sensors-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 28880

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mechanical Engineering Institute, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Route Cantonale, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Interests: MEMS; NEMS; piezoelectric transduction; resonators; nonlinearity; 2D materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'Informazione, Università degli Studi di Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Interests: MEMS; MOEMS; optical sensors; interferometry; microphotonics; biophotonics; biosensors; lab on a chip
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Via Roma 29, 81031 Aversa, Italy
Interests: optical sensors; biosensors and chemical sensors; optical fiber sensors and optoelectronic devices
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Via Roma, 29, 81031 Aversa, Italy
Interests: distributed optical fiber sensors; structural health monitoring; polymer optical fiber sensors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Facultad de Ingenieria y Ciencias Aplicadas, Universidad de Las Americas, Campus UDLAPARK, Redondel del Ciclista, Antigua Via a Nayon, Quito 170124, Ecuador
Interests: signal processing; estimation; control for sensors; robust and optimal sensor systems and their applications; statistical analysis of the information obtained from sensor measurements; signal conditioning techniques for intelligent sensors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA
Interests: computer vision; deep learning; adaptive and robust learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
“Nello Carrara” Institute of Applied Physics, IFAC-CNR, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Firenze, Italy
Interests: optics; optical sensors; fibre optic sensors; point of care testing (POCT)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD 4111, Australia
Interests: integrated circuit; VLSI; MEMS; piezoelectric films
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that the Physical Sensors section is currently compiling a collection of papers submitted exclusively by Editorial Board Members (EBMs) of our section.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to publish a set of papers that typify the most insightful, influential, and original articles or reviews, in which our section’s EBMs discuss key topics in the field. We expect these papers to be widely read and highly influential within the field. All papers in this Special Issue will be collected in a printed book after the deadline and will be widely promoted. 

We would also like to take this opportunity to call on the most accomplished scholars to join the Physical Sensors section so that we can achieve more milestones together.

Dr. Guillermo Villanueva
Prof. Dr. Sabina Merlo
Dr. Nunzio Cennamo
Prof. Dr. Aldo Minardo
Dr. Wilmar Hernandez
Prof. Dr. Andreas Savakis
Dr. Cosimo Trono
Dr. Faisal Mohd-Yasin
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 semimonthly 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 2600 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.

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (21 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

17 pages, 510 KiB  
Article
Feedback Beamforming in the Time Domain
by Zvi Aharon Herscovici and Israel Cohen
Sensors 2024, 24(7), 2179; https://doi.org/10.3390/s24072179 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Real-time source localization is crucial for high-end automation and artificial intelligence (AI) products. However, a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and limited processing time can reduce localization accuracy. This work proposes a new architecture for a time-domain feedback-based beamformer that meets real-time processing demands. [...] Read more.
Real-time source localization is crucial for high-end automation and artificial intelligence (AI) products. However, a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and limited processing time can reduce localization accuracy. This work proposes a new architecture for a time-domain feedback-based beamformer that meets real-time processing demands. The main objective of this design is to locate reflective sources by estimating their direction of arrival (DOA) and signal range. Incorporating a feedback mechanism in this architecture refines localization precision, a unique aspect of this approach. We conducted an in-depth analysis to compare the effectiveness of time-domain feedback beamforming against conventional time-domain methods, highlighting their benefits and limitations. Our evaluation of the proposed architecture, based on critical performance indicators such as peak-to-sidelobe ratio, mainlobe width, and directivity factor, demonstrates its ability to improve beamformer effectiveness significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 8638 KiB  
Article
An Efficient Procedure to Compensate for the Errors Due to the Probe Mispositioning in a Cylindrical Near-Field Facility
by Florindo Bevilacqua, Francesco D’Agostino, Flaminio Ferrara, Claudio Gennarelli, Rocco Guerriero, Massimo Migliozzi and Giovanni Riccio
Sensors 2024, 24(6), 1787; https://doi.org/10.3390/s24061787 - 10 Mar 2024
Viewed by 513
Abstract
This paper deals with the compensation of the probe mispositioning errors occurring in a cylindrical near-field (NF) facility due to the imprecise control of the linear and azimuthal positioners allowing the cylindrical scanning and/or to their limited resolution and to defects in the [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the compensation of the probe mispositioning errors occurring in a cylindrical near-field (NF) facility due to the imprecise control of the linear and azimuthal positioners allowing the cylindrical scanning and/or to their limited resolution and to defects in the rails guiding the linear motion. As a result, 3-D errors in the positioning of the probe at any sampling point, as prescribed by the adopted non-redundant representation, affect the accuracy of the NF measurements. An efficient procedure is here proposed to properly compensate for these errors. It involves two steps. The former allows one to correct the mispositioning errors due to the deviation of each actual sampling point from the nominal measurement cylinder. The latter makes use of an iterative technique to restore the NF samples at any sampling point fixed by the used non-redundant representation from the ones obtained at the previous step and affected by 2-D mispositioning errors. Once these steps have been fruitfully applied, the so-compensated NF samples are effectively interpolated through a 2-D optimal sampling interpolation (OSI) formula to accurately reconstruct the input data required to perform the traditional cylindrical near-to-far-field transformation. The OSI representation is here developed by considering an elongated antenna under test as enclosed either in a prolate spheroid or in a cylinder terminated by two half spheres (rounded cylinder) in order to make the representation effectively non-redundant. Numerical test results, which thoroughly prove the efficacy of the devised procedure in correcting even severe 3-D mispositioning errors, are reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 23803 KiB  
Article
Scale Modular Test Platform for the Characterization of PD Measuring Systems Using HFCT Sensors
by Eduardo Arcones, Fernando Álvarez, Abderrahim Khamlichi and Fernando Garnacho
Sensors 2024, 24(5), 1363; https://doi.org/10.3390/s24051363 - 21 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1009
Abstract
Today, online partial discharge (PD) measurements are common practice to assess the condition status of dielectrics in high-voltage (HV) electrical grids. However, when online PD measurements are carried out in electrical facilities, several disadvantages must be considered. Among the most important are high [...] Read more.
