bullet On-line Magazine 'Sensors & Transducers' (S&T e-Digest)

    (ISSN 1726- 5479)



No. 10, October 2003



Table of Contents




Modern MEMS Technologies and Advanced Signal Processing:

How to Obtain More Benefits in Smart Sensors Systems ?


Some Conclusions to NATO Advanced Study Institute (ASI) 'Smart Sensors and MEMS'

(Povoa De Varzim, Portugal, 8-19 September 2003)


This editor's articles contains some scientific conclusions as well as future organizational measures, the necessity of which has been discussed during NATO ASI 'Smart Sensors and MEMS' on 8-19 September 2003 in Povoa De Varzim (Portugal).


This issue of Sensors and Transducers Magazine is started by two research articles of NATO ASI participants, who have presented theirs posters during the ASI. Much more participants' articles devoted to different physical, chemical sensors, smart sensors design principles, measuring and data acquisition systems are coming soon and will be available in the next Sensors and Transducers Magazine issues.

Click <here> or title of paper to start download the full pages article, or <here> to see NATO ASI photo - report Photo camera 


Editor's signature

S&T Editor-in-Chief

Prof., Dr. Sergey Y. Yurish

NATO ASI participants

46 Thorny Vineway,

Toronto,  ON, 

Canada,  M2J  4J2

Tel/fax:+1 (416) 233-4546 

E-mail: info@sensorsportal.com





Choosing an Ultrasonic Sensor for Ultrasonography


Ultrasonic imaging and tissue characterization is a noninvasive technique widely used in medicine for many years to assess body conditions. However, the expertise required to operate the equipment and interpret the results is not always available. The medical ultrasonography project is developing a system concept for a remotely steerable, multibeam ultrasonic scanner that can be operated by skilled medical personnel. The properly chosen ultrasonic sensor and duration of signal play an important role in ultrasonography. The choice of the ultrasonic sensor is influenced by a variety of parameters among which are: type and frequency of the signal, spectrum width of the signal, which in turn depend on the environment and object under consideration. The most frequently used signals are short sine burst, Barker code, chirp signal and Golay sequences. Each signal has its own features and peculiarities that distinguish it from the others and considerably determine the sensor's properties.


Click <here> or title of paper to start download the full pages article.


Institute of Fundamental Technological Research,

Polish Academy of Sciences,

Swietokrzyska 21, 00 049 Warsaw, Poland

Tel: ++48-22-8261281

E-mail: igortr@ippt.gov.pl



Microhotplate Sensor Arrays Based on Sputtered and Screen-Printed Metal Oxide Films

for Selective Detection of Volatile Compounds


This paper reports on the fabrication and characterization of integrated tin oxide gas sensor microarrays. A nano-particle tin oxide film was deposited onto the 4-element microarrays either by r.f. sputtering or screen-printing. Both procedures allowed for the deposition of the sensing layers before hotplate membranes had been etched, which led to gas micro-sensors with an excellent fabrication yield. The sensitivity of the sensor arrays to different volatiles (acetone, ammonia and ethanol) and their binary mixtures were investigated as a function of the deposition method, operating temperature and electrode geometry. The measured responses show different patterns for each of the tested volatiles and, therefore, are suitable for evaluation by pattern recognition techniques. A fuzzy ARTMAP classifier was evaluated for gas identification and concentration estimation. A 100% success rate in vapor classification was obtained. These results prove the usefulness of the techniques implemented to obtain micro-machined sensors appropriate for battery-powered vapor monitors.


Click <here> or title of paper to start download the full pages article.


Peter IVANOV1, Mariana STANKOVA1, Eduard LLOBET1, Xavier VILANOVA1

Isabel GRACIA2, Carles CANE2 and Xavier CORREIG1

1Dept. of Electronic Engineering,

Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Avda. Països Catalans 26,

43007 Tarragona, Spain, Tel: +34 977 558502, fax: +34 977 559605

E-mail: pivanov@etse.urv.es



2Dept. of Microsystems and Silicon Technologies,

Centre Nacional de Microelectrònica,

Campus UAB, 08193, Bellaterra, Spain




Low g Accelerometer for Aerospace and Automotive Environments



SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, California. Endevco's Model 7290A MICROTRON (C) accelerometer is designed to measure low-level accelerations in aerospace and automotive applications. The accelerometer features hyperFLEX® coaxial cable assemblies which offer superior break strength and resistance to a wide variety of chemicals, solvents and liquids. The hyperFLEX family is constructed to ensure flexibility, durability, non-intermittency of signal flow, and high temperature operation. The Model 7290A is well suited for applications requiring measurement of whole body motion immediately after being subjected to a shock motion. It provides high performance and reliability in the presence of severe vibrational inputs.


The anisotropically etched silicon microsensors feature gas damping and internal overrange stops to control frequency response and withstand high shock and acceleration loads. Frequency response for the Model 7290A-2 is 0-15Hz through 0-1000 Hz for different ranges. The accelerometer operates from 9.5V DC to 18.0V DC and provides a high level, low impedance output. The +2 volt differential output is dc coupled at a dc bias of approximately 3.6V. The Model 7290A features an operating temperature range of -65°F to +250°F (-55°C to +121°C).


