoring devices; accordingly, faults in sensor devices can put patient safety at risk. Our research offers a solution to cope with these undesirable scenarios. We focus on the anesthesia process using intravenous propofol as the hypnotic drug and employing a Bispectral Index (BISTM) monitor to estimate the patient’s unconsciousness level. The method developed identifies BIS episodes affected by disturbances during surgery with null clinical value. Thus, the clinician—or the automatic controller—will not take those measures into account to calculate the drug dose. Our method compares the measured BIS signal with expected behavior predicted by the propofol dose provider and the electromyogram (EMG) signal. For the prediction of the BIS signal, a model based on a hybrid intelligent system architecture has been created. The model uses clustering combined with regression techniques. To validate its accuracy, a dataset taken during surgeries with general anesthesia was used. The proposed fault detection method for BIS sensor measures has also been verified using data from real cases. The obtained results prove the method’s effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Easy Handling of Sensors and Actuators over TCP/IP Networks by Open Source Hardware/Software
Sensors 2017, 17(1), 94; doi:10.3390/s17010094
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 29 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
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Abstract
There are several specific solutions for accessing sensors and actuators present in any process or system through a TCP/IP network, either local or a wide area type like the Internet. The usage of sensors and actuators of different nature and diverse interfaces (SPI,
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There are several specific solutions for accessing sensors and actuators present in any process or system through a TCP/IP network, either local or a wide area type like the Internet. The usage of sensors and actuators of different nature and diverse interfaces (SPI, I2C, analogue, etc.) makes access to them from a network in a homogeneous and secure way more complex. A framework, including both software and hardware resources, is necessary to simplify and unify networked access to these devices. In this paper, a set of open-source software tools, specifically designed to cover the different issues concerning the access to sensors and actuators, and two proposed low-cost hardware architectures to operate with the abovementioned software tools are presented. They allow integrated and easy access to local or remote sensors and actuators. The software tools, integrated in the free authoring tool Easy Java and Javascript Simulations (EJS) solve the interaction issues between the subsystem that integrates sensors and actuators into the network, called convergence subsystem in this paper, and the Human Machine Interface (HMI)—this one designed using the intuitive graphical system of EJS—located on the user’s computer. The proposed hardware architectures and software tools are described and experimental implementations with the proposed tools are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the More Suitable ISM Frequency Band for IoT-Based Smart Grids: A Quantitative Study of 915 MHz vs. 2400 MHz
Sensors 2017, 17(1), 76; doi:10.3390/s17010076
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 31 December 2016
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Abstract
IoT has begun to be employed pervasively in industrial environments and critical infrastructures thanks to its positive impact on performance and efficiency. Among these environments, the Smart Grid (SG) excels as the perfect host for this technology, mainly due to its potential to
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IoT has begun to be employed pervasively in industrial environments and critical infrastructures thanks to its positive impact on performance and efficiency. Among these environments, the Smart Grid (SG) excels as the perfect host for this technology, mainly due to its potential to become the motor of the rest of electrically-dependent infrastructures. To make this SG-oriented IoT cost-effective, most deployments employ unlicensed ISM bands, specifically the 2400 MHz one, due to its extended communication bandwidth in comparison with lower bands. This band has been extensively used for years by Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) and Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANET), from which the IoT technologically inherits. However, this work questions and evaluates the suitability of such a “default” communication band in SG environments, compared with the 915 MHz ISM band. A comprehensive quantitative comparison of these bands has been accomplished in terms of: power consumption, average network delay, and packet reception rate. To allow such a study, a dual-band propagation model specifically designed for the SG has been derived, tested, and incorporated into the well-known TOSSIM simulator. Simulation results reveal that only in the absence of other 2400 MHz interfering devices (such as WiFi or Bluetooth) or in small networks, is the 2400 MHz band the best option. In any other case, SG-oriented IoT quantitatively perform better if operating in the 915 MHz band. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System
Sensors 2017, 17(1), 55; doi:10.3390/s17010055
Received: 26 November 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 26 December 2016 / Published: 29 December 2016
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Abstract
Bees are very important for terrestrial ecosystems and, above all, for the subsistence of many crops, due to their ability to pollinate flowers. Currently, the honey bee populations are decreasing due to colony collapse disorder (CCD). The reasons for CCD are not fully