Today, online partial discharge (PD) measurements are common practice to assess the condition status of dielectrics in high-voltage (HV) electrical grids. However, when online PD measurements are carried out in electrical facilities, several disadvantages must be considered. Among the most important are high levels of changing electrical noise and interferences, signal phase couplings (cross-talk phenomena), and the simultaneous presence of various defects and difficulties in localizing and identifying them. In the last few decades, various PD-measuring systems have been developed to deal with these inconveniences and try to achieve the adequate supervision of electrical installations. In the state of the art, one of the main problems that electrical companies and technology developers face is the difficulty in characterizing the measuring system’s functionalities in laboratory setups or in real-world facilities, where simulated or real defects must be detected. This is mainly due to the complexity and costs that the laboratory setups entail and the fact that the facilities are permanently in service. Furthermore, in the latter scenario, owners cannot assign facilities to carry out the tests, which could cause irreversible damage. Additionally, with the aforementioned installations, a comparison of results over time in various locations is not possible, and noise conditions cannot be controlled to perform the characterizations in a correct way. To deal with the problems indicated, in this article, an affordable scale modular test platform that simulates an HV installation is presented, where real on-site PD measuring conditions are simulated and controlled. In this first development, the HV installation comprises a cable system connected at both ends to a gas-insulated substation (GIS). As the most common acquisition technique in online applications is based on the placement of high-frequency current transformer (HFCT) sensors in the grounding cables of facilities, the test platform is mainly adapted to carry out measurements with this type of sensor. The designed and developed test platform was validated to assess its features and the degree of convergence with a real installation, showing the convenience of its use for the appropriate and standardized characterization of PD-measuring systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 4252 KiB  
Article
Temperature Hotspot Detection on Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) Using Ultrasonic Guided Waves—A Machine Learning Approach
by Lawrence Yule, Nicholas Harris, Martyn Hill, Bahareh Zaghari and Joanna Grundy
Sensors 2024, 24(4), 1081; https://doi.org/10.3390/s24041081 - 7 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1265
Abstract
This paper addresses the challenging issue of achieving high spatial resolution in temperature monitoring of printed circuit boards (PCBs) without compromising the operation of electronic components. Traditional methods involving numerous dedicated sensors such as thermocouples are often intrusive and can impact electronic functionality. [...] Read more.
This paper addresses the challenging issue of achieving high spatial resolution in temperature monitoring of printed circuit boards (PCBs) without compromising the operation of electronic components. Traditional methods involving numerous dedicated sensors such as thermocouples are often intrusive and can impact electronic functionality. To overcome this, this study explores the application of ultrasonic guided waves, specifically utilising a limited number of cost-effective and unobtrusive Piezoelectric Wafer Active Sensors (PWAS). Employing COMSOL multiphysics, wave propagation is simulated through a simplified PCB while systematically varying the temperature of both components and the board itself. Machine learning algorithms are used to identify hotspots at component positions using a minimal number of sensors. An accuracy of 97.6% is achieved with four sensors, decreasing to 88.1% when utilizing a single sensor in a pulse–echo configuration. The proposed methodology not only provides sufficient spatial resolution to identify hotspots but also offers a non-invasive and efficient solution. Such advancements are important for the future electrification of the aerospace and automotive industries in particular, as they contribute to condition-monitoring technologies that are essential for ensuring the reliability and safety of electronic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 1864 KiB  
Communication
Novel Deposition Method of Crosslinked Polyethylene Thin Film for Low-Refractive-Index Mid-Infrared Optical Coatings
by Taeyoon Jeon, Jieun Myung, Changsoon Choi, Komron Shayegan, Scott M. Lewis and Axel Scherer
Sensors 2023, 23(24), 9810; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23249810 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 964
Abstract
Mid-infrared optics require optical coatings composed of high- and low-refractive-index dielectric layers for the design of optical mirrors, filters, and anti-reflection coatings. However, there are not many technologies for depositing a material with a refractive index of less than 2 and a low [...] Read more.