Endevco's Model 136 Three-Channel System, Model 4430A or OASIS 2000 Computer-Controlled System is recommended as signal conditioner and power supply.


James Mathews

Product Manager


Tel: 949.493.8181

E-mail: james@endevco.com

7290A MICROTRON accelerometer



Sensing Technology for Advanced Seat Belt Reminder Systems


The Luxembourgish automotive supplier, IEE, has presented new innovative products at the Equipauto, which takes place in Paris (France) from October 16 - 21, 2003. IEE leads the occupant sensing technology for advanced seat belt reminder systems. The IEE system, in conjunction with a seat belt buckle switch, triggers a warning light and an audible signal reminding the seat occupant to fasten his or her seat belts.


Another product that will be exhibited is the Child Seat Presence and Orientation Detection (CPOD) sensor. The CPOD is able to detect child seats with installed integrated transponders on the passenger seat and therefore suppress the deployment of the airbag.


Recently, IEE ventured into a completely new domain of electro-luminescent foils (EL). A total thickness of less than 300 u;m, makes the inorganic electro luminescent foils attractive for backlighting displays and car dashboards. Currently IEE is working on the next generation of occupant sensing systems, a combined 3D-2D Hybrid Camera System. In addition, IEE's Pedestrian Protection System will be displayed at the Equipauto. It consists of a slim and long sensor (1800x12mm), integrated in the car's front bumper, which is registering immediately the collision with a pedestrian and activates the necessary measures to minimize injuries of the victim.


IEE (International Electronics & Engineering S.A.) founded in 1989, is headquartered in Luxembourg, Europe and entered the automotive market in 1993. Sensing products by IEE include passenger presence detection (PPD), child seat presence and orientation detection (CPOD) and occupation classification system (OC^® ). The company's customer list includes: Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Citro?n, Fiat, Ford, Holden, Hyundai, Kia, Lancia, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Saab, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volvo. IEE has more than 675 employees and operates two manufacturing sites as well a technical center in Luxembourg. In addition, IEE has R&D facilities in Auburn Hills, Michigan (USA) and Seoul (South Korea).


Ms. Fransoize Puetz

IEE, Luxemberg

Tel: +352/424737471

E-mail: Francoise.puetz@iee.lu

Seat Belt Reminder Sensor


IR Sensor Modules in Air Conditioning and Climate Control


Tessenderlo, Belgium - Melexis is pleased to announce automotive production of the MLX90601 infrared temperature sensing modules. The IR sensors make their debut in two vehicle models this year, on two continents. The low cost infrared sensor modules are used in motor vehicle Air Conditioning and Climate Control. Although mounted in the dashboard area, the Melexis IR sensors "see" directly right across the air space and actually measure the temperature of the driver. This non-contact temperature measurement signal is fed to an automatic climate control computer in the vehicle. Subsequently the vehicle climate control system automatically adjusts heating and cooling systems to bring the driver's selected comfort level as quickly as possible. In addition, the infrared sensor instantly adjusts the climate control system for any effects on the driver, that he or she may experience from solar heat. Using the Melexis IR sensor, makes an additional solar sensor, that is commonly used in climate control, redundant. The IR sensor also instantly detects when fan blowers and temperature of the air supply can overheat or overcool a driver. Cold air or hot air blasting to the driver are things of the past.


Melexis' MLX90601 IR Thermometer Chip module is made possible by a programmable signal conditioning sensor interface IC (MLX90313) in combination with a MEMS IR Thermopile (MLX90247). Together they are the heart of the low cost high accuracy IR thermometers or transducers, capable of measuring with an accuracy of 0.3C with a resolution smaller than 0.1C.


The Melexis infrared module is unique to the automotive market and offers the highest automotive reliability thanks to 100% CMOS processes. In addition it has the signal conditioning ASIC, which allows the module to be configured and pre-calibrated to interface with any existing climate control computer. It is a "plug 'n play" module to manufacturers of automotive climate control systems. This direct measurement of driver infrared temperature also allows climate control systems to be very precise in their control with no need for custom comfort control algorithms by vehicle, simplifying design and engineering.


The first vehicle using Melexis infrared sensing was introduced in May 2003 in the Japanese market. The second vehicle is being introduced in August 2003 in the US market. Additional vehicle introductions are planned with this new Melexis sensing technology.


Mr. Tanguy Scorpati


Transportstraat, 1

3980 Tessenderlo, Belgium

Tel: +32 13 67 07 95

E-mail: tas@melexis.com


MLX90601 infrared temperature sensing modules



Smart Valve® RF Tire Pressure Monitoring System


Schrader Electronics radio-based remote Smart Valve® RF Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) allows drivers to remotely monitor their vehicle's tire pressures. Electronic sensors attached to the tire valves transmit pressure data from each wheel to displays on the dashboard or rear-view mirror. Tire pressure monitoring (TPM) features increasingly in new car designs by automotive makers across the world. TPM becomes a compulsory passenger safety feature on all new cars sold in the USA under the TREAD Act.


Kathleen Holmlund,

Schrader Electronics

Tel: +44 (0)28 9448-2009

E-mail: pr@schrader.co.uk






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