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Bees are very important for terrestrial ecosystems and, above all, for the subsistence of many crops, due to their ability to pollinate flowers. Currently, the honey bee populations are decreasing due to colony collapse disorder (CCD). The reasons for CCD are not fully known, and as a result, it is essential to obtain all possible information on the environmental conditions surrounding the beehives. On the other hand, it is important to carry out such information gathering as non-intrusively as possible to avoid modifying the bees’ work conditions and to obtain more reliable data. We designed a wireless-sensor networks meet these requirements. We designed a remote monitoring system (called WBee) based on a hierarchical three-level model formed by the wireless node, a local data server, and a cloud data server. WBee is a low-cost, fully scalable, easily deployable system with regard to the number and types of sensors and the number of hives and their geographical distribution. WBee saves the data in each of the levels if there are failures in communication. In addition, the nodes include a backup battery, which allows for further data acquisition and storage in the event of a power outage. Unlike other systems that monitor a single point of a hive, the system we present monitors and stores the temperature and relative humidity of the beehive in three different spots. Additionally, the hive is continuously weighed on a weighing scale. Real-time weight measurement is an innovation in wireless beehive—monitoring systems. We designed an adaptation board to facilitate the connection of the sensors to the node. Through the Internet, researchers and beekeepers can access the cloud data server to find out the condition of their hives in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Novel Resistance Measurement Method: Analysis of Accuracy and Thermal Dependence with Applications in Fiber Materials
Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2129; doi:10.3390/s16122129
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 8 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
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Abstract
Material resistance is important since different physicochemical properties can be extracted from it. This work describes a novel resistance measurement method valid for a wide range of resistance values up to 100 GΩ at a low powered, small sized, digitally controlled and wireless
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Material resistance is important since different physicochemical properties can be extracted from it. This work describes a novel resistance measurement method valid for a wide range of resistance values up to 100 GΩ at a low powered, small sized, digitally controlled and wireless communicated device. The analog and digital circuits of the design are described, analysing the main error sources affecting the accuracy. Accuracy and extended uncertainty are obtained for a pattern decade box, showing a maximum of 1 % accuracy for temperatures below 30 C in the range from 1 MΩ to 100 GΩ. Thermal analysis showed stability up to 50 C for values below 10 GΩ and systematic deviations for higher values. Power supply V i applied to the measurement probes is also analysed, showing no differences in case of the pattern decade box, except for resistance values above 10 GΩ and temperatures above 35 C. To evaluate the circuit behaviour under fiber materials, an 11-day drying process in timber from four species (Oregon pine-Pseudotsuga menziesii, cedar-Cedrus atlantica, ash-Fraxinus excelsior, chestnut-Castanea sativa) was monitored. Results show that the circuit, as expected, provides different resistance values (they need individual conversion curves) for different species and the same ambient conditions. Additionally, it was found that, contrary to the decade box analysis, V i affects the resistance value due to material properties. In summary, the proposed circuit is able to accurately measure material resistance that can be further related to material properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Data-Driven Multiresolution Camera Using the Foveal Adaptive Pyramid
Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2003; doi:10.3390/s16122003
Received: 23 August 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 26 November 2016
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Abstract
There exist image processing applications, such as tracking or pattern recognition, that are not necessarily precise enough to maintain the same resolution across the whole image sensor. In fact, they must only keep it as high as possible in a relatively small region,
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There exist image processing applications, such as tracking or pattern recognition, that are not necessarily precise enough to maintain the same resolution across the whole image sensor. In fact, they must only keep it as high as possible in a relatively small region, but covering a wide field of view. This is the aim of foveal vision systems. Briefly, they propose to sense a large field of view at a spatially-variant resolution: one relatively small region, the fovea, is mapped at a high resolution, while the rest of the image is captured at a lower resolution. In these systems, this fovea must be moved, from one region of interest to another one, to scan a visual scene. It is interesting that the part of the scene that is covered by the fovea should not be merely spatial, but closely related to perceptual objects. Segmentation and attention are then intimately tied together: while the segmentation process is responsible for extracting perceptively-coherent entities from the scene (proto-objects), attention can guide segmentation. From this loop, the concept of foveal attention arises. This work proposes a hardware system for mapping a uniformly-sampled sensor to a space-variant one. Furthermore, this mapping is tied with a software-based, foveal attention mechanism that takes as input the stream of generated foveal images. The whole hardware/software architecture has been designed to be embedded within an all programmable system on chip (AP SoC). Our results show the flexibility of the data port for exchanging information between the mapping and attention parts of the architecture and the good performance rates of the mapping procedure. Experimental evaluation also demonstrates that the segmentation method and the attention model provide results comparable to other more computationally-expensive algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle On Gait Analysis Estimation Errors Using Force Sensors on a Smart Rollator
Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1896; doi:10.3390/s16111896
Received: 3 October 2016 / Revised: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 10 November 2016
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Abstract
Gait analysis can provide valuable information on a person’s condition and rehabilitation progress. Gait is typically captured using external equipment and/or wearable sensors. These tests are largely constrained to specific controlled environments. In addition, gait analysis often requires experts for calibration, operation and/or
