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1.  Temperature Measurement in WTE Boilers Using Suction Pyrometers 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(11):15633-15655.
The temperature of the flue-gas in the post combustion zone of a waste to energy (WTE) plant has to be maintained within a fairly narrow range of values, the minimum of which is prescribed by the European Waste Directive 2000/76/CE, whereas the maximum value must be such as to ensure the preservation of the materials and the energy efficiency of the plant. A high degree of accuracy in measuring and controlling the aforementioned temperature is therefore required. In almost the totality of WTE plants this measurement process is carried out by using practical industrial thermometers, such as bare thermocouples and infrared radiation (IR) pyrometers, even if affected by different physical contributions which can make the gas temperature measurements incorrect. The objective of this paper is to analyze errors and uncertainties that can arise when using a bare thermocouple or an IR pyrometer in a WTE plant and to provide a method for the in situ calibration of these industrial sensors through the use of suction pyrometers. The paper describes principle of operation, design, and uncertainty contributions of suction pyrometers, it also provides the best estimation of the flue-gas temperature in the post combustion zone of a WTE plant and the estimation of its expanded uncertainty.
PMCID: PMC3871099  PMID: 24248279
temperature measurement; waste-to-energy plants; uncertainty; suction pyrometers
2.  Near-UV Transmittance of Basalt Dust as an Analog of the Martian Regolith: Implications for Sensor Calibration and Astrobiology 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2006;6(6):688-696.
The Martian regolith is exposed to solar irradiation in the near-UV (200-390 nm). Basalt is one of the main components of the dust on Mars surface. The near-UV irradiation of basalt dust on Mars is simulated experimentally in order to determine the transmittance as a function of the mass and thickness of the dust. This data can serve to quantify the absorption of dust deposited on sensors aiming to measure the UV intensity on Mars surface. The minimum thickness of the dust that corresponds to near-zero-transmittance in the near-UV is measured. Hypothetical Martian microorganisms living on the dusty regolith at deeper layers would be preserved from the damaging solar UV irradiation.
PMCID: PMC3874829
Ultraviolet: solar system; Mars surface; Methods: laboratory; basalt; Instrumentation: photometers; Astrobiology
3.  Searching for signatures of life on Mars: an Fe-isotope perspective 
Recent spacecraft and lander missions to Mars have reinforced previous interpretations that Mars was a wet and warm planet in the geological past. The role of liquid water in shaping many of the surface features on Mars has long been recognized. Since the presence of liquid water is essential for survival of life, conditions on early Mars might have been more favourable for the emergence and evolution of life. Until a sample return mission to Mars, one of the ways of studying the past environmental conditions on Mars is through chemical and isotopic studies of Martian meteorites. Over 35 individual meteorite samples, believed to have originated on Mars, are now available for lab-based studies. Fe is a key element that is present in both primary and secondary minerals in the Martian meteorites. Fe-isotope ratios can be fractionated by low-temperature processes which includes biological activity. Experimental investigations of Fe reduction and oxidation by bacteria have produced large fractionation in Fe-isotope ratios. Hence, it is considered likely that if there is/were any form of life present on Mars then it might be possible to detect its signature by Fe-isotope studies of Martian meteorites. In the present study, we have analysed a number of Martian meteorites for their bulk-Fe-isotope composition. In addition, a set of terrestrial analogue material has also been analysed to compare the results and draw inferences. So far, our studies have not found any measurable Fe-isotopic fractionation in bulk Martian meteorites that can be ascribed to any low-temperature process operative on Mars.
PMCID: PMC1664681  PMID: 17008212
Mars; Martian meteorites; SNC; terrestrial analogues; iron isotopes; life
4.  Use of Finite Elements Analysis for a Weigh-in-Motion Sensor Design 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(6):6978-6994.
