Smart Measurement Architectures and Autonomous Sensors: Emerging Techniques, Nonlinear Features, Future Trends

A special issue of Instruments (ISSN 2410-390X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2020) | Viewed by 11162

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica, Elettronica e Informatica, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: sensors; transducers; energy harvesting; MEMS; NEMS; fluxgate magnetometers; green and biodegradable sensors
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, there has been an increasing demand for smart measurement architectures and autonomous sensors and transducers. In this context, emerging techniques, the exploitation of nonlinear features in measurement systems, and novel materials/solutions for self-sustained sensors have emerged as prominent research areas and continue to grow at a rapid pace in several branches of science.

In particular, measurement systems based on energy scavengers and “smart” self-powered sensors/transducers have arouse the interest of the international scientific community, with a special emphasis in the areas of measurement, instrumentation, and metrology. Recent efforts to recover energy from the environment and to supply or to sustain measurement architectures have been focused at the macro scale, but also are important at the integrated scale (MEMS, Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems) and the nano scale (NEMS, Nano-Electro-Mechanical-Systems).

It is worth noting that several ways to improve the performance and efficiency of measurement architectures and sensors have been explored in the literature, including conversion methods, extraction mechanisms, the exploitation of nonlinearities, novel readouts, and several other intriguing and singular methods.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to publish high-quality research articles as well as reviews that address recent developments, progresses on theories, principles, methodologies of transduction/sensing, and techniques regarding smart measurement architectures and autonomous solutions, in addition to the relevant prospects, opportunities, and challenges in this field.

We welcome submissions on a wide range of topics that include, but are not limited to:

  • Self-powered and autonomous or quasi-autonomous sensors;
  • Smart solutions in measurements systems;
  • Novel methodologies of measurement based on nonlinear behaviors;
  • Wake-up solutions and “zero-current” stand-by methods;
  • Smart energy harvesting;
  • Smart techniques for non-destructive analyses and non-invasive measurements;
  • Linear and nonlinear mechanisms and techniques;
  • Emerging technologies and methods for energy harvesting;
  • Power management and interfaces;
  • Low-power conditioning circuits for sensors;
  • Nonlinear electro-mechanical transducers;
  • The exploitation of complexity in sensors, MEMS, and NEMS;
  • Emerging materials and methods for sensing and energy conversions.

Prof. Carlo Trigona
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • autonomous sensors
  • smart measurement systems
  • smart energy harvesting