Mid-infrared optics require optical coatings composed of high- and low-refractive-index dielectric layers for the design of optical mirrors, filters, and anti-reflection coatings. However, there are not many technologies for depositing a material with a refractive index of less than 2 and a low loss in the mid-infrared region. Here, we present a unique deposition method of crosslinked polyethylene thin film for mid-IR optical filter design. Polyethylene has a refractive index of 1.52 in the mid-infrared region and a small number of absorption peaks, so it is useful for making optical filters in the mid-infrared region. Only 1 keV of energy is required to crosslink the entire film by irradiating an electron beam while depositing polyethylene. In addition, crosslinked polyethylene thin film has high mechanical strength, so there is no cracking or peeling when used with germanium. This allows for the use of crosslinked polyethylene as a low refractive index for mid-infrared optical coating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 6121 KiB  
Article
Design of a Remote, Multi-Range Conductivity Sensor
by Georgiana Dima, Anna Radkovskaya, Christopher J. Stevens, Laszlo Solymar and Ekaterina Shamonina
Sensors 2023, 23(24), 9711; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23249711 - 8 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1169
Abstract
So far, research on remote conductivity detection has primarily focused on large conductivities. This paper examines the entire conductivity range, proposing a method that can be adapted to the desired application. The optimization procedure for the different regions is presented and discussed. Specific [...] Read more.
So far, research on remote conductivity detection has primarily focused on large conductivities. This paper examines the entire conductivity range, proposing a method that can be adapted to the desired application. The optimization procedure for the different regions is presented and discussed. Specific interest is given to the low-conductivity range, below 10 S/m, which covers human body tissues. This could lead to applications in body imaging, especially for induction tomography. Conductivities below 12.5 S/m are extracted experimentally with an error below 10%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 5445 KiB  
Article
The Fabrication and Evaluation of a Capacitive Pressure Sensor Using Ru-Based Thin Film Metallic Glass with Structural Relaxation by Heat Treatment
by Hodaka Otsuka, Takafumi Ninoseki, Chiemi Oka, Seiichi Hata and Junpei Sakurai
Sensors 2023, 23(23), 9557; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23239557 - 1 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1084
Abstract
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based capacitive pressure sensors are conventionally fabricated from diaphragms made of Si, which has a high elastic modulus that limits the control of internal stress and constrains size reduction and low-pressure measurements. Ru-based thin-film metallic glass (TFMG) exhibits a low elastic [...] Read more.
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based capacitive pressure sensors are conventionally fabricated from diaphragms made of Si, which has a high elastic modulus that limits the control of internal stress and constrains size reduction and low-pressure measurements. Ru-based thin-film metallic glass (TFMG) exhibits a low elastic modulus, and the internal stress can be controlled by heat treatment, so it may be a suitable diaphragm material for facilitating size reduction of the sensor without performance degradation. In this study, a Ru-based TFMG was used to realize a flattened diaphragm, and structural relaxation was achieved through annealing at 310 °C for 1 h in a vacuum. The diaphragm easily deformed, even under low differential pressure, when reduced in size. A diaphragm with a diameter of 1.7 mm was then applied to successfully fabricate a capacitive pressure sensor with a sensor size of 2.4 mm2. The sensor exhibited a linearity of ±3.70% full scale and a sensitivity of 0.09 fF/Pa in the differential pressure range of 0–500 Pa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 2285 KiB  
Article
Design, Implementation, and Characterization of a Signal Acquisition Chain for SADino: The Precursor of the Italian Low-Frequency Telescope Named the Sardinia Aperture Array Demonstrator (SAAD)
by Adelaide Ladu, Luca Schirru, Mauro Pili, Gian Paolo Vargiu, Francesco Gaudiomonte, Federico Perini, Andrea Melis, Raimondo Concu and Matteo Murgia
Sensors 2023, 23(22), 9151; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23229151 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1520
Abstract
Low-frequency aperture arrays represent sensitive instruments to detect signals from radio astronomic sources situated in the universe. In Italy, the Sardinia Aperture Array Demonstrator (SAAD) consists of an ongoing project of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) aimed to install an aperture [...] Read more.