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Gait analysis can provide valuable information on a person’s condition and rehabilitation progress. Gait is typically captured using external equipment and/or wearable sensors. These tests are largely constrained to specific controlled environments. In addition, gait analysis often requires experts for calibration, operation and/or to place sensors on volunteers. Alternatively, mobility support devices like rollators can be equipped with onboard sensors to monitor gait parameters, while users perform their Activities of Daily Living. Gait analysis in rollators may use odometry and force sensors in the handlebars. However, force based estimation of gait parameters is less accurate than traditional methods, especially when rollators are not properly used. This paper presents an evaluation of force based gait analysis using a smart rollator on different groups of users to determine when this methodology is applicable. In a second stage, the rollator is used in combination with two lab-based gait analysis systems to assess the rollator estimation error. Our results show that: (i) there is an inverse relation between the variance in the force difference between handlebars and support on the handlebars—related to the user condition—and the estimation error; and (ii) this error is lower than 10% when the variation in the force difference is above 7 N. This lower limit was exceeded by the 95.83% of our challenged volunteers. In conclusion, rollators are useful for gait characterization as long as users really need the device for ambulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Signal Conditioning for the Kalman Filter: Application to Satellite Attitude Estimation with Magnetometer and Sun Sensors
Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1817; doi:10.3390/s16111817
Received: 3 August 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
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Abstract
Most satellites use an on-board attitude estimation system, based on available sensors. In the case of low-cost satellites, which are of increasing interest, it is usual to use magnetometers and Sun sensors. A Kalman filter is commonly recommended for the estimation, to simultaneously
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Most satellites use an on-board attitude estimation system, based on available sensors. In the case of low-cost satellites, which are of increasing interest, it is usual to use magnetometers and Sun sensors. A Kalman filter is commonly recommended for the estimation, to simultaneously exploit the information from sensors and from a mathematical model of the satellite motion. It would be also convenient to adhere to a quaternion representation. This article focuses on some problems linked to this context. The state of the system should be represented in observable form. Singularities due to alignment of measured vectors cause estimation problems. Accommodation of the Kalman filter originates convergence difficulties. The article includes a new proposal that solves these problems, not needing changes in the Kalman filter algorithm. In addition, the article includes assessment of different errors, initialization values for the Kalman filter; and considers the influence of the magnetic dipole moment perturbation, showing how to handle it as part of the Kalman filter framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Integration of Error Compensation of Coordinate Measuring Machines into Feature Measurement: Part II—Experimental Implementation
Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1705; doi:10.3390/s16101705
Received: 7 August 2016 / Revised: 30 September 2016 / Accepted: 5 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
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Abstract
Coordinate measuring machines (CMM) are main instruments of measurement in laboratories and in industrial quality control. A compensation error model has been formulated (Part I). It integrates error and uncertainty in the feature measurement model. Experimental implementation for the verification of this model
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Coordinate measuring machines (CMM) are main instruments of measurement in laboratories and in industrial quality control. A compensation error model has been formulated (Part I). It integrates error and uncertainty in the feature measurement model. Experimental implementation for the verification of this model is carried out based on the direct testing on a moving bridge CMM. The regression results by axis are quantified and compared to CMM indication with respect to the assigned values of the measurand. Next, testing of selected measurements of length, flatness, dihedral angle, and roundness features are accomplished. The measurement of calibrated gauge blocks for length or angle, flatness verification of the CMM granite table and roundness of a precision glass hemisphere are presented under a setup of repeatability conditions. The results are analysed and compared with alternative methods of estimation. The overall performance of the model is endorsed through experimental verification, as well as the practical use and the model capability to contribute in the improvement of current standard CMM measuring capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Design, Implementation and Validation of the Three-Wheel Holonomic Motion System of the Assistant Personal Robot (APR)
Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1658; doi:10.3390/s16101658
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 27 September 2016 / Accepted: 29 September 2016 / Published: 10 October 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (9979 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the design, implementation and validation of the three-wheel holonomic motion system of a mobile robot designed to operate in homes. The holonomic motion system is described in terms of mechanical design and electronic control. The paper analyzes the kinematics of
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This paper presents the design, implementation and validation of the three-wheel holonomic motion system of a mobile robot designed to operate in homes. The holonomic motion system is described in terms of mechanical design and electronic control. The paper analyzes the kinematics of the motion system and validates the estimation of the trajectory comparing the displacement estimated with the internal odometry of the motors and the displacement estimated with a SLAM procedure based on LIDAR information. Results obtained in different experiments have shown a difference on less than 30 mm between the position estimated with the SLAM and odometry, and a difference in the angular orientation of the mobile robot lower than 5° in absolute displacements up to 1000 mm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Rapid On-Site Formation of a Free-Standing Flexible Optical Link for Sensing Applications
Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1643; doi:10.3390/s16101643
Received: 9 August 2016 / Accepted: 3 October 2016 / Published: 5 October 2016
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Abstract