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

9 pages, 3617 KiB  
Article
CT-Dose Measurement of the Spinal Cord Region Using XR-QA2 Radiochromic Films and TLD 100H Dosimeters
by Martina Pace, Giuseppe Stella, Letizia Barone Tonghi, Stefania Mazzaglia and Anna Maria Gueli
Instruments 2020, 4(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments4030019 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1997
Abstract
The European Directive 2013/59/Euratom focuses on the radiation protection and patient dosimetry. In particular, the dose absorbed by serial organs such as the spinal cord due to diagnostic exams plays a crucial role in the appraisal of medical exposure. In this work, a [...] Read more.
The European Directive 2013/59/Euratom focuses on the radiation protection and patient dosimetry. In particular, the dose absorbed by serial organs such as the spinal cord due to diagnostic exams plays a crucial role in the appraisal of medical exposure. In this work, a comparison between dose measurements performed with GafchromicTM XR-QA2 and TLD 100H is presented. The dosimeters—after a calibration procedure through an X-ray tube—were placed within the thorax region of an anthropomorphic phantom corresponding to the spinal cord area exposed to a thoracic CT procedure. The mean-dose value was measured with GafchromicTM first, and it was then compared to the dose value obtained with TLDs, resulting in a good agreement between the two dosimetric methodologies. Additionally, the results showed that—due to the usage of the automatic exposure control (EC) system—the discrepancy between the two methods is proportional to the current output of the CT system. Full article
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11 pages, 1212 KiB  
Article
A Software Improvement Technique for Platinum Resistance Thermometers
by Andrew Chen, Hsuan-Yu Chen and Chiachung Chen
Instruments 2020, 4(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments4020015 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2967
Abstract
Temperature measurement is essential in industries. The advantages of resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) are high sensitivity, repeatability, and long-term stability. The measurement performance of this thermometer is of concern. The connection between RTDs and a novel microprocessor system provides a new method to [...] Read more.
Temperature measurement is essential in industries. The advantages of resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) are high sensitivity, repeatability, and long-term stability. The measurement performance of this thermometer is of concern. The connection between RTDs and a novel microprocessor system provides a new method to improve the performance of RTDs. In this study, the adequate piecewise sections and the order of polynomial calibration equations were evaluated. Systematic errors were found when the relationship between temperature and resistance for PT-1000 data was expressed using the inverse Callendar-Van Dusen equation. The accuracy of these calibration equations can be improved significantly with two piecewise equations in different temperature ranges. Two datasets of the resistance of PT-1000 sensors in the range from 0 °C to 50 °C were measured. The first dataset was used to establish adequate calibration equations with regression analysis. In the second dataset, the prediction temperatures were calculated by these previously established calibration equations. The difference between prediction temperatures and the standard temperature was used as a criterion to evaluate the prediction performance. The accuracy and precision of PT-1000 sensors could be improved significantly with adequate calibration equations. The accuracy and precision were 0.027 °C and 0.126 °C, respectively. The technique developed in this study could be used for other RTD sensors and/or different temperature ranges. Full article
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10 pages, 2198 KiB  
Article
The Role of Scale Adjustment in Color Change Evaluation
by Anna Maria Gueli, Stefania Pasquale, Giuseppe Politi and Giuseppe Stella
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030042 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2586
Abstract
The aim of this research work was to assess the influence of different scale adjustment conditions on both color measurement and color difference quantification and, in particular, to determine the best procedure to follow for a high-reliability protocol. This issue is very important [...] Read more.
The aim of this research work was to assess the influence of different scale adjustment conditions on both color measurement and color difference quantification and, in particular, to determine the best procedure to follow for a high-reliability protocol. This issue is very important in the Cultural Heritage field and, above all, in color measurement, which is carried out at different times during conservation and restoration campaigns or during archaeological excavations. Color change evaluation, performed by way of spectrophotometric measurements under different scale adjustment procedures on selected samples represented by colored reflectance standards and colored paintings, aimed to obtain results not only on ideal samples (certified standards) but also on real case studies (paintings). The study was conducted by focusing on the coordinates of the CIELAB color space and, in particular, on the calculation of the ΔE*ab quantity. The results show the introduction of nonsystematic variation with different scale adjustment procedures independent of materials and hue. Full article
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10 pages, 1291 KiB  
Article
Absorbed Dose Evaluation in Radioiodine Therapy with Different Approaches
by Stefania Mazzaglia, Giuseppe Stella, Letizia Barone Tonghi, Cristina N. Tuvé, Giuseppe Politi, Gabriella Pellegriti and Anna M. Gueli
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030039 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3033
Abstract
The main approach to differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) therapy is still empiric, consisting of the administration of fixed activities. Repeated treatments, however, may have a stunning effect. An individualized dosimetric study may represent an important tool to determine the best activity to prescribe, [...] Read more.
The main approach to differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) therapy is still empiric, consisting of the administration of fixed activities. Repeated treatments, however, may have a stunning effect. An individualized dosimetric study may represent an important tool to determine the best activity to prescribe, in particular for patients with distant metastases or when therapy with recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) stimulation is deemed necessary. This study provides a practical operational example for carrying out a dosimetric study, according to the European Directive EURATOM/59/13. Starting from the case of a patient who underwent rhTSH stimulation before radioiodine ablation, we illustrate the necessity of measuring both red marrow (RM) and blood (BL) absorbed dose during the treatment in order to not exceed the dose limit of 2 Gy to the RM, so as to avoid repeating radioiodine treatment several times. Dosimetry to the RM and BL was performed during the treatments, after administration of therapeutic activity without modifying the fixed activity schema, using different approaches. The results suggest the possibility of restricting the number of treatments, reducing thus the risk of stunning effect and, where possible, eliminating an additional source of stress and dejection for patients. Full article
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