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Special Issue "State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in the UK 2013"

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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 May 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Nicholas Dale

Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Warwick Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK
Phone: 024 7652 3729
Interests: amperometric biosensors, neuroscience, physiology, chemosensing, purinergic signalling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of this special issue is to provide a comprehensive view of the state-of-the-art sensors technology in the UK. Research articles and reviews are solicited which will provide a comprehensive insight into the state-of-the-art in the UK on any aspect of novel sensor development and applications.

Prof. Dr. Nicholas Dale
Guest Editor

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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).


Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Development of a Real Time Sparse Non-Negative Matrix Factorization Module for Cochlear Implants by Using xPC Target
Sensors 2013, 13(10), 13861-13878; doi:10.3390/s131013861
Received: 19 July 2013 / Revised: 9 September 2013 / Accepted: 26 September 2013 / Published: 14 October 2013
PDF Full-text (519 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cochlear implants (CIs) require efficient speech processing to maximize information transmission to the brain, especially in noise. A novel CI processing strategy was proposed in our previous studies, in which sparsity-constrained non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) was applied to the envelope matrix in [...] Read more.
Cochlear implants (CIs) require efficient speech processing to maximize information transmission to the brain, especially in noise. A novel CI processing strategy was proposed in our previous studies, in which sparsity-constrained non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) was applied to the envelope matrix in order to improve the CI performance in noisy environments. It showed that the algorithm needs to be adaptive, rather than fixed, in order to adjust to acoustical conditions and individual characteristics. Here, we explore the benefit of a system that allows the user to adjust the signal processing in real time according to their individual listening needs and their individual hearing capabilities. In this system, which is based on MATLABR , SIMULINKR and the xPC TargetTM environment, the input/outupt (I/O) boards are interfaced between the SIMULINK blocks and the CI stimulation system, such that the output can be controlled successfully in the manner of a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation, hence offering a convenient way to implement a real time signal processing module that does not require any low level language. The sparsity constrained parameter of the algorithm was adapted online subjectively during an experiment with normal-hearing subjects and noise vocoded speech simulation. Results show that subjects chose different parameter values according to their own intelligibility preferences, indicating that adaptive real time algorithms are beneficial to fully explore subjective preferences. We conclude that the adaptive real time systems are beneficial for the experimental design, and such systems allow one to conduct psychophysical experiments with high ecological validity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in the UK 2013)
Open AccessArticle Rapid Online Analysis of Local Feature Detectors and Their Complementarity
Sensors 2013, 13(8), 10876-10907; doi:10.3390/s130810876
Received: 3 July 2013 / Revised: 7 August 2013 / Accepted: 16 August 2013 / Published: 19 August 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1748 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A vision system that can assess its own performance and take appropriate actions online to maximize its effectiveness would be a step towards achieving the long-cherished goal of imitating humans. This paper proposes a method for performing an online performance analysis of [...] Read more.
A vision system that can assess its own performance and take appropriate actions online to maximize its effectiveness would be a step towards achieving the long-cherished goal of imitating humans. This paper proposes a method for performing an online performance analysis of local feature detectors, the primary stage of many practical vision systems. It advocates the spatial distribution of local image features as a good performance indicator and presents a metric that can be calculated rapidly, concurs with human visual assessments and is complementary to existing offline measures such as repeatability. The metric is shown to provide a measure of complementarity for combinations of detectors, correctly reflecting the underlying principles of individual detectors. Qualitative results on well-established datasets for several state-of-the-art detectors are presented based on the proposed measure. Using a hypothesis testing approach and a newly-acquired, larger image database, statistically-significant performance differences are identified. Different detector pairs and triplets are examined quantitatively and the results provide a useful guideline for combining detectors in applications that require a reasonable spatial distribution of image features. A principled framework for combining feature detectors in these applications is also presented. Timing results reveal the potential of the metric for online applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in the UK 2013)