High speed weigh-in-motion (WIM) sensors are utilized as components of complex traffic monitoring and measurement systems. They should be able to determine the weights on wheels, axles and vehicle gross weights, and to help the classification of vehicles (depending on the number of axles). WIM sensors must meet the following main requirements: good accuracy, high endurance, low price and easy installation in the road structure. It is not advisable to use cheap materials in constructing these devices for lower prices, since the sensors are normally working in harsh environmental conditions such as temperatures between −40 °C and +70 °C, dust, temporary water immersion, shocks and vibrations. Consequently, less expensive manufacturing technologies are recommended. Because the installation cost in the road structure is high and proportional to the WIM sensor cross section (especially with its thickness), the device needs to be made as flat as possible. The WIM sensor model presented and analyzed in this paper uses a spring element equipped with strain gages. Using Finite Element Analysis (FEA), the authors have attempted to obtain a more sensitive, reliable, lower profile and overall cheaper elastic element for a new WIM sensor.
PMCID: PMC3435961  PMID: 22969332
weigh in motion; WIM sensor; shear force sensors; optimization; sensitivity; durability
5.  Design of a Water Environment Monitoring System Based on Wireless Sensor Networks 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(8):6411-6434.
A water environmental monitoring system based on a wireless sensor network is proposed. It consists of three parts: data monitoring nodes, data base station and remote monitoring center. This system is suitable for the complex and large-scale water environment monitoring, such as for reservoirs, lakes, rivers, swamps, and shallow or deep groundwaters. This paper is devoted to the explanation and illustration for our new water environment monitoring system design. The system had successfully accomplished the online auto-monitoring of the water temperature and pH value environment of an artificial lake. The system's measurement capacity ranges from 0 to 80 °C for water temperature, with an accuracy of ±0.5 °C; from 0 to 14 on pH value, with an accuracy of ±0.05 pH units. Sensors applicable to different water quality scenarios should be installed at the nodes to meet the monitoring demands for a variety of water environments and to obtain different parameters. The monitoring system thus promises broad applicability prospects.
PMCID: PMC3312451  PMID: 22454592
water environment monitoring; wireless sensor networks; data monitoring nodes; data base station; remote monitoring center
6.  In Situ Measurement of the Junction Temperature of Light Emitting Diodes Using a Flexible Micro Temperature Sensor 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(7):5068-5075.
This investigation aimed to fabricate a flexible micro resistive temperature sensor to measure the junction temperature of a light emitting diode (LED). The junction temperature is typically measured using a thermal resistance measurement approach. This approach is limited in that no standard regulates the timing of data capture. This work presents a micro temperature sensor that can measure temperature stably and continuously, and has the advantages of being lightweight and able to monitor junction temperatures in real time. Micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) technologies are employed to minimize the size of a temperature sensor that is constructed on a stainless steel foil substrate (SS-304 with 30 μm thickness). A flexible micro resistive temperature sensor can be fixed between the LED chip and the frame. The junction temperature of the LED can be measured from the linear relationship between the temperature and the resistance. The sensitivity of the micro temperature sensor is 0.059 ± 0.004 Ω/°C. The temperature of the commercial CREE® EZ1000 chip is 119.97 °C when it is thermally stable, as measured using the micro temperature sensor; however, it was 126.9 °C, when measured by thermal resistance measurement. The micro temperature sensor can be used to replace thermal resistance measurement and performs reliably.
PMCID: PMC3274131  PMID: 22346688
LED; junction temperature; MEMS; flexible micro temperature sensor
7.  Satellite Microwave Remote Sensing for Environmental Modeling of Mosquito Population Dynamics 
Remote sensing of environment  2012;125:147-156.
Environmental variability has important influences on mosquito life cycles and understanding the spatial and temporal patterns of mosquito populations is critical for mosquito control and vector-borne disease prevention. Meteorological data used for model-based predictions of mosquito abundance and life cycle dynamics are typically acquired from ground-based weather stations; however, data availability and completeness are often limited by sparse networks and resource availability. In contrast, environmental measurements from satellite remote sensing are more spatially continuous and can be retrieved automatically. This study compared environmental measurements from the NASA Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on EOS (AMSR-E) and in situ weather station data to examine their ability to predict the abundance of two important mosquito species (Aedes vexans and Culex tarsalis) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA from 2005 to 2010. The AMSR-E land parameters included daily surface water inundation fraction, surface air temperature, soil moisture, and microwave vegetation opacity. The AMSR-E derived models had better fits and higher forecasting accuracy than models based on weather station data despite the relatively coarse (25-km) spatial resolution of the satellite data. In the AMSR-E models, air temperature and surface water fraction were the best predictors of Aedes vexans, whereas air temperature and vegetation opacity were the best predictors of Cx. tarsalis abundance. The models were used to extrapolate spatial, seasonal, and interannual patterns of climatic suitability for mosquitoes across eastern South Dakota. Our findings demonstrate that environmental metrics derived from satellite passive microwave radiometry are suitable for predicting mosquito population dynamics and can potentially improve the effectiveness of mosquito-borne disease early warning systems.