Low-frequency aperture arrays represent sensitive instruments to detect signals from radio astronomic sources situated in the universe. In Italy, the Sardinia Aperture Array Demonstrator (SAAD) consists of an ongoing project of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) aimed to install an aperture array constituted of 128 dual-polarized Vivaldi antennas at the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT) site. The originally envisaged 128 elements of SAAD were re-scoped to the 16 elements of its precursor named SADino, with the aim to quickly test the system with a digital beam-former based on the Italian Tile Processing Module (iTPM) digital back-end. A preliminary measurements campaign of radio frequency interference (RFI) was performed to survey the less contaminated spectral region. The results of these measurements permitted the establishment of the technical requirements for receiving a chain for the SADino telescope. In this paper, the design, implementation, and characterization of this signal acquisition chain are proposed. The operative frequency window of SAAD and its precursor, SADino, sweeps from 260 MHz to 420 MHz, which appears very attractive for radio astronomy applications and radar observation in space and surveillance awareness (SSA) activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

33 pages, 9092 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Analysis of Conductance Probes and High-Speed Camera Measurements for Interfacial Behavior in Annular Air–Water Flow
by Yago Rivera, Maxime Bidon, José-Luis Muñoz-Cobo, Cesar Berna and Alberto Escrivá
Sensors 2023, 23(20), 8617; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23208617 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1105
Abstract
Different techniques are used to analyze annular flow, but the more interesting ones are those techniques that do not perturb the flow and provide enough resolution to clearly distinguish the interfacial phenomena that take place at the interface, especially the disturbance waves (DW) [...] Read more.
Different techniques are used to analyze annular flow, but the more interesting ones are those techniques that do not perturb the flow and provide enough resolution to clearly distinguish the interfacial phenomena that take place at the interface, especially the disturbance waves (DW) and the ripple waves (DW). The understanding of these events is important because it influences the heat and mass transfer taking place through the thin film formed near the walls in this flow regime. The laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and the three-electrode conductance probe are two commonly used techniques to study experimentally annular flow phenomena. In this paper, a set of experiments at different temperatures of 20 °C, 30 °C and 40 °C and different liquid Reynolds numbers have been performed in the annular flow regime, the characteristic of the DW and RW as average height and frequency of these waves has been measured by both techniques LIF and conductance probes. In addition, we also measured the mean film thickness. It was found that the mean film thickness and the DW height are practically the same when measured by both techniques; however, the height of the RW is smaller when measured by the conductance probe and this difference diminishes when the temperature increases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 8074 KiB  
Article
Metal Particle Detection by Integration of a Generative Adversarial Network and Electrical Impedance Tomography (GAN-EIT) for a Wet-Type Gravity Vibration Separator
by Kiagus Aufa Ibrahim, Prima Asmara Sejati, Panji Nursetia Darma, Akira Nakane and Masahiro Takei
Sensors 2023, 23(19), 8062; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23198062 - 24 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1141
Abstract
The minor copper (Cu) particles among major aluminum (Al) particles have been detected by means of an integration of a generative adversarial network and electrical impedance tomography (GAN-EIT) for a wet-type gravity vibration separator (WGS). This study solves the problem of blurred EIT [...] Read more.
The minor copper (Cu) particles among major aluminum (Al) particles have been detected by means of an integration of a generative adversarial network and electrical impedance tomography (GAN-EIT) for a wet-type gravity vibration separator (WGS). This study solves the problem of blurred EIT reconstructed images by proposing a GAN-EIT integration system for Cu detection in WGS. GAN-EIT produces two types of images of various Cu positions among major Al particles, which are (1) the photo-based GAN-EIT images, where blurred EIT reconstructed images are enhanced by GAN based on a full set of photo images, and (2) the simulation-based GAN-EIT images. The proposed metal particle detection by GAN-EIT is applied in experiments under static conditions to investigate the performance of the metal detection method under single-layer conditions with the variation of the position of Cu particles. As a quantitative result, the images of detected Cu by GAN-EIT ψ̿GAN in different positions have higher accuracy as compared to σ*EIT. In the region of interest (ROI) covered by the developed linear sensor, GAN-EIT successfully reduces the Cu detection error of conventional EIT by 40% while maintaining a minimum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 60 [dB]. In conclusion, GAN-EIT is capable of improving the detailed features of the reconstructed images to visualize the detected Cu effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

30 pages, 12093 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Instrument Transformers under Realistic Conditions: Impact of Single and Combined Influence Quantities on Their Wideband Behavior
by Palma Sara Letizia, Gabriella Crotti, Alessandro Mingotti, Roberto Tinarelli, Yeying Chen, Enrico Mohns, Mohamed Agazar, Daniela Istrate, Burak Ayhan, Hüseyin Çayci and Robert Stiegler
Sensors 2023, 23(18), 7833; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23187833 - 12 Sep 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1223
Abstract
Instrument transformers (ITs) play a key role in electrical power systems, facilitating the accurate monitoring and measurement of electrical quantities. They are essential for measurement, protection, and metering in transmission and distribution grids and accurately reducing the grid voltage and current for low-voltage [...] Read more.
