Optical miniaturized sensors with remote readout are required devices for the monitoring in harsh electromagnetic environments. As an example, in turbo and hydro generators, excessively high vibrations of the end-windings can lead to dramatic damages, imposing very high, additional service costs. A significant change of the generator temperature can also be an indicator of the system failure. Continuous monitoring of vibrations, temperature, humidity, and gases is therefore mandatory. The high electromagnetic fields in the generators impose the use of non-conductive devices in order to prevent electromagnetic interferences and to electrically isolate the sensing element to the electronic readout. Metal-free sensors are good candidates for such systems since they are immune to very strong electromagnetic fields and given the fact that they are non-conductive. We have realized miniature optical accelerometer and temperature sensors for a remote sensing of the harsh environments using the common, inexpensive silicon Micro Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) platform. Both devices show highly linear response. The accelerometer has a deviation within 1% from the linear fit when tested in a range 0 – 40 g. The temperature sensor can provide the measurement accuracy better than 1 °C in a range 20 – 150 °C. The design of other type of sensors for the environments with high electromagnetic interferences has also been discussed.
The current state-of-the-art methods of mass gauging of Electric Propulsion (EP) propellants in microgravity conditions rely on external measurements that are taken at the surface of the tank. The tanks are operated under a constant thermal duty cycle to store the propellant within a pre-defined temperature and pressure range. We demonstrate using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations that the heat-transfer within the pressurized propellant generates temperature and density anisotropies. This challenges the standard mass gauging methods that rely on the use of time changing skin-temperatures and pressures. We observe that the domes of the tanks are prone to be overheated, and that a long time after the heaters of the thermal cycle are switched off, the system reaches a quasi-equilibrium state with a more uniform density. We propose a new gauging method, which we call the Improved PVT method, based on universal physics and thermodynamics principles, existing TRL-9 technology and telemetry data. This method only uses as inputs the temperature and pressure readings of sensors externally attached to the tank. These sensors can operate during the nominal thermal duty cycle. The improved PVT method shows little sensitivity to the pressure sensor drifts which are critical towards the end-of-life of the missions, as well as little sensitivity to systematic temperature errors. The retrieval method has been validated experimentally with CO2 in gas and fluid state in a chamber that operates up to 82 bar within a nominal thermal cycle of 38 °C to 42 °C. The mass gauging error is shown to be lower than 1% the mass at the beginning of life, assuming an initial tank load at 100 bar. In particular, for a pressure of about 70 bar, just below the critical pressure of CO2, the error of the mass gauging in gas phase goes down to 0.1% and for 77 bar, just above the critical point, the error of the mass gauging of the liquid phase is 0.6% of initial tank load. This gauging method improves by a factor of 8 the accuracy of the standard PVT retrievals using look-up tables with tabulated data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The paper describes conceptual design, control strategies, and partial simulation for a new fully autonomous lower limb wearable exoskeleton system for human motion enhancement that can support its weight and increase strength and endurance. Various problems still remain to be solved where the most important is the creation of a power and cost efficient system that will allow an exoskeleton to operate for extended period without batteries being frequently recharged. The designed exoskeleton is enabling to decouple the weight/mass carrying function of the system from the forward motion function which reduces the power and size of propulsion motors and thus the overall weight, cost of the system. The decoupling takes place by blocking the motion at knee joint by placing passive air cylinder across the joint. The cylinder is actuated when the knee angle has reached the minimum allowed value to bend. The value of the minimum bending angle depends on usual walk style of the subject. The mechanism of the exoskeleton features a seat to rest the subject’s body weight at the moment of blocking the knee joint motion. The mechanical structure of each leg has six degrees of freedom: four at the hip, one at the knee, and one at the ankle. Exoskeleton legs are attached to subject legs by using flexible cuffs. The operation of all actuators depends on the amount of pressure felt by the feet pressure sensors and knee angle sensor. The sensor readings depend on actual posture of the subject and can be classified in three distinct cases: subject stands on one leg, subject stands still on both legs and subject stands on both legs but transit its weight from one leg to other. This exoskeleton is power efficient because electrical motors are smaller in size and did not participate in supporting the weight like in all other existing exoskeleton designs.
A game for training of breath (TRABR) for continuous monitoring of pulmonary ventilation during the patients’ therapy focuses especially on monitoring of their ventilation processes. It is necessary to detect, monitor and differentiate abdominal and thoracic breathing during the therapy. It is a fun form of rehabilitation where the patient plays and also practicing isolated breathing. Finally the game to practice breath was designed to evaluate whether the patient uses two types of breathing or not.