PMCID: PMC3463408  PMID: 23049143
AMSR-E; Weather Station; West Nile Virus; Mosquito; Public Health
8.  Monitoring of Water Content in Building Materials Using a Wireless Passive Sensor 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2010;10(5):4270-4280.
This paper describes an innovative design of a wireless, passive LC sensor and its application for monitoring of water content in building materials. The sensor was embedded in test material samples so that the internal water content of the samples could be measured with an antenna by tracking the changes in the sensor’s resonant frequency. Since the dielectric constant of water was much higher compared with that of the test samples, the presence of water in the samples increased the capacitance of the LC circuit, thus decreasing the sensor’s resonant frequency. The sensor is made up of a printed circuit board in one metal layer and water content has been determined for clay brick and autoclaved aerated concrete block, both widely used construction materials. Measurements were conducted at room temperature using a HP-4194A Impedance/Gain-Phase Analyzer instrument.
PMCID: PMC3292119  PMID: 22399880
LC sensor; wireless; humidity; building materials
9.  Calibrating a novel multi-sensor physical activity measurement system 
Physiological measurement  2011;32(9):1473-1489.
Advancing the field of physical activity (PA) monitoring requires the development of innovative multi-sensor measurement systems that are feasible in the free-living environment. The use of novel analytical techniques to combine and process these multiple sensor signals is equally important. This paper, describes a novel multi-sensor ‘Integrated PA Measurement System’ (IMS), the lab-based methodology used to calibrate the IMS, techniques used to predict multiple variables from the sensor signals, and proposes design changes to improve the feasibility of deploying the IMS in the free-living environment. The IMS consists of hip and wrist acceleration sensors, two piezoelectric respiration sensors on the torso, and an ultraviolet radiation sensor to obtain contextual information (indoors vs. outdoors) of PA. During lab-based calibration of the IMS, data were collected on participants performing a PA routine consisting of seven different ambulatory and free-living activities while wearing a portable metabolic unit (criterion measure) and the IMS. Data analyses on the first 50 adult participants are presented. These analyses were used to determine if the IMS can be used to predict the variables of interest. Finally, physical modifications for the IMS that could enhance feasibility of free-living use are proposed and refinement of the prediction techniques is discussed.
PMCID: PMC3248574  PMID: 21813941
Physical activity; Multi-sensor measurement system; Accelerometer; Objective activity monitor
10.  Fast Thermal Calibration of Low-Grade Inertial Sensors and Inertial Measurement Units 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(9):12192-12217.
The errors of low-cost inertial sensors, especially Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) ones, are highly dependent on environmental conditions such as the temperature. Thus, there is a need for the development of accurate and reliable thermal compensation models to reduce the impact of such thermal drift of the sensors. Since the conventional thermal calibration methods are typically time-consuming and costly, an efficient thermal calibration method to investigate the thermal drift of a full set of gyroscope and accelerometer errors (i.e., biases, scale factor errors and non-orthogonalities) over the entire temperature range in a few hours is proposed. The proposed method uses the idea of the Ramp method, which removes the time-consuming process of stabilizing the sensor temperature, and addresses its inherent problems with several improvements. We change the temperature linearly for a complete cycle and take a balanced strategy by making comprehensive use of the sensor measurements during both heating and cooling processes. Besides, an efficient 8-step rotate-and-static scheme is designed to further improve the calibration accuracy and efficiency. Real calibration tests showed that the proposed method is suitable for low-grade IMUs and for both lab and factory calibration due to its efficiency and sufficient accuracy.
PMCID: PMC3821333  PMID: 24036581
MEMS inertial sensors; IMU; thermal calibration; turntable; temperature chamber
11.  In situ methods for measuring thermal properties and heat flux on planetary bodies  
Planetary and Space Science  2011;59(8):639-660.