An optical link, based on a conventional Scotch tape waveguide, for sensing applications requiring rapid on-site assembly is proposed and demonstrated. The flexible waveguide contains an integrated aluminum one-dimensional grating coupler that, when stuck on the radiative surface of a light emitting device,
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An optical link, based on a conventional Scotch tape waveguide, for sensing applications requiring rapid on-site assembly is proposed and demonstrated. The flexible waveguide contains an integrated aluminum one-dimensional grating coupler that, when stuck on the radiative surface of a light emitting device, allows light to be coupled in and transmitted through the tape, whose tip end is, in turn, adhered onto the photosensitive surface of a photodetector. The (de)coupling approaches exhibit high alignment tolerances that permit the formation of a free-standing flexible optical connection between surface-normal optoelectronic devices without the need of specialized equipment. As the first demonstration of a sensing application, the proposed optical link is easily configured as a cost-effective intensity-based refractometric sensor for liquid detection, which can be applicable to on-site quality and process control of, for example, beverages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Atmospheric Algorithms to Retrieve Vegetation in Natural Protected Areas Using Multispectral High Resolution Imagery
Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1624; doi:10.3390/s16101624
Received: 6 June 2016 / Revised: 5 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 30 September 2016
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Abstract
The precise mapping of vegetation covers in semi-arid areas is a complex task as this type of environment consists of sparse vegetation mainly composed of small shrubs. The launch of high resolution satellites, with additional spectral bands and the ability to alter the
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The precise mapping of vegetation covers in semi-arid areas is a complex task as this type of environment consists of sparse vegetation mainly composed of small shrubs. The launch of high resolution satellites, with additional spectral bands and the ability to alter the viewing angle, offers a useful technology to focus on this objective. In this context, atmospheric correction is a fundamental step in the pre-processing of such remote sensing imagery and, consequently, different algorithms have been developed for this purpose over the years. They are commonly categorized as imaged-based methods as well as in more advanced physical models based on the radiative transfer theory. Despite the relevance of this topic, a few comparative studies covering several methods have been carried out using high resolution data or which are specifically applied to vegetation covers. In this work, the performance of five representative atmospheric correction algorithms (DOS, QUAC, FLAASH, ATCOR and 6S) has been assessed, using high resolution Worldview-2 imagery and field spectroradiometer data collected simultaneously, with the goal of identifying the most appropriate techniques. The study also included a detailed analysis of the parameterization influence on the final results of the correction, the aerosol model and its optical thickness being important parameters to be properly adjusted. The effects of corrections were studied in vegetation and soil sites belonging to different protected semi-arid ecosystems (high mountain and coastal areas). In summary, the superior performance of model-based algorithms, 6S in particular, has been demonstrated, achieving reflectance estimations very close to the in-situ measurements (RMSE of between 2% and 3%). Finally, an example of the importance of the atmospheric correction in the vegetation estimation in these natural areas is presented, allowing the robust mapping of species and the analysis of multitemporal variations related to the human activity and climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Integration of Error Compensation of Coordinate Measuring Machines into Feature Measurement: Part I—Model Development
Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1610; doi:10.3390/s16101610
Received: 7 August 2016 / Revised: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
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Abstract
The development of an error compensation model for coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and its integration into feature measurement is presented. CMMs are widespread and dependable instruments in industry and laboratories for dimensional measurement. From the tip probe sensor to the machine display, there
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The development of an error compensation model for coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and its integration into feature measurement is presented. CMMs are widespread and dependable instruments in industry and laboratories for dimensional measurement. From the tip probe sensor to the machine display, there is a complex transformation of probed point coordinates through the geometrical feature model that makes the assessment of accuracy and uncertainty measurement results difficult. Therefore, error compensation is not standardized, conversely to other simpler instruments. Detailed coordinate error compensation models are generally based on CMM as a rigid-body and it requires a detailed mapping of the CMM’s behavior. In this paper a new model type of error compensation is proposed. It evaluates the error from the vectorial composition of length error by axis and its integration into the geometrical measurement model. The non-explained variability by the model is incorporated into the uncertainty budget. Model parameters are analyzed and linked to the geometrical errors and uncertainty of CMM response. Next, the outstanding measurement models of flatness, angle, and roundness are developed. The proposed models are useful for measurement improvement with easy integration into CMM signal processing, in particular in industrial environments where built-in solutions are sought. A battery of implementation tests are presented in Part II, where the experimental endorsement of the model is included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Streetlight Control System Based on Wireless Communication over DALI Protocol
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 597; doi:10.3390/s16050597
Received: 11 March 2016 / Revised: 12 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 27 April 2016
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Abstract
Public lighting represents a large part of the energy consumption of towns and cities. Efficient management of public lighting can entail significant energy savings. This work presents a smart system for managing public lighting networks based on wireless communication and the DALI protocol.
