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Smart Sensors and MEMS book's cover

Title: Smart Sensors and MEMS

Author: Sergey Y. Yurish (Editor), Maria Teresa S.R. Gomes (Editor)

Publisher: Springer Verlag

Hardcover: 480 pages

Pubdate: January, 2005

ISBN: 1402029276

Price: $ 89.95 (paperback), $ 199.00 (hardcover)

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‘Smart Sensors and MEMS’ was the title of a NATO Advanced Study Institute (ASI) held in Povoa de Varzim, Portugal, from 8 to 19 September 2003. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and disseminate the latest knowledge in field of smart sensors, transducers and MEMS technologies with a view of advanced signal processing and novel conversion methods. With that in mind, a broad range of physical, chemical and biosensors design principles, technologies and applications were included in the programme. It was a first attempt to discuss in the same event different physical, chemical, biological sensors and MEMS technologies in point of view of smart sensors creation. Fourteen experts from Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and USA have been invited to give lectures on latest achievements in sensors area and technologies.


The main task of measuring instruments, sensors and transducers designing has always been to reach high metrology performances. At different stages of measurement technology development, this task was solved using technological methods, consisting in technology perfection, as well as structural and structural-algorithmic methods. Historically, technological methods have received prevalence in the USA, Japan and Western European countries. The structural and structural-algorithmic methods have received a broad development in the former USSR and continue developing in NIS countries. The improvement of metrology performances and extension of functional capabilities are being achieved through the implementation of particular structures designed in most cases in heuristic way, and using advanced calculations, algorithms and signal processing (for example, Lyapunov’s characteristic functions, weight functions, inferential calculations for soft sensors, advanced self-adaptive methods for frequency-to-digital conversion, etc.). Digital and quasi-digital smart sensors and transducers are not the exception [1].


The last crisis in the area of high technologies has evidently shown, that it is not enough to use only the technological methods. Despite of crisis, we need now smart sensors with increased accuracy, reliability and speed. Nowadays, intelligent sensors are extremely necessary for such applications, as electronic noses and tongues, smart vision systems, personnel (human body) detection, authentication systems, building monitoring system, etc. Most effectively for achievement of this purpose is a combination of technological methods and structural-algorithmic methods. It allows to achieve the same performances (or even better) at reduced material and human costs, with a much faster response.


The NATO ASI has brought together experts from the various and highly diverse areas of this broad field and to diffuse their work in the field of smart sensors and MEMS. The diffusion and share of concepts is very important and timely for the future developments in this emerging scientific area. In fact, the main objective of the NATO ASI was to disseminate up to date knowledge concerning the new and emerging applications of modern smart sensors (including their usage in the defense against terrorism) and to stimulate active international cooperation in the area of novel physical and (bio) chemical sensing principles, modern microsystem technologies and new methods of signal processing and conversion.


The NATO ASI ‘Smart Sensors and MEMS’ has presented the state-of-the-art and given an excellent opportunity to provide a systematic, in-depth treatment of the new and rapidly developing field of smart sensors and MEMS. The ultimate goal of the NATO ASI - to encourage the participants from many countries to work together on different smart sensors and to develop joint projects in the future has been achieved in full.


In addition to the round table and two panel discussions, the addition discussion on ‘Smart Sensor Systems’ has been initiated by lecturers and participants and held during the NATO ASI. It has been considered that there are a lot of new technologies, suitable for smart sensors creation [2], for example, micro- or nano-cantilevers (lecturer P. Datscos, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA) porous silicon (lecturer U. Mescheder, University of Applied Science, Furtwangen, Germany), thick films (lecturer V. Ferrari, Universitá di Brescia, Italy), resonant piezoelectric (lecturer F. Josse, Marquette University, USA), molecular architecture and nanotechnologies (lecturer E. Katz, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) and other modern technologies let to produce different sensors classes: physical, chemical and biological. But still there is a problem how to joint them and use in a frame of smart sensor systems. One of points of view was to use novel frequency-to-digital conversion methods and converters (lecturer S. Yurish, International Frequency Sensor Association) in order to move from a traditional analog (voltage and current) signal domain to frequency-time signal domain. The last one lets to eliminate a lot of technical problems due to properties of frequency as informative parameters. No output standardization is necessary as in the case of analog signal domain. Nevertheless, as rule, the sensitive response of many sensors is in mV, it is expediently to use the voltage-to-frequency intermediate conversion. In additional such approach will give an opportunity to create new self-adaptive smart sensors (S. Yurish).


New conversion methods and advanced signal processing will play role a bridge between many different technologies at smart sensor systems design. The best modern approach for smart sensor systems creation is to use both modern technologies and advanced methods for signal processing and measurement, especially in the frequency-time signal domain. Many type of sensing elements and read-out circuitry can be merged by this way on a single chip or in SoC. However, the combination of monolithic and hybrid integration with advanced processing and conversional methods in many cases allows also to achieve good results.


Such kind of research has been initiated by International Frequency Sensor Association IFSA [3] and now is a hot topic for a big international joint research project.


The aims of this volume are to disseminate wider and in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge about smart sensors and its applications, to create a clear consciousness about the effectiveness of MEMS technologies, advanced signal processing and conversion methods, to stimulate the theoretical and applied research in these very important areas, and promote the practical using of these techniques in the industry.


The book is an excellent guide for the practicing engineer, the researcher and the student interested in this crucial aspect of actual smart sensor design.





[1] Yurish S.Y. Modern MEMS Technologies and Advanced Signal Processing: How to Obtain More Benefits in Smart Sensors Systems ? Sensors & Transducers, 2003; 36:I:III.


[2] Smart Sensors and MEMS: Tutorials and Posters Abstracts, NATO ASI ‘Smart Sensors and MEMS’. Preprints, ed. by Maria Teresa Gomes and Sergey Y. Yurish, Povoa De Varzim, 8-19 September 2003 (ISBN 0-9733840-0-X).


[3] Yurish S.Y. Novel Measurement Techniques up for License, IFSA Press Release, 21 November 2002, Toronto, ON, Canada



Lviv, January 2004 

The editors







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