Open AccessArticle Potential of On-Line Visible and Near Infrared Spectroscopy for Measurement of pH for Deriving Variable Rate Lime Recommendations
Sensors 2013, 13(8), 10177-10190; doi:10.3390/s130810177
Received: 31 May 2013 / Revised: 18 July 2013 / Accepted: 31 July 2013 / Published: 8 August 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (584 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims at exploring the potential of visible and near infrared (vis-NIR) spectroscopy for on-line measurement of soil pH, with the intention to produce variable rate lime recommendation maps. An on-line vis-NIR soil sensor set up to a frame was used [...] Read more.
This paper aims at exploring the potential of visible and near infrared (vis-NIR) spectroscopy for on-line measurement of soil pH, with the intention to produce variable rate lime recommendation maps. An on-line vis-NIR soil sensor set up to a frame was used in this study. Lime application maps, based on pH predicted by vis-NIR techniques, were compared with maps based on traditional lab-measured pH. The validation of the calibration model using off-line spectra provided excellent prediction accuracy of pH (R2 = 0.85, RMSEP = 0.18 and RPD = 2.52), as compared to very good accuracy obtained with the on-line measured spectra (R2 = 0.81, RMSEP = 0.20 and RPD = 2.14). On-line predicted pH of all points (e.g., 2,160) resulted in the largest overall field virtual lime requirement (1.404 t), as compared to those obtained with 16 validation points off-line prediction (0.28 t), on-line prediction (0.14 t) and laboratory reference measurement (0.48 t). The conclusion is that the vis-NIR spectroscopy can be successfully used for the prediction of soil pH and for deriving lime recommendations. The advantage of the on-line sensor over sampling with limited number of samples is that more detailed information about pH can be obtained, which is the reason for a higher but precise calculated lime recommendation rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in the UK 2013)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Placement of Accelerometers for the Detection of Everyday Activities
Sensors 2013, 13(7), 9183-9200; doi:10.3390/s130709183
Received: 27 April 2013 / Revised: 28 June 2013 / Accepted: 9 July 2013 / Published: 17 July 2013
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (492 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article describes an investigation to determine the optimal placement of accelerometers for the purpose of detecting a range of everyday activities. The paper investigates the effect of combining data from accelerometers placed at various bodily locations on the accuracy of activity [...] Read more.
This article describes an investigation to determine the optimal placement of accelerometers for the purpose of detecting a range of everyday activities. The paper investigates the effect of combining data from accelerometers placed at various bodily locations on the accuracy of activity detection. Eight healthy males participated within the study. Data were collected from six wireless tri-axial accelerometers placed at the chest, wrist, lower back, hip, thigh and foot. Activities included walking, running on a motorized treadmill, sitting, lying, standing and walking up and down stairs. The Support Vector Machine provided the most accurate detection of activities of all the machine learning algorithms investigated. Although data from all locations provided similar levels of accuracy, the hip was the best single location to record data for activity detection using a Support Vector Machine, providing small but significantly better accuracy than the other investigated locations. Increasing the number of sensing locations from one to two or more statistically increased the accuracy of classification. There was no significant difference in accuracy when using two or more sensors. It was noted, however, that the difference in activity detection using single or multiple accelerometers may be more pronounced when trying to detect finer grain activities. Future work shall therefore investigate the effects of accelerometer placement on a larger range of these activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in the UK 2013)
Open AccessArticle An Optimized Handover Scheme with Movement Trend Awareness for Body Sensor Networks
Sensors 2013, 13(6), 7308-7322; doi:10.3390/s130607308
Received: 28 March 2013 / Revised: 26 May 2013 / Accepted: 29 May 2013 / Published: 3 June 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (594 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When a body sensor network (BSN) that is linked to the backbone via a wireless network interface moves from one coverage zone to another, a handover is required to maintain network connectivity. This paper presents an optimized handover scheme with movement trend [...] Read more.