Instrument transformers (ITs) play a key role in electrical power systems, facilitating the accurate monitoring and measurement of electrical quantities. They are essential for measurement, protection, and metering in transmission and distribution grids and accurately reducing the grid voltage and current for low-voltage input instrumentation. With the increase in renewable energy sources, electronic converters, and electric vehicles connected to power grids, ITs now face challenging distorted conditions that differ from the nominal ones. The study presented in this paper is a collaborative work between national metrology institutes and universities that analyzes IT performance in measuring distorted voltages and currents in medium-voltage grids under realistic conditions. Both current and voltage measuring transformers are examined, considering influence quantities like the temperature, mechanical vibration, burden, adjacent phases, and proximity effects. The study provides detailed insights into measurement setups and procedures, and it quantifies potential errors arising from IT behavior in measuring distorted signals in the presence of the various considered influence quantities and their combinations. The main findings reveal that the temperature has the most evident impact on the inductive voltage transformer performance, as well as the burden, causing significant changes in ratio error and phase displacement at the lower temperatures. As for low-power ITs, establishing a priori the effects of adjacent phases and proximity on the frequency responses of low-power ITs is a complex matter, because of their different characteristics and construction solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2486 KiB  
Article
Acoustic Waves in Piezoelectric Layered Structure for Selective Detection of Liquid Viscosity
by Andrey Smirnov, Vladimir Anisimkin, Elizaveta Shamsutdinova, Maria-Assunta Signore, Luca Francioso, Kirill Zykov, Vladimir Baklaushev and Iren Kuznetsova
Sensors 2023, 23(17), 7329; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23177329 - 22 Aug 2023
Viewed by 844
Abstract
The acoustic waves of higher orders propagating in a layered structure consisting of a silicon plate coated with piezoelectric ZnO and/or AlN films were used for the development of a sensor with selective sensitivity to liquid viscosity η in the range of 1–1500 [...] Read more.
The acoustic waves of higher orders propagating in a layered structure consisting of a silicon plate coated with piezoelectric ZnO and/or AlN films were used for the development of a sensor with selective sensitivity to liquid viscosity η in the range of 1–1500 cP. In that range, this sensor possessed low sensitivity to liquid conductivity σ and temperature T in the ranges of 0–2 S/m and 0–55 °C, respectively. The amplitude responses insensitive to the temperature instead of the phase were used to provide the necessary selectivity. The sensor was based on a weak piezoactive acoustic wave of higher order. The volume of the probes sufficient for the measurements was about 100 μL. The characteristics of the sensors were optimized by varying the thicknesses of the structure layers, number of layers, wavelength, wave propagation direction, and the order of the acoustic waves. It was shown that in the case of the layered structure, it is possible to obtain practically the same selective sensitivity toward viscosity as for acoustic waves in pure ST, X quartz. The most appropriate waves for this purpose are quasi-longitudinal and Lamb waves of higher order with in-plane polarization. It was found that for various ranges of viscosity η = 1–20 cP, 20–100 cP, and 100–1500 cP, the maximum sensitivity of the appropriate wave is equal to 0.26 dB/cP, 0.087 dB/cP, and 0.013 dB/cP, respectively. The sensitivity of the waves under study toward the electric conductivity of the liquid is much less than the sensitivity to liquid viscosity. These two responses become comparable only for very small η < 2 cP. The waves investigated have shown no temperature responses in contact with air, but in the presence of liquid, they increase depending on liquid properties. The temperature dependence of liquid viscosity is measurable by the same sensors. The results obtained have shown the possibility of designing acoustic liquid viscosity sensors based on multilayered structures. The set of possible acoustic waves in layered structures possesses modified propagation characteristics (various polarization, phase velocities, electromechanical coupling coefficients, and attenuations). It allows choosing an optimal acoustic wave to detect liquid viscosity only. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 5455 KiB  
Article
Modified Nonlinear Hysteresis Approach for a Tactile Sensor
by Gasak Abdul-Hussain, William Holderbaum, Theodoros Theodoridis and Guowu Wei
Sensors 2023, 23(16), 7293; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23167293 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
Soft tactile sensors based on piezoresistive materials have large-area sensing applications. However, their accuracy is often affected by hysteresis which poses a significant challenge during operation. This paper introduces a novel approach that employs a backpropagation (BP) neural network to address the hysteresis [...] Read more.