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Public lighting represents a large part of the energy consumption of towns and cities. Efficient management of public lighting can entail significant energy savings. This work presents a smart system for managing public lighting networks based on wireless communication and the DALI protocol. Wireless communication entails significant economic savings, as there is no need to install new wiring and visual impacts and damage to the facades of historical buildings in city centers are avoided. The DALI protocol uses bidirectional communication with the ballast, which allows its status to be controlled and monitored at all times. The novelty of this work is that it tackles all aspects related to the management of public lighting: a standard protocol, DALI, was selected to control the ballast, a wireless node based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard with a DALI interface was designed, a network layer that considers the topology of the lighting network has been developed, and lastly, some user-friendly applications for the control and maintenance of the system by the technical crews of the different towns and cities have been developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Development of Conductivity Sensors for Multi-Phase Flow Local Measurements at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and University Jaume I of Castellon (UJI)
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1077; doi:10.3390/s17051077
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
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Abstract
This paper describes all the procedures and methods currently used at UPV (Universitat Politécnica de Valencia) and UJI (University Jaume I) for the development and use of sensors for multi-phase flow analysis in vertical pipes. This paper also describes the methods that we
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This paper describes all the procedures and methods currently used at UPV (Universitat Politécnica de Valencia) and UJI (University Jaume I) for the development and use of sensors for multi-phase flow analysis in vertical pipes. This paper also describes the methods that we use to obtain the values of the two-phase flow magnitudes from the sensor signals and the validation and cross-verification methods developed to check the consistency of the results obtained for these magnitudes with the sensors. First, we provide information about the procedures used to build the multi-sensor conductivity probes and some of the tests performed with different materials to avoid sensor degradation issues. In addition, we provide information about the characteristics of the electric circuits that feed the sensors. Then the data acquisition of the conductivity probe, the signal conditioning and the data processing including the device that have been designed to automatize all the measurement process of moving the sensors inside the channels by means of stepper electric motors controlled by computer are shown in operation. Then, we explain the methods used for bubble identification and categorization. Finally, we describe the methodology used to obtain the two-phase flow information from the sensor signals. This includes the following items: void fraction, gas velocity, Sauter mean diameter and interfacial area concentration. The last part of this paper is devoted to the conductance probes developed for the annular flow analysis, which includes the analysis of the interfacial waves produced in annular flow and that requires a different type of sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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Open AccessReview Time Modulated Arrays: From their Origin to Their Utilization in Wireless Communication Systems
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 590; doi:10.3390/s17030590
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Time-modulated arrays (TMAs) are electromagnetic systems whose radiated power pattern is controlled by the application of variable-width periodical pulses to the individual elements. The nonlinear nature of the array operation causes the appearance of radiation patterns at the harmonic frequencies of such periodic
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Time-modulated arrays (TMAs) are electromagnetic systems whose radiated power pattern is controlled by the application of variable-width periodical pulses to the individual elements. The nonlinear nature of the array operation causes the appearance of radiation patterns at the harmonic frequencies of such periodic pulses. The technique can be used for improving the side-lobe level (SLL) topology of the radiation pattern at the central frequency and/or to profitably exploit the harmonic patterns in order to supply smart antenna capabilities. Among the latter features, the TMA harmonic beamforming takes on special importance due to its attractive trade-off performance-hardware complexity. From this perspective, TMAs are sensors capable of transforming the spatial diversity of a communication channel into frequency diversity, thus improving the performance of a wireless communication. In addition to a walk through the origins of the concept, and a brief analysis of the mathematical fundamentals, this paper organizes the prolific state of the art of TMAs in two major thematic blocks: (1) TMA design from an antenna perspective; and (2) TMA design from a signal processing perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)
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