The thermo-mechanical properties of planetary surface and subsurface layers control to a high extent in which way a body interacts with its environment, in particular how it responds to solar irradiation and how it interacts with a potentially existing atmosphere. Furthermore, if the natural temperature profile over a certain depth can be measured in situ, this gives important information about the heat flux from the interior and thus about the thermal evolution of the body. Therefore, in most of the recent and planned planetary lander missions experiment packages for determining thermo-mechanical properties are part of the payload. Examples are the experiment MUPUS on Rosetta's comet lander Philae, the TECP instrument aboard NASA's Mars polar lander Phoenix, and the mole-type instrument HP3 currently developed for use on upcoming lunar and Mars missions. In this review we describe several methods applied for measuring thermal conductivity and heat flux and discuss the particular difficulties faced when these properties have to be measured in a low pressure and low temperature environment. We point out the abilities and disadvantages of the different instruments and outline the evaluation procedures necessary to extract reliable thermal conductivity and heat flux data from in situ measurements.
► Numerical simulation of the thermal history of a planetary body. ► Development of robust thermal conductivity sensors for planetary applications. ► Measurement of the global heat flow of a planet or small planetary body.
PMCID: PMC3089965  PMID: 21760643
Thermal conductivity; Planetary surfaces; Lander missions
12.  Modeling and Predicting Seasonal Influenza Transmission in Warm Regions Using Climatological Parameters 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(3):e9450.
Influenza transmission is often associated with climatic factors. As the epidemic pattern varies geographically, the roles of climatic factors may not be unique. Previous in vivo studies revealed the direct effect of winter-like humidity on air-borne influenza transmission that dominates in regions with temperate climate, while influenza in the tropics is more effectively transmitted through direct contact.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Using time series model, we analyzed the role of climatic factors on the epidemiology of influenza transmission in two regions characterized by warm climate: Hong Kong (China) and Maricopa County (Arizona, USA). These two regions have comparable temperature but distinctly different rainfall. Specifically we employed Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model along with climatic parameters as measured from ground stations and NASA satellites. Our studies showed that including the climatic variables as input series result in models with better performance than the univariate model where the influenza cases depend only on its past values and error signal. The best model for Hong Kong influenza was obtained when Land Surface Temperature (LST), rainfall and relative humidity were included as input series. Meanwhile for Maricopa County we found that including either maximum atmospheric pressure or mean air temperature gave the most improvement in the model performances.
Our results showed that including the environmental variables generally increases the prediction capability. Therefore, for countries without advanced influenza surveillance systems, environmental variables can be used for estimating influenza transmission at present and in the near future.
PMCID: PMC2830480  PMID: 20209164
13.  Design considerations for a wearable monitor to measure finger posture 
Objective measures of hand function as individuals participate in home and community activities are needed in order to better plan and evaluate rehabilitation treatments. Traditional measures collected in the clinical setting are often not reflective of actual functional performance. Recent advances in technology, however, enable the development of a lightweight, comfortable data collection monitor to measure hand kinematics.
This paper presents the design analysis of a wearable sensor glove with a specific focus on the sensors selected to measure bend. The most important requirement for the glove is easy donning and removal for individuals with significantly reduced range of motion in the hands and fingers. Additional requirements include comfort and durability, cost effectiveness, and measurement repeatability. These requirements eliminate existing measurement gloves from consideration. Glove construction is introduced, and the sensor selection and glove evaluation process are presented.
Evaluation of commercial bend sensors shows that although most are not appropriate for repeatable measurements of finger flexion, one has been successfully identified. A case study for sensor glove repeatability using the final glove configuration and sensors does show a high degree of repeatability in both the gripped and flat hand positions (average coefficient of variability = 2.96% and 0.10%, respectively).
Measuring functional outcomes in a portable manner can provide a wealth of information important to clinicians for the evaluation and treatment of movement disorders in the hand and fingers. This device is an important step in that direction as both a research and an evaluation method.