Soft tactile sensors based on piezoresistive materials have large-area sensing applications. However, their accuracy is often affected by hysteresis which poses a significant challenge during operation. This paper introduces a novel approach that employs a backpropagation (BP) neural network to address the hysteresis nonlinearity in conductive fiber-based tactile sensors. To assess the effectiveness of the proposed method, four sensor units were designed. These sensor units underwent force sequences to collect corresponding output resistance. A backpropagation network was trained using these sequences, thereby correcting the resistance values. The training process exhibited excellent convergence, effectively adjusting the network’s parameters to minimize the error between predicted and actual resistance values. As a result, the trained BP network accurately predicted the output resistances. Several validation experiments were conducted to highlight the primary contribution of this research. The proposed method reduced the maximum hysteresis error from 24.2% of the sensor’s full-scale output to 13.5%. This improvement established the approach as a promising solution for enhancing the accuracy of soft tactile sensors based on piezoresistive materials. By effectively mitigating hysteresis nonlinearity, the capabilities of soft tactile sensors in various applications can be enhanced. These sensors become more reliable and more efficient tools for the measurement and control of force, particularly in the fields of soft robotics and wearable technology. Consequently, their widespread applications extend to robotics, medical devices, consumer electronics, and gaming. Though the complete elimination of hysteresis in tactile sensors may not be feasible, the proposed method effectively modifies the hysteresis nonlinearity, leading to improved sensor output accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 12075 KiB  
Article
An Effective Near-Field to Far-Field Transformation with Planar Spiral Scanning for Flat Antennas under Test
by Florindo Bevilacqua, Francesco D’Agostino, Flaminio Ferrara, Claudio Gennarelli, Rocco Guerriero, Massimo Migliozzi and Giovanni Riccio
Sensors 2023, 23(16), 7276; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23167276 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1540
Abstract
The goal of this article is to provide numerical and experimental assessments of an effective near-field to far-field transformation (NF–FF T) technique with planar spiral scanning for flat antennas under test (AUTs), which requires a non-redundant, i.e., minimum, number of NF measurements. This [...] Read more.
The goal of this article is to provide numerical and experimental assessments of an effective near-field to far-field transformation (NF–FF T) technique with planar spiral scanning for flat antennas under test (AUTs), which requires a non-redundant, i.e., minimum, number of NF measurements. This technique has its roots in the theory of non-redundant sampling representations of electromagnetic fields and was devised by suitably applying the unified theory of spiral scans for non-volumetric antennas to the case in which the considered AUT is modeled by a circular disk having its radius equal to half of the AUT’s maximum dimension. It makes use of a 2D optimal sampling interpolation (OSI) formula to accurately determine the massive amount of NF data required by the classical plane-rectangular NF–FF T technique from the non-redundant data gathered along the spiral. It must be emphasized that, when considering flat AUTs, the developed transformation allows one to further and significantly save measurement time as compared to that required by the previously developed NF–FF T techniques with planar spiral scans based on a quasi-planar antenna modeling, because the number of turns of the spiral and that of NF data to be acquired depend somewhat on the area of the modeling surface. The reported numerical simulations assess the accuracy of the proposed NF–FF T technique, whereas the experimental tests prove its practical feasibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 775 KiB  
Article
Block-Active ADMM to Minimize NMF with Bregman Divergences
by Xinyao Li and Akhilesh Tyagi
Sensors 2023, 23(16), 7229; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23167229 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 910
Abstract
Over the last ten years, there has been a significant interest in employing nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) to reduce dimensionality to enable a more efficient clustering analysis in machine learning. This technique has been applied in various image processing applications within the fields [...] Read more.
Over the last ten years, there has been a significant interest in employing nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) to reduce dimensionality to enable a more efficient clustering analysis in machine learning. This technique has been applied in various image processing applications within the fields of computer vision and sensor-based systems. Many algorithms exist to solve the NMF problem. Among these algorithms, the alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) and its variants are one of the most popular methods used in practice. In this paper, we propose a block-active ADMM method to minimize the NMF problem with general Bregman divergences. The subproblems in the ADMM are solved iteratively by a block-coordinate-descent-type (BCD-type) method. In particular, each block is chosen directly based on the stationary condition. As a result, we are able to use much fewer auxiliary variables and the proposed algorithm converges faster than the previously proposed algorithms. From the theoretical point of view, the proposed algorithm is proved to converge to a stationary point sublinearly. We also conduct a series of numerical experiments to demonstrate the superiority of the proposed algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 10124 KiB  
Article
Piezoelectric Wafer Active Sensor Transducers for Acoustic Emission Applications
by Connor Griffin and Victor Giurgiutiu
Sensors 2023, 23(16), 7103; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23167103 - 11 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1172
Abstract
Piezoelectric materials are defined by their ability to display a charge across their surface in response to mechanical strain, making them great for use in sensing applications. Such applications include pressure sensors, medical devices, energy harvesting and structural health monitoring (SHM). SHM describes [...] Read more.