A blood pressure monitor or sphygmomanometer can be either manual or automatic, employing respectively either the auscultatory method or the oscillometric method. The manual version of the sphygmomanometer involves an inflatable cuff with a stethoscope adopted to detect the sounds generated by the arterial walls to measure blood pressure in an artery. An automatic sphygmomanometer can be effectively used to monitor blood pressure through a pressure sensor, which detects vibrations provoked by oscillations of the arterial walls. The pressure sensor implemented in this device improves the accuracy of the measurements taken.
The aim of study was to evaluate pressure distribution characteristics of the elastic textile bandages using two instrumental techniques: a prototype Instrument and a load Transference. The prototype instrument which simulates shape of real leg has pressure sensors which measure bandage pressure. Using this instrument, the results show that elastic textile bandages presents different pressure distribution characteristics and none produces a uniform distribution around lower limb.
The load transference test procedure is used to determine whether a relationship exists between elastic textile bandage structure and pressure distribution characteristics. The test procedure assesses degree of load, directly transferred through a textile when loads series are applied to bandaging surface. A range of weave fabrics was produced using needle weaving machine and a sewing technique. A textile bandage was developed with optimal characteristics far superior pressure distribution than other bandages. From results, we find that theoretical pressure is not consistent exactly with practical pressure. It is important in this study to make a practical application for specialized nurses in order to verify the results and draw useful conclusions for predicting the use of this type of elastic band.
The state of melt viscosity in injection process is significantly influenced by the setting parameters due to that the shear rate of injection process is higher than other processes. How to determine plastic melt viscosity during injection process is important to understand the influence of setting parameters on the melt viscosity. An apparatus named as pressure sensor bushing (PSB) module that is used to evaluate the melt viscosity during injection process is developed in this work. The formulations to coupling melt viscosity with fill time and injection pressure are derived and then the melt viscosity is determined. A test mold is prepared to evaluate the accuracy on viscosity calculations between the PSB module and the conventional approaches. The influence of melt viscosity on the tensile strength of molded part is proposed to study the consistency of injection quality.
This paper presents a resonant-based read-out circuit for capacitive pressure sensors. The proposed read-out circuit consists of an LC oscillator and a counter. The circuit detects the capacitance changes of a capacitive pressure sensor by means of frequency shifts from its nominal operation frequency. The proposed circuit is designed in 0.18m CMOS with an estimated power consumption of 43.1mW. Simulation results show that the circuit has a capacitive resolution of 8.06kHz/fF, which enables it for high resolution pressure detection.
This paper presents the characterization and design of a capacitive pressure sensor with LC-based 0.35 µm CMOS readout circuit. SPICE is employed to evaluate the characteristics of the readout circuit and COMSOL multiphysics structural analysis is used to simulate the behavior of the pressure sensor. The readout circuit converts the capacitance variation of the pressure sensor into the frequency output. Simulation results show that the proposed pressure sensor has output frequency from 2.50 to 2.28 GHz in a pressure range from 0.1 to 2 MPa almost linearly. The sensitivity of the frequency shift with respect to the applied pressure load is 0.11 GHz/MPa.
Due to their high power-to-weight ratio and low cost, pneumatic actuators are attractive for robotics and automation applications; however, achieving fast and accurate control of their position have been known as a complex control problem. The paper presents a methodology for obtaining controllers that achieve high position accuracy and preserve the closed-loop characteristics over a broad operating range. Experimentation with a number of conventional (or "classical") three-term controllers shows that, as repeated operations accumulate, the characteristics of the pneumatic actuator change requiring frequent re-tuning of the controller parameters (PID gains). Furthermore, three-term controllers are found to perform poorly in recovering the closed-loop system after the application of load or other external disturbances. The key reason for these problems lies in the non-linear exchange of energy inside the cylinder relating, in particular, to the complex friction forces that develop on the piston-wall interface. In order to overcome this problem but still remain within the boundaries of classical control methods, we designed an auto selective classicaql controller so that the system performance would benefit from all three control gains (KP, Kd, Ki) according to system requirements and the characteristics of each type of controller. This challenging experimentation took place for consistent performance in the face of modelling imprecision and disturbances. In the work presented, a selective PID controller is presented for an experimental rig comprising an air cylinder driven by a variable-opening pneumatic valve and equipped with position and pressure sensors. The paper reports on tests carried out to investigate the capability of this specific controller to achieve consistent control performance under, repeated operations and other changes in operating conditions.