PMCID: PMC555583  PMID: 15740622
Finger flexion; Range of Motion; sensors; home monitoring
14.  Modeling of Calibration Effectiveness and Blood-to-Interstitial Glucose Dynamics as Potential Confounders of the Accuracy of Continuous Glucose Sensors during Hyperinsulinemic Clamp 
Models of the dynamics of interstitial fluid-based continuous glucose sensors imply a variable sensor deviation from reference blood glucose (BG), depending on both sensor calibration procedure and BG dynamics. These effects could have a significant effect on the cross-interpretation of nonidentical accuracy studies.
Hyperinsulinemic euglycemic and hypoglycemic clamps were performed on 39 subjects with type 1 diabetes wearing the Medtronic Continuous Glucose Monitoring System®. Sensor calibration and interstitial glucose (IG) dynamics were modeled and analyzed as potential confounders of sensor deviation from reference BG.
The mean absolute deviation (MAD) of sensor data was 20.9 mg/dl during euglycemia and 24.5 mg/dl during descent into and recovery from hypoglycemia. Computer-generated recalibration reduced MAD to 10.6 and 14.6 mg/dl, respectively. Modeling of IG dynamics reduced the MAD further to 10.0 and 10.4 mg/dl (using idiosyncratic parameters) or to 10.6 and 11.5 mg/dl (using model parameters common for all subjects), respectively.
The sensor MAD from reference is strongly influenced by the choice of calibration points. Thus, cross-experiment comparisons of sensor accuracy are likely to be heavily dependent on the employed calibration procedures. Demanding calibration points substantially differing in value was found to improve calibration effectiveness. Simulation using existing IG models and population parameters reduced the bias resulting from BG–IG dynamics.
PMCID: PMC2743402  PMID: 19756217
calibration; continuous glucose sensor; delay; hyperinsulinemic clamp; interstitial fluid; surrogate interstitial glucose
15.  Modeling of Calibration Effectiveness and Blood-to-Interstitial Glucose Dynamics as Potential Confounders of the Accuracy of Continuous Glucose Sensors during Hyperinsulinemic Clamp 
Models of the dynamics of interstitial fluid-based continuous glucose sensors imply a variable sensor deviation from reference blood glucose (BG), depending on both sensor calibration procedure and BG dynamics. These effects could have a significant effect on the cross-interpretation of nonidentical accuracy studies.
Hyperinsulinemic euglycemic and hypoglycemic clamps were performed on 39 subjects with type 1 diabetes wearing the Medtronic Continuous Glucose Monitoring System®. Sensor calibration and interstitial glucose (IG) dynamics were modeled and analyzed as potential confounders of sensor deviation from reference BG.
The mean absolute deviation (MAD) of sensor data was 20.9 mg/dl during euglycemia and 24.5 mg/dl during descent into and recovery from hypoglycemia. Computer-generated recalibration reduced MAD to 10.6 and 14.6 mg/dl, respectively. Modeling of IG dynamics reduced the MAD further to 10.0 and 10.4 mg/dl (using idiosyncratic parameters) or to 10.6 and 11.5 mg/dl (using model parameters common for all subjects), respectively.
The sensor MAD from reference is strongly influenced by the choice of calibration points. Thus, cross-experiment comparisons of sensor accuracy are likely to be heavily dependent on the employed calibration procedures. Demanding calibration points substantially differing in value was found to improve calibration effectiveness. Simulation using existing IG models and population parameters reduced the bias resulting from BG–IG dynamics.
PMCID: PMC2743402  PMID: 19756217
calibration; continuous glucose sensor; delay; hyperinsulinemic clamp; interstitial fluid; surrogate interstitial glucose
16.  Impact of Retrospective Calibration Algorithms on Hypoglycemia Detection in Newborn Infants Using Continuous Glucose Monitoring 
Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics  2012;14(10):883-890.
Neonatal hypoglycemia is common and may cause serious brain injury. Diagnosis is by blood glucose (BG) measurements, often taken several hours apart. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) could improve hypoglycemia detection, while reducing the number of BG measurements. Calibration algorithms convert sensor signals into CGM output. Thus, these algorithms directly affect measures used to quantify hypoglycemia. This study was designed to quantify the effects of recalibration and filtering of CGM data on measures of hypoglycemia (BG <2.6 mmol/L) in neonates.
Subjects and Methods
CGM data from 50 infants were recalibrated using an algorithm that explicitly recognized the high-accuracy BG measurements available in this study. CGM data were analyzed as (1) original CGM output, (2) recalibrated CGM output, (3) recalibrated CGM output with postcalibration median filtering, and (4) recalibrated CGM output with precalibration median filtering. Hypoglycemia was classified by number of episodes, duration, severity, and hypoglycemic index.
Recalibration increased the number of hypoglycemic events (from 161 to 193), hypoglycemia duration (from 2.2% to 2.6%), and hypoglycemic index (from 4.9 to 7.1 μmol/L). Median filtering postrecalibration reduced hypoglycemic events from 193 to 131, with little change in duration (from 2.6% to 2.5%) and hypoglycemic index (from 7.1 to 6.9 μmol/L). Median filtering prerecalibration resulted in 146 hypoglycemic events, a total duration of hypoglycemia of 2.6%, and a hypoglycemic index of 6.8 μmol/L.
Hypoglycemia metrics, especially counting events, are heavily dependent on CGM calibration BG error, and the calibration algorithm. CGM devices tended to read high at lower levels, so when high accuracy calibration measurements are available it may be more appropriate to recalibrate the data.
PMCID: PMC3459024  PMID: 22856622
17.  Non-Invasive Continuous Glucose Monitoring with Multi-Sensor Systems: A Monte Carlo-Based Methodology for Assessing Calibration Robustness 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(6):7279-7295.
In diabetes research, non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring (NI-CGM) devices represent a new and appealing frontier. In the last years, some multi-sensor devices for NI-CGM have been proposed, which exploit several sensors measuring phenomena of different nature, not only for measuring glucose related signals, but also signals reflecting some possible perturbing processes (temperature, blood perfusion). Estimation of glucose levels is then obtained combining these signals through a mathematical model which requires an initial calibration step exploiting one reference blood glucose (RBG) sample. Even if promising results have been obtained, especially in hospitalized volunteers, at present the temporal accuracy of NI-CGM sensors may suffer because of environmental and physiological interferences. The aim of this work is to develop a general methodology, based on Monte Carlo (MC) simulation, to assess the robustness of the calibration step used by NI-CGM devices against these disturbances. The proposed methodology is illustrated considering two examples: the first concerns the possible detrimental influence of sweat events, while the second deals with calibration scheduling. For implementing both examples, 45 datasets collected by the Solianis Multisensor system are considered. In the first example, the MC methodology suggests that no further calibration adjustments are needed after the occurrence of sweat events, because the “Multisensor+model” system is able to deal with the disturbance. The second case study shows how to identify the best time interval to update the model's calibration for improving the accuracy of the estimated glucose. The methodology proposed in this work is of general applicability and can be helpful in making those incremental steps in NI-CGM devices development needed to further improve their performance.
PMCID: PMC3715227  PMID: 23736850
diabetes; model; multisensor
18.  CIB: An Improved Communication Architecture for Real-Time Monitoring of Aerospace Materials, Instruments, and Sensors on the ISS 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:185769.
The Communications Interface Board (CIB) is an improved communications architecture that was demonstrated on the International Space Station (ISS). ISS communication interfaces allowing for real-time telemetry and health monitoring require a significant amount of development. The CIB simplifies the communications interface to the ISS for real-time health monitoring, telemetry, and control of resident sensors or experiments. With a simpler interface available to the telemetry bus, more sensors or experiments may be flown. The CIB accomplishes this by acting as a bridge between the ISS MIL-STD-1553 low-rate telemetry (LRT) bus and the sensors allowing for two-way command and telemetry data transfer. The CIB was designed to be highly reliable and radiation hard for an extended flight in low Earth orbit (LEO) and has been proven with over 40 months of flight operation on the outside of ISS supporting two sets of flight experiments. Since the CIB is currently operating in flight on the ISS, recent results of operations will be provided. Additionally, as a vehicle health monitoring enabling technology, an overview and results from two experiments enabled by the CIB will be provided. Future applications for vehicle health monitoring utilizing the CIB architecture will also be discussed.
PMCID: PMC3745949  PMID: 23983621
19.  Semantically-Enabled Sensor Plug & Play for the Sensor Web 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2011;11(8):7568-7605.
