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Smart Sensors




Smart Sensors 2010

Sr. No.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Hierarchy Introduction to SENSORS Human Sensors What is a Smart Sensor? Sensors classification Integrated Smart Sensors Smart Sensor Characteristics The general smart-sensor model The smart sensor development approach Functions of Smart Sensors Smart Sensor STANDARD Advantages of Smart Sensor Future Work


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Industrial Revolution has three phases:


Mechanization :

Humans have always tried to extend their capabilities. Firstly, they extended their mechanical powers. They invented the steam engine, the combustion engine, the electric motor, and the jet engine. Mechanization thoroughly changed society. The first industrial revolution was born.

(2) Informatization :
Secondly, they extended their brains, or their ratio. They invented means for artificial logic and communication: the computer and the internet. This informatization phase is changing society again, where we cannot yet fully predict the end result.

(3) Sensorization :
However, this is not all. By inventing sensors, humans are now learning to artificially expand their senses. Sensorization together with mechanization and informatization will bring about the third industrial revolution.


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Introduction to SENSORS

A sensor is a device or system that responds to a physical, chemical, electrical, or optical quality to produce an output that is a measure of that quality. A simple sensor has two parts: (1) sensing element (2) transducer, that converts the sensed quality to a representative signal. Sensor technology plays a key role in situational awareness. Sensors are needed to measure the critical parameters of the environment, machines, and the human.

Human Sensors
Eyes (sight) Ears (hearing) Nose (smell) Tongue (taste) Skin (touch) Internal Sensors:
Know when we are hungry Know when we are tired Know when we are in pain


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What is a Smart Sensor?

A sensor with built-in intelligence , whether apparent to the user or not, can be referred to as a smart sensor. Smart sensors are sensors with integrated electronics that can perform one or more of the following function: (1) logic functions, (2) two-way communication , (3) make decisions The intelligence is partially or fully integrated on a single chip. Smart sensors provide added functionality beyond the primary function of producing an output representing a sensed quantity. Typically, a smart sensor contains a physical transducer, a network interface, a processor, and a memory core that can all be fabricated on a single die. Sensors transform signals from different energy domains to the electrical domain:


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Table1 below shows how different non electrical signal in which we can classify different measurand Signal Domain
Radiant Signals

Physical Properties
Light intensity, polarization, phase, wavelength

Mechanical Signals Thermal Signals Chemical Signals Magnetic Signals

Force, pressure, flow, vacuum, thickness Temperature, Temperature gradient, heat Concentration, pH, toxicity Field intensity ,flux density, permeability

Table 2 below shows the physical effects for sensors Signal Domain
Radiant Signals

Physical Effects
Photovoltaic effect, photoelectric effect, photoconductivity, and photo magnetoelectric effect

Mechanical Signals Thermal Signals

Piezo-resistivity Seebeck effect, temperature dependence of conductivity Ion sensitive field effect Hall effect, magnetoresistance

Chemical Signals Magnetic Signals


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Smart Sensors Classification

Smart sensors are grouped into five classifications:

Chemical; chemical and biochemical sensors are able to translate these
signals into electrical, e.g. pH Sensor, DNA Sensor

Electric, magnetic, electromagnetic wave; Even electrical sensors

exist. They translate electrical signals into other electrical signals, for instance to measure accurately the voltage difference between two skin electrodes on the chest of a patient. magnetic sensor, A Hall plate is able to convert a magnetic signal into an electrical signal, e.g. Hall plate, Electric Sensor

Heat, temperature; a temperature sensor translates the temperature into

an electrical signal, e.g. Thermometer

Physical (mechanical displacement); mechanical sensor, for example,

an accelerometer or airbag sensor is able to translate mechanical acceleration into an electrical signal, e.g. Accelerometer, Airbag Sensor

Optical; Optical sensors are able to translate signals into electrical signals.
An example is an image sensor that translates a picture into an electrical signal, e.g. Cameras, Optical angle encoders, optical arrays.

Sensors, regardless of the classification, are characterized by the specification of various parameters. The parameters of importance largely depend on the application. These parameters include: Sensitivity Stability Accuracy Hysteresis Drift


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Cost, size, weight Range (span) Resolution Linearity Environmental (temperature, shock, vibration, etc.)

Sensors can be further divided into two types:

(1) Passive sensors(self-generating) such as the electrodynamic

microphone obtain their output energy from the input signal

(2) Active sensors(modulating) on the other hand, such as the

condenser microphone, obtain it from an internal power source. Active sensors can achieve a large power gain between the input and output signals


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Integrated Smart Sensors

Integrated Smart sensors are those which are with IC-compatible 3-D microstructuring & Packaging. Integrated Smart sensors are as follow:

Radiant: Image Sensors, Integrated adaptive optics Mechanical: Piezo-junction effects, Mechanical filters Thermal: Thermopile sensors, Absolute kT/q sensor Electrical: Capacitive sensors and actuators Magnetic: Spinning current Hall-plate sensors Chemical: DNA detectors, High Speed Screening

Smart Sensor Characteristics

Smart sensors haves the following characteristics:

Self calibration:
Self-calibration means adjusting some parameter of sensor during fabrication, this can be either gain or offset or both. Self-calibration is to adjust the deviation of the output of sensor from the desired value when the input is at minimum or it can be an initial adjustment of gain. Calibration is needed because their adjustments usually change with time that needs the device to be removed and recalibrated. If it is difficult to recalibrate the units once they are in service, the manufacturer over-designs, which ensure that device, will operate within specification during its service life. These problems are solved by smart sensor as it has built in microprocessor that has the correction functions in its memory.


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Computation also allows one to obtain the average, variance and standard deviation for the set of measurements. This can easily be done using smart sensor. Computational ability allows to compensate for the environmental changes such as temperature and also to correct for changes in offset and gain.

Communication is the means of exchanging or conveying information, which can be easily accomplished by smart sensor. This is very helpful as sensor can broadcast information about its own status and measurement uncertainty.

Some smart sensor also has ability to measure more than one physical or chemical variable simultaneously. A single smart sensor can measure pressure, temperature, humidity, gas flow, and infrared, chemical reaction surface acoustic vapor etc.

The General Smart-Sensor Model

The general smart-sensor model is shown in Figure. This model applies to a wide range of complex systems.











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The Integrated System model consists of collections of smart sensors (SS) and conventional sensors (CS), which are organized into associated virtual process(es); the collection in turn comprises a system. Intelligence in support of health management is distributed across all elements. Data information is exchanged over bus(es).

In general, such a system collects data from a multitude of sensors, analyzes that data to develop information and delivers results with validity and reliability appropriate to the application. One of the key enabling technology elements are smart sensors and a framework of supporting intelligence.

Smart sensors assume a significant role in these architectures. A smart sensor shares similarities with a non-smart or conventional sensor in that they both produce measurement data; the smart sensor differs because it also possesses sufficient computing power to perform algorithmic assessment of its state to inform higher-level process(es) of the estimated quality of the data, of the ability of the smart sensor to perform its functions, and can also perform a collection of algorithms for information extraction and data compression.

Sensor Elements

Sensor elements:
The physical element interacting with the environment

Any device capable of perceiving a physical property, or environmental attribute, such as heat, light, sound, pressure, magnetism or motion.


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Smart materials(elements) are capable to sense alterations occurring inside them, to interpret them and to react to them by means of actuators. When applying those materials to the conception of pressure vessels, bridges, aircrafts, etc. it is possible to know the general state of degradation of the structure, before and during its use. The manufacture of such smart structure requires the conception of a sensor system, capable to monitor physical sizes as vibrations, temperatures, strain, etc., as well as a processing system capable to extract information and, eventually, to produce a reaction like the activation of an alarm, or to answer to a stimulus via actuators. Due to their small size and weight, optic fibre sensors are appropriate for the embedding in composite materials. The workability of the composite materials allows the insertion of sensors and actuators during its manufacture. The optic fibre sensor translates the observed alterations in the light characteristics (intensity, frequency, wavelength, phase and/or polarization) caused by the variations of the physical size in measurement. Once it is possible to control the external influences such as eventual variations in the optical source power, losses in the optical components, environmental noise, etc., it can be associated those alterations to the variations of the measurand. Two different optic fibre sensors are considered: the fibre Bragg grating (FBG) for strain measurement and the Fabry-Prot interferometer for acoustic emission sensing.

Sensor Nodes and Smart Environment

Sensor nodes are critical elements of a smart environment to protect the health and safety of miners during operation and in emergency situations. Figure depicts a smart mine environment that can provide interactivity and situational awareness of the mine environment, machinery, and people. Sensor nodes are used in this smart mine environment to provide communication and to acquire data about mining machine position, mine roof and rib conditions, crosscut traffic, the location and status of miners, and the mine atmosphere such that the data can be used to alert miners of health and safety hazards during operation. For instance, the smart environment would automatically provide an alert that a miner has been struck by falling roof


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even though the miner is incapacitated. The functionality of this smart environment could be expanded to help miners find the best escape route or find other miners in emergency situations, especially when smoke obscures visibility. Limited or even zero visibility environments are also common to firefighters. A smart building environment could provide health and safety functions similar to that of a smart mine environment. Firefighters could find escape routes even under zero visibility, or they could locate fallen firefighters who are unable to communicate their condition or location.

Figure - A mesh network of wireless sensor nodes can be used to create a smart mine environment to protect the health and safety of miners during operation and in emergency situations


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A sensor node consists of a mote and sensors. Nodes typically have on-board processing power, on-board memory, wireless connectivity, sensors, and a small battery power source. A mote is a small, wireless hardware platform that enables sensors to be wireless. Motes can be highly specialized or general purpose; they can be of low bandwidth to support the transfer of limited data or high bandwidth to support the transfer of streaming video, graphics, and audio. A commercially available, high-bandwidth sensor mote from enables the creation of low-powered, wireless sensor networks that can collect data on physical and environmental properties such as temperature, acceleration, and vibration. The mote is small and battery-operated for use in wearable sensor applications. The power requirements are very low, making the motes a good choice for use in hazardous environments.

Figure -- A sensor node is composed of a sensor(s) and a mote.

Sensor motes are rapidly developing in terms of size and cost reduction, and increasing functionality. Figure depicts this new mote, which is about the size of a postage stamp.


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The smart sensor development approach

The smart sensor development approach consists of:

identifying candidate sensors evaluating the suite of signal processing algorithms currently available for both
single and multi-mode sensors

evaluating the cost-benefit associated with each algorithm to find the optimum
set for embedding

mapping the selected suite of algorithms into model smart sensor architectures evaluating the performance of the complete smart sensor in a simulated pipeline
inspection environment.

Functions of Smart Sensors

Smart sensors not only measure a physical property, but also perform the following additional functions:

Compensation: the ability of a sensor to detect and respond to changes in the

environment and its own states through self-diagnostic tests, self-calibration and adaption

Information Processing: processes such as signal conditioning, data

reduction, event detection and decision-making, which enhance the information content of the raw sensor measurements


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and the outside world.

the use of a standardized interface and a standardized

communication protocol for the transmission of information between the sensor

Integration: the coupling of the sensing and computation processes on the

same silicon chip

Smart Sensor STANDARD

The smart sensor standard, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), was developed to define a flexible, standard interface that would enable any smart sensor from any manufacturer to connect to a multinode network of smart sensors [IEEE 1998]. The standard defines a standard transducer interface module (STIM) that includes the sensor interface, signal conditioning and conversion, calibration, linearization, and network communication. In essence, IEEE 1451.21997 enables plug and play functionality for smart sensors that connect to smart sensor networks.

IEEE uses a broad, all inclusive definition for smart sensors: A sensor that provides functions beyond those necessary for generating a correct representation of a sensed quantity


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Development of the smart transducer family of consensus standards

During early 1996, IEEE sanctioned two working groups to produce standards for smart transducers. IEEE P1451.1 would define a common object model description for transducers and a network capable application processor (NCAP) for network interfacing, while IEEE P1451.2 would define a transducer electronic data sheet (TEDS), smart transducer interface module (STIM) and transducer independent interface (TII).

Working group meetings held during 1996 demonstrated the need for another standard adapted to users of very small sensors and users of distributed arrays of sensors. The emerging P1451.2 STIM definition was not sufficiently flexible to allow sensors to be separated into a distributed multi-drop network, the TII was too slow to support wideband analog signals and the TEDS definition too rigid, requiring a large memory, precluding use in tiny sensors.

IEEE P1451.2 went on to become a published IEEE standard during 1997 and is formally known as IEEE Std 1451.2-1997 IEEE Standard for a Smart Transducer Interface for Sensors and Actuators- Transducer to Microprocessor Communication Protocols and Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS) Formats. This standard is presently (ca. 2004) in the process of revision, to allow wider acceptance and usage.

IEEE 1451.1 was completed and published during 1999 as IEEE Std 1451.11999 IEEE Standard for a Smart Transducer Interface for Sensors and ActuatorsNetwork Capable Application Processor Information Model.


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Following study group meetings through late 1996 and 1997, the IEEE sanctioned two new working groups, one for multi-drop sensors (IEEE P1451.3) and another for mixed-mode analog sensors with compact TEDS (IEEE P1451.4), late in the fall of 1997.

IEEE 1451.3 evolved to define a multi-drop sensor data network based on an RF-spread-spectrum-in-wire physical medium and was published in 2003 as IEEE Std 1451.3-2003 IEEE Standard for a Smart Transducer Interface for Sensors and Actuators-Digital Communication and Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS) Formats for Distributed Multidrop Systems.

IEEE P1451.4 was accepted as a full-use standard by the IEEE Standards Association, May 14, 2004, and is available as (D3.0) Draft Standard for A Smart Transducer Interface for Sensors and Actuators - Mixed-Mode Communication Protocols and Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS) Formats, until final publication, planned for the second half of 2004.

IEEE 1451 Family


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Key Features of IEEE 1451 Family of Standards

Diverse Applications Supported

p1451.0 - Overarching Common Standards p1451.1 Object Oriented Specs for NCAP p1451.2 Low Cost, Internal Point-to-Point Connectivity for TIM to NCAP p1451.3 High Performance Multidrop Internal Connectivity p1451.4 Supports Sensor Analog & Digital Data Transfer on Existing
Wires but no Networking

p1451.5 Wireless Smart Sensors - Bluetooth & 802.11 p1451.6 Support for CAN p1451.7 Support for USB

IEEE 1451 Advantages

Comprehensive enough to cover nearly all sensors in use today Many operating modes(buffered, no-buffer, grouped sensors, timestamps,
timed data, streaming )

Extensive units, linearization and calibration options Multiple timing and data block size constraints handled. Compatible with most wired and wireless sensor buses and networks (pointto-point, mesh, TIM-to-TIM, mixed networks).

Efficient binary protocol (especially suitable for wireless)


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Advantages of Smart Sensor

Minimum Interconnecting Cables
The number of cables and cable lengths dictated by traditional star topologies of interconnecting analog transducers to a central signal processing equipment has a detrimental impact on all aspects of a measurement system. These factors decrease the accuracy and reliability of measurements, decrease system performance, and increase system operating costs. The multi-drop sensor network architecture of the proposed system allows drastic reduction of interconnecting cables. The Smart Sensor System interconnects all of the transducers through a common digital bus cable. The centralized, bulky electronic boxes typical of traditional measurement systems are replaced with miniature modules strategically distributed throughout the setup.

High Reliability
Reliability is improved by reducing the total number of interconnecting cables and including Build-in-Test (BIT) features. System reliability is significantly improved due to the utilization of smart sensors. One is due to the reduction in system wiring and second is the ability of the sensor to diagnose its own faults and their effect.

High Performance
Large numbers of analog transducers result in difficult-to-manage, large and long bundles of cables carrying analog signals which are susceptible to being corrupted by EMI/RFI noise. Cables carrying digital signals are more immune to these problems and are easier to interface than cables carrying analog signals. Higher measurement accuracy is obtained by digital correction over the operating temperature range of both the transducers sensitivity and the analog signal conditioning instrumentation.

Easy to Design, Use and Maintain


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Small Rugged Packaging
The proposed measurement system components are small, lightweight and packaged to operate under demanding environmental conditions typical of aerospace applications such as high vibration, high temperature, high pressure, humidity, EMI/RFI, etc.

Minimum Cost
Design, operating and maintenance costs are drastically reduced by implementing a system. The initial capital investment may be similar or slightly higher than traditional systems; however, this marginal additional expense is far outweighed by savings in other areas.

The presence of controller/processor in smart sensor has led to corrections for

different undesirable sensor characteristics which include input offset and span variation, non-linearity and cross-sensitivity.

Non-linearity: Many of the sensors show some non-linearity, by using onchip feedback systems or look up tables we can improve linearity.

Cross-sensitivity: Most of the sensors show an undesirable sensitivity to

strain and temperature. Incorporating relevant sensing elements and circuits on the same chip can reduce the cross-sensitivity.

Offset: Offset adjustment requires expensive trimming procedures and

even this offsets tend to drift. This is very well reduced by sensitivity reduction method.

Parameter drift and component values: These are functions of time. This
can be solved by automatic calibration.

Remote Diagnostics
Due to the existence of the processor with in the package, it is possible to have digital communication via a standard bus and a built in self-test (BIST). This is very helpful in production test of integrated circuits. This diagnostic can be a set of rules based program running in the sensor.


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Future Work
Immediate future:
Improved Data Acquisition More Efficient Communication o If we know where surround nodes are, we know how far away they are, so we can attenuate the power output accordingly. More Efficient Packet Sending o If we know where nodes are, any how far they can communicate, we can determine the optimal communication

Smart Cars
Modern cars incorporated about 40 sensors as depicted in Figure. It will only be possible to accommodate more sensors if a distributed sensor bus is used instead of a star-connected sensor system only smart sensors make this economically viable. Otherwise the car breaks down under the load of wires.


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Smart Homes
Many sensors have been built-in in the home of the future, erected in Rosmalen in the Netherlands , see Figure Like cars, houses can only accommodate many sensors if a distributed bus system is used instead of a point-to-point network.


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A Biomedical Smart Sensor for the Visually Impaired

Sensors are used to develop the novel solutions needed to make artificial vision for the visually-impaired a reality. Restoring vision to the blind and visually impaired is possible only through significant progress in Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, Computer Networking, Sensors, and VLSI research areas.

In the future, artificial retina prostheses may be used to restore visual perception to persons suffering from retinitis pimentos, macula degeneration, or other diseases of the retina. . It is well known that the application of electrical charges to the retina can elicit the perception of spots of light. By coupling novel sensing materials with the recent advances in VLSI technology and wireless communication, it is now feasible to develop biomedical smart sensors that can support chronic implantation of a significant number of stimulation points

Similarly, the use of cortical implants has promise for the visually impaired. Unlike the retina prosthesis, a cortical implant bypasses most of the visual system, including the eye and the optic nerve, and directly stimulates the visual cortex, where information from the eyes is processed.

The smart sensor package is created through the backside bonding of an array of sensing elements, each of which is a set of microbumps that operate at an extremely low voltage, to a integrated circuit for a corresponding multiplexed grid of transistors that allows individual voltage control of each microbump sensor The package is encapsulated in inert material except for the microbumps, which must be in contact with the retina.

The long-term operation of the device, as well as the difficulty of physically accessing a biomedical device implanted in the eye, precludes the use of a batterypowered smart sensor. Because of the high volume of data that must be transmitted, the power consumption of an implanted retinal chip is much greater than, for example, a pacemaker.


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Proposed retina implants fall into two general categories: Epiretinal, which are placed on the surface of the retina

Subretinal, which are placed under the surface of the retina

Figure -- Location of the Smart Sensor within the Eye, the front side of the retina is in contact with the micro sensor array

Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. The main advantages of the sub-retinal implant are that the implant is easily fixed in place, and the simplified processing that is involved, since the signals that are generated replace only the rods and cones with other layers of the retina processing the data from the implant. The main


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advantage of the epiretinal implant is the greater ability to dissipate heat because it is not embedded under tissue.

There are also two options for a cortical implant. One option is to place the sensors on the surface of the visual cortex. At this time, it is unknown whether the signals produced by this type of sensor can produce stimuli that are sufficiently localized to generate the desired visual perception. The other option is to use electrodes that extend into the visual cortex. This allows more localized control of the stimulation, but also presents the possibility of long-term damage to the brain cells during chronic use. It should be noted, however, that although heat dissipation remains a concern with a cortical implant, the natural heat dissipation within the skull is greater than within the eye.

Unlike some other systems that have been proposed, these smart sensors are placed upon the retina and are small enough and light enough to be held in place with relatively little force. These sensors produce electrical signals that are converted by the underlying tissue into a chemical response, mimicking the normal operating behavior of the retina from light stimulation. The chemical response is digital (binary), essentially producing chemical serial communication. A similar design is being used for a cortical implant, although the spacing between the microbumps is larger to match the increased spacing between ganglia in the visual cortex.

Transmission into the eye works as follows:

The surface of the retina is stimulated electrically, via an artificial retina prosthesis, by the sensors on the smart sensor chip. These electrical signals are converted into chemical signals by the ganglia and other underlying tissue structures and the response is carried via the optic nerve to the brain. Signal transmission from the smart sensors implanted in the eye works in a similar manner, only in the reverse direction. The resulting neurological signals from the ganglia are picked up by the micro sensors and the signal and relative intensity can be transmitted out of the smart sensor.


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Task of creation of different smart digital sensors and

intelligent sensors systems for various physical and chemical, electric and non electric quantities is one of the most perspective and urgent task.

New smart sensors systems design methodology lets

essentially reduce production costs and time-to-market.

With the advance in semiconductor technology,

smart sensors with small form factor capable of sensing physical world, performing preliminary processing and storage and communication. smart sensor, but from the experience of already existing devices, we can expect that in the coming decade a large number of successful smart sensors will emerge.

But still a lot of research is required to get benefits of the


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