Piezoelectric materials are defined by their ability to display a charge across their surface in response to mechanical strain, making them great for use in sensing applications. Such applications include pressure sensors, medical devices, energy harvesting and structural health monitoring (SHM). SHM describes the process of using a systematic approach to identify damage in engineering infrastructure. A method of SHM that uses piezoelectric wafers connected directly to the structure has become increasingly popular. An investigation of a novel pitch-catch method of determining instrumentation quality of piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWASs) used in SHM was conducted as well as an investigation into the effects of defects in piezoelectric sensors and sensor bonding on the sensor response. This pitch-catch method was able to verify defect-less instrumentation quality of pristinely bonded PWASs. Additionally, the pitch-catch method was compared with the electromechanical impedance method in determining defects in piezoelectric sensor instrumentation. Using the pitch-catch method, it was found that defective instrumentation resulted in decreasing amplitude of received and transmitted signals as well as changes in the frequency spectrums of the signals, such as the elimination of high frequency peaks in those with defects in the bonding layer and an increased amplitude of around 600 kHz for a broken PWAS. The electromechanical impedance method concluded that bonding layer defects increase the primary frequency peak’s amplitude and cause a downward frequency shift in both the primary and secondary frequency peaks in the impedance spectrum, while a broken sensor has the primary peak amplitude reduced while shifting upward and nearly eliminating the secondary peak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1890 KiB  
Article
Optical Multi-Parameter Measuring System for Fluid and Air Bubble Recognition
by Valentina Bello, Elisabetta Bodo and Sabina Merlo
Sensors 2023, 23(15), 6684; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23156684 - 26 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1519
Abstract
Detection of air bubbles in fluidic channels plays a fundamental role in all that medical equipment where liquids flow inside patients’ blood vessels or bodies. In this work, we propose a multi-parameter sensing system for simultaneous recognition of the fluid, on the basis [...] Read more.
Detection of air bubbles in fluidic channels plays a fundamental role in all that medical equipment where liquids flow inside patients’ blood vessels or bodies. In this work, we propose a multi-parameter sensing system for simultaneous recognition of the fluid, on the basis of its refractive index and of the air bubble transit. The selected optofluidic platform has been designed and studied to be integrated into automatic pumps for the administration of commercial liquid. The sensor includes a laser beam that crosses twice a plastic cuvette, provided with a back mirror, and a position-sensitive detector. The identification of fluids is carried out by measuring the displacement of the output beam on the detector active surface and the detection of single air bubbles can be performed with the same instrumental scheme, exploiting a specific signal analysis. When a bubble, traveling along the cuvette, crosses the readout light beam, radiation is strongly scattered and a characteristic fingerprint shape of the photo-detected signals versus time is clearly observed. Experimental testing proves that air bubbles can be successfully detected and counted. Their traveling speed can be estimated while simultaneously monitoring the refractive index of the fluid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 17688 KiB  
Article
Contribution of Ribbon-Structured SiO2 Films to AlN-Based and AlN/Diamond-Based Lamb Wave Resonators
by Mohammed Moutaouekkil, Jérémy Streque, Othmane Marbouh, El Houssaine El Boudouti, Omar Elmazria, Philippe Pernod, Olivier Bou Matar and Abdelkrim Talbi
Sensors 2023, 23(14), 6284; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23146284 - 10 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
New designs based on S0 Lamb modes in AlN thin layer resonating structures coupled with the implementation of structural elements in SiO2, are theoretically analyzed by the Finite Element Method (FEM). This study compares the typical characteristics of different interdigital [...] Read more.
New designs based on S0 Lamb modes in AlN thin layer resonating structures coupled with the implementation of structural elements in SiO2, are theoretically analyzed by the Finite Element Method (FEM). This study compares the typical characteristics of different interdigital transducer (IDTs) configurations, involving either a continuous SiO2 cap layer, or structured SiO2 elements, showing their performance in the usual terms of electromechanical coupling coefficient (K2), phase velocity, and temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF), by varying structural parameters and boundary conditions. This paper shows how to reach temperature-compensated, high-performance resonator structures based on ribbon-structured SiO2 capping. The addition of a thin diamond layer can also improve the velocity and electromechanical coupling coefficient, while keeping zero TCF and increasing the solidity of the membranes. Beyond the increase in performance allowed by such resonator configurations, their inherent structure shows additional benefits in terms of passivation, which makes them particularly relevant for sensing applications in stern environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 1377 KiB  
Article
Vibrotactile Alerting to Prevent Accidents in Highway Construction Work Zones: An Exploratory Study
by Xiang Yang and Nazila Roofigari-Esfahan
Sensors 2023, 23(12), 5651; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23125651 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1461
Abstract
Struck-by accidents are the leading cause of injuries in highway construction work zones. Despite numerous safety interventions, injury rates remain high. As workers’ exposure to traffic is sometimes unavoidable, providing warnings can be an effective way to prevent imminent threats. Such warnings should [...] Read more.