Environmental sensors have continuously improved by becoming smaller, cheaper, and more intelligent over the past years. As consequence of these technological advancements, sensors are increasingly deployed to monitor our environment. The large variety of available sensor types with often incompatible protocols complicates the integration of sensors into observing systems. The standardized Web service interfaces and data encodings defined within OGC’s Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) framework make sensors available over the Web and hide the heterogeneous sensor protocols from applications. So far, the SWE framework does not describe how to integrate sensors on-the-fly with minimal human intervention. The driver software which enables access to sensors has to be implemented and the measured sensor data has to be manually mapped to the SWE models. In this article we introduce a Sensor Plug & Play infrastructure for the Sensor Web by combining (1) semantic matchmaking functionality, (2) a publish/subscribe mechanism underlying the SensorWeb, as well as (3) a model for the declarative description of sensor interfaces which serves as a generic driver mechanism. We implement and evaluate our approach by applying it to an oil spill scenario. The matchmaking is realized using existing ontologies and reasoning engines and provides a strong case for the semantic integration capabilities provided by Semantic Web research.
PMCID: PMC3231708  PMID: 22164033
Sensor Web Enablement; Sensor Plug & Play; sensor integration; Semantic Web; sensor bus; sensor interface descriptors; semantic matching; ontology alignment
20.  An Annular Mechanical Temperature Compensation Structure for Gas-Sealed Capacitive Pressure Sensor 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(6):8026-8038.
A novel gas-sealed capacitive pressure sensor with a temperature compensation structure is reported. The pressure sensor is sealed by Au-Au diffusion bonding under a nitrogen ambient with a pressure of 100 kPa and integrated with a platinum resistor-based temperature sensor for human activity monitoring applications. The capacitance-pressure and capacitance-temperature characteristics of the gas-sealed capacitive pressure sensor without temperature compensation structure are calculated. It is found by simulation that a ring-shaped structure on the diaphragm of the pressure sensor can mechanically suppress the thermal expansion effect of the sealed gas in the cavity. Pressure sensors without/with temperature compensation structures are fabricated and measured. Through measured results, it is verified that the calculation model is accurate. Using the compensation structures with a 900 μm inner radius, the measured temperature coefficient is much reduced as compared to that of the pressure sensor without compensation. The sensitivities of the pressure sensor before and after compensation are almost the same in the pressure range from 80 kPa to 100 kPa.
PMCID: PMC3436014  PMID: 22969385
pressure sensor; mechanical temperature compensation; gas-sealed
21.  Net primary productivity of forest stands in New Hampshire estimated from Landsat and MODIS satellite data 
A simulation model that relies on satellite observations of vegetation cover from the Landsat 7 sensor and from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) was used to estimate net primary productivity (NPP) of forest stands at the Bartlett Experiment Forest (BEF) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Net primary production (NPP) predicted from the NASA-CASA model using 30-meter resolution Landsat inputs showed variations related to both vegetation cover type and elevational effects on mean air temperatures. Overall, the highest predicted NPP from the NASA-CASA model was for deciduous forest cover at low to mid-elevation locations over the landscape. Comparison of the model-predicted annual NPP to the plot-estimated values showed a significant correlation of R2 = 0.5. Stepwise addition of 30-meter resolution elevation data values explained no more than 20% of the residual variation in measured NPP patterns at BEF. Both the Landsat 7 and the 250-meter resolution MODIS derived mean annual NPP predictions for the BEF plot locations were within ± 2.5% of the mean of plot estimates for annual NPP.
Although MODIS imagery cannot capture the spatial details of NPP across the network of closely spaced plot locations as well as Landsat, the MODIS satellite data as inputs to the NASA-CASA model does accurately predict the average annual productivity of a site like the BEF.
PMCID: PMC2186332  PMID: 17941989
22.  A Radiosonde Using a Humidity Sensor Array with a Platinum Resistance Heater and Multi-Sensor Data Fusion 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(7):8977-8996.
This paper describes the design and implementation of a radiosonde which can measure the meteorological temperature, humidity, pressure, and other atmospheric data. The system is composed of a CPU, microwave module, temperature sensor, pressure sensor and humidity sensor array. In order to effectively solve the humidity sensor condensation problem due to the low temperatures in the high altitude environment, a capacitive humidity sensor including four humidity sensors to collect meteorological humidity and a platinum resistance heater was developed using micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) technology. A platinum resistance wire with 99.999% purity and 0.023 mm in diameter was used to obtain the meteorological temperature. A multi-sensor data fusion technique was applied to process the atmospheric data. Static and dynamic experimental results show that the designed humidity sensor with platinum resistance heater can effectively tackle the sensor condensation problem, shorten response times and enhance sensitivity. The humidity sensor array can improve measurement accuracy and obtain a reliable initial meteorological humidity data, while the multi-sensor data fusion technique eliminates the uncertainty in the measurement. The radiosonde can accurately reflect the meteorological changes.
PMCID: PMC3758632  PMID: 23857263
radiosonde; CPU; temperature sensor; humidity sensor; MEMS; sensor array; condensation; multi-sensor data fusion
23.  A Low-Cost Sensor Buoy System for Monitoring Shallow Marine Environments 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(7):9613-9634.
Monitoring of marine ecosystems is essential to identify the parameters that determine their condition. The data derived from the sensors used to monitor them are a fundamental source for the development of mathematical models with which to predict the behaviour of conditions of the water, the sea bed and the living creatures inhabiting it. This paper is intended to explain and illustrate a design and implementation for a new multisensor monitoring buoy system. The system design is based on a number of fundamental requirements that set it apart from other recent proposals: low cost of implementation, the possibility of application in coastal shallow-water marine environments, suitable dimensions for deployment and stability of the sensor system in a shifting environment like the sea bed, and total autonomy of power supply and data recording. The buoy system has successfully performed remote monitoring of temperature and marine pressure (SBE 39 sensor), temperature (MCP9700 sensor) and atmospheric pressure (YOUNG 61302L sensor). The above requirements have been satisfactorily validated by operational trials in a marine environment. The proposed buoy sensor system thus seems to offer a broad range of applications.
PMCID: PMC3444120  PMID: 23012562
marine sensor system; sensor buoy; oceanography; remote monitoring
24.  Characterization of a New Heat Dissipation Matric Potential Sensor 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(1):1137-1145.
Soil moisture sensors can help to reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation. In this paper we describe the PlantCare soil moisture sensor as a new type of heat dissipation sensor, its calibration and the correction for temperature changes. With the PlantCare sensor it is possible to measure the matric potential indirectly to monitor or control irrigation. This sensor is based on thermal properties of a synthetic felt. After a defined heating phase the cooling time to a threshold temperature is a function of the water content in the synthetic felt. The water content in this porous matrix is controlled by the matric potential in the surrounding soil. Calibration measurements have shown that the sensor is most sensitive to −400 hPa and allows lower sensitivity measurements to −800 hPa. The disturbing effect of the temperature change during the measurement on the cooling time can be corrected by a linear function and the differences among sensors are minimized by a two point calibration.
PMCID: PMC3574726  PMID: 23344384
soil moisture; matric potential; sensor; heat dissipation; temperature; irrigation control
25.  A wireless body area network of intelligent motion sensors for computer assisted physical rehabilitation 
Recent technological advances in integrated circuits, wireless communications, and physiological sensing allow miniature, lightweight, ultra-low power, intelligent monitoring devices. A number of these devices can be integrated into a Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN), a new enabling technology for health monitoring.
Using off-the-shelf wireless sensors we designed a prototype WBAN which features a standard ZigBee compliant radio and a common set of physiological, kinetic, and environmental sensors.
We introduce a multi-tier telemedicine system and describe how we optimized our prototype WBAN implementation for computer-assisted physical rehabilitation applications and ambulatory monitoring. The system performs real-time analysis of sensors' data, provides guidance and feedback to the user, and can generate warnings based on the user's state, level of activity, and environmental conditions. In addition, all recorded information can be transferred to medical servers via the Internet and seamlessly integrated into the user's electronic medical record and research databases.
WBANs promise inexpensive, unobtrusive, and unsupervised ambulatory monitoring during normal daily activities for prolonged periods of time. To make this technology ubiquitous and affordable, a number of challenging issues should be resolved, such as system design, configuration and customization, seamless integration, standardization, further utilization of common off-the-shelf components, security and privacy, and social issues.
PMCID: PMC552302  PMID: 15740621

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