When a body sensor network (BSN) that is linked to the backbone via a wireless network interface moves from one coverage zone to another, a handover is required to maintain network connectivity. This paper presents an optimized handover scheme with movement trend awareness for BSNs. The proposed scheme predicts the future position of a BSN user using the movement trend extracted from the historical position, and adjusts the handover decision accordingly. Handover initiation time is optimized when the unnecessary handover rate is estimated to meet the requirement and the outage probability is minimized. The proposed handover scheme is simulated in a BSN deployment area in a hospital environment in UK. Simulation results show that the proposed scheme reduces the outage probability by 22% as compared with the existing hysteresis-based handover scheme under the constraint of acceptable handover rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in the UK 2013)
Open AccessArticle A Novel Solid State Non-Dispersive Infrared CO2 Gas Sensor Compatible with Wireless and Portable Deployment
Sensors 2013, 13(6), 7079-7103; doi:10.3390/s130607079
Received: 8 April 2013 / Revised: 14 May 2013 / Accepted: 17 May 2013 / Published: 29 May 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (999 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes development of a novel mid-infrared light emitting diode (LED) and photodiode (PD) light source/detector combination and use within a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) carbon dioxide gas sensor. The LED/PD based NDIR sensor provides fast stabilisation time (time required to turn [...] Read more.
This paper describes development of a novel mid-infrared light emitting diode (LED) and photodiode (PD) light source/detector combination and use within a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) carbon dioxide gas sensor. The LED/PD based NDIR sensor provides fast stabilisation time (time required to turn on the sensor from cold, warm up, take and report a measurement, and power down again ≈1 second), longevity (>15 years), low power consumption and low cost. Described performance is compatible with “fit and forget” wireless deployed sensors in applications such as indoor air quality monitoring/control & energy conservation in buildings, transport systems, horticultural greenhouses and portable deployment for safety, industrial and medical applications. Fast stabilisation time, low intrinsic power consumption and cycled operation offer typical energy consumption per measurement of mJ’s, providing extended operation using battery and/or energy harvesting strategies (measurement interval of ≈ 2 minutes provides >10 years operation from one AA battery). Specific performance data is provided in relation to measurement accuracy and noise, temperature performance, cross sensitivity, measurement range (two pathlength variants are described covering ambient through to 100% gas concentration), comparison with NDIR utilizing thermal source/pyroelectric light source/detector combination and compatibility with energy harvesting. Semiconductor based LED/PD processing together with injection moulded reflective optics and simple assembly provide a route to low cost high volume manufacturing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in the UK 2013)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview In-Plane Resonant Nano-Electro-Mechanical Sensors: A Comprehensive Study on Design, Fabrication and Characterization Challenges
Sensors 2013, 13(7), 9364-9387; doi:10.3390/s130709364
Received: 9 June 2013 / Revised: 12 July 2013 / Accepted: 18 July 2013 / Published: 22 July 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The newly proposed in-plane resonant nano-electro-mechanical (IP R-NEM) sensor, that includes a doubly clamped suspended beam and two side electrodes, achieved a mass sensitivity of less than zepto g/Hz based on analytical and numerical analyses. The high frequency characterization and numerical/analytical studies [...] Read more.
The newly proposed in-plane resonant nano-electro-mechanical (IP R-NEM) sensor, that includes a doubly clamped suspended beam and two side electrodes, achieved a mass sensitivity of less than zepto g/Hz based on analytical and numerical analyses. The high frequency characterization and numerical/analytical studies of the fabricated sensor show that the high vacuum measurement environment will ease the resonance detection using the capacitance detection technique if only the thermoelsatic damping plays a dominant role for the total quality factor of the sensor. The usage of the intrinsic junction-less field-effect-transistor (JL FET) for the resonance detection of the sensor provides a more practical detection method for this sensor. As the second proposed sensor, the introduction of the monolithically integrated in-plane MOSFET with the suspended beam provides another solution for the ease of resonance frequency detection with similar operation to the junction-less transistor in the IP R-NEM sensor. The challenging fabrication technology for the in-plane resonant suspended gate field-effect-transistor (IP RSG-FET) sensor results in some post processing and simulation steps to fully explore and improve the direct current (DC) characteristics of the sensor for the consequent high frequency measurement. The results of modeling and characterization in this research provide a realistic guideline for these potential ultra-sensitive NEM sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in the UK 2013)
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