Struck-by accidents are the leading cause of injuries in highway construction work zones. Despite numerous safety interventions, injury rates remain high. As workers’ exposure to traffic is sometimes unavoidable, providing warnings can be an effective way to prevent imminent threats. Such warnings should consider work zone conditions that can hinder the timely perception of alerts, e.g., poor visibility and high noise level. This study proposes a vibrotactile system integrated into workers’ conventional personal protective equipment (PPE), i.e., safety vests. Three experiments were conducted to assess the feasibility of using vibrotactile signals to warn workers in highway environments, the perception and performance of vibrotactile signals at different body locations, and the usability of various warning strategies. The results revealed vibrotactile signals had a 43.6% faster reaction time than audio signals, and the perceived intensity and urgency levels on the sternum, shoulders, and upper back were significantly higher than the waist. Among different notification strategies used, providing a moving direction imposed significantly lower mental workloads and higher usability scores than providing a hazard direction. Further research should be conducted to reveal factors that affect alerting strategy preference towards a customizable system to elicit higher usability among users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 7856 KiB  
Article
Langmuir–Blodgett Films with Immobilized Glucose Oxidase Enzyme Molecules for Acoustic Glucose Sensor Application
by Ilya Gorbachev, Andrey Smirnov, George R. Ivanov, Tony Venelinov, Anna Amova, Elizaveta Datsuk, Vladimir Anisimkin, Iren Kuznetsova and Vladimir Kolesov
Sensors 2023, 23(11), 5290; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23115290 - 2 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1649
Abstract
In this work, a sensitive coating based on Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) films containing monolayers of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DPPE) with an immobilized glucose oxidase (GOx) enzyme was created. The immobilization of the enzyme in the LB film occurred during the formation of the monolayer. The effect [...] Read more.
In this work, a sensitive coating based on Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) films containing monolayers of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DPPE) with an immobilized glucose oxidase (GOx) enzyme was created. The immobilization of the enzyme in the LB film occurred during the formation of the monolayer. The effect of the immobilization of GOx enzyme molecules on the surface properties of a Langmuir DPPE monolayer was investigated. The sensory properties of the resulting LB DPPE film with an immobilized GOx enzyme in a glucose solution of various concentrations were studied. It has shown that the immobilization of GOx enzyme molecules into the LB DPPE film leads to a rising LB film conductivity with an increasing glucose concentration. Such an effect made it possible to conclude that acoustic methods can be used to determine the concentration of glucose molecules in an aqueous solution. It was found that for an aqueous glucose solution in the concentration range from 0 to 0.8 mg/mL the phase response of the acoustic mode at a frequency of 42.7 MHz has a linear form, and its maximum change is 55°. The maximum change in the insertion loss for this mode was 18 dB for a glucose concentration in the working solution of 0.4 mg/mL. The range of glucose concentrations measured using this method, from 0 to 0.9 mg/mL, corresponds to the corresponding range in the blood. The possibility of changing the conductivity range of a glucose solution depending on the concentration of the GOx enzyme in the LB film will make it possible to develop glucose sensors for higher concentrations. Such technological sensors would be in demand in the food and pharmaceutical industries. The developed technology can become the basis for creating a new generation of acoustoelectronic biosensors in the case of using other enzymatic reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

40 pages, 6263 KiB  
Review
Application of Social Robots in Healthcare: Review on Characteristics, Requirements, Technical Solutions
by Luca Ragno, Alberto Borboni, Federica Vannetti, Cinzia Amici and Nicoletta Cusano
Sensors 2023, 23(15), 6820; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23156820 - 31 Jul 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4115
Abstract
Cyber-physical or virtual systems or devices that are capable of autonomously interacting with human or non-human agents in real environments are referred to as social robots. The primary areas of application for biomedical technology are nursing homes, hospitals, and private homes for the [...] Read more.
Cyber-physical or virtual systems or devices that are capable of autonomously interacting with human or non-human agents in real environments are referred to as social robots. The primary areas of application for biomedical technology are nursing homes, hospitals, and private homes for the purpose of providing assistance to the elderly, people with disabilities, children, and medical personnel. This review examines the current state-of-the-art of social robots used in healthcare applications, with a particular emphasis on the technical characteristics and requirements of these different types of systems. Humanoids robots, companion robots, and telepresence robots are the three primary categories of devices that are identified and discussed in this article. The research looks at commercial applications, as well as scientific literature (according to the Scopus Elsevier database), patent analysis (using the Espacenet search engine), and more (searched with Google search engine). A variety of devices are enumerated and categorized, and then our discussion and organization of their respective specifications takes place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Sensors 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop