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Handbook of Laboratory Measurements

Vol. 136, No. 1, January 2012, pp.I-III




Digital Sensors and Sensor Systems: Practical Design

(Book Review)


International Frequency Sensor Association (IFSA)

Tel.: +34 696067716, fax: +34 93 401 19 89

E-mail: ifsa@sensorsportal.com




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Published by the International Frequency Sensor Association (IFSA) Publishing, Digital Sensors and Sensor Systems: Practical Design, 419-page practical oriented book is an outstanding and most completed practical guide about how to deal with frequency, period, duty-cycle, time interval, pulse width modulated, phase-shift and pulse number output sensors and transducers and quickly create various low-cost digital sensors and sensor systems, including intelligent and smart sensor systems for physical, chemical, electrical and non-electrical quantities with high metrological performances and intelligent features.


Digital sensors and data acquisition systems for sensors and transducers appeared from a necessity to input different measuring results into a computer. Traditionally, the design task of such sensors and sensor systems was solved by converting voltage or current analog sensors’ outputs into a digital code with the help of analog-to-digital converter (ADC). Most of books about digital sensors and sensor systems design focus on such classical approach. However, below 100 nm technology the design of analog and mixed-signal circuit becomes essentially more difficult and expensive. This is particularly true for low supply voltage. The result is not only an increased design effort, long development time, high risk, cost, and the need for very high volumes, but also in growing power consumption. Only a few books, book chapters, articles and papers, written mainly by the author, consider a technology driven and coming alternative to the ADC – a frequency (time)-to-digital conversion, and this book aims to fill a significant gap and presents new knowledge in this emerging area of modern sensors.


The author – Prof. Sergey Y. Yurish, - a President of International Frequency Sensor Association (IFSA) and an internationally recognized expert in smart sensor systems design and frequency-time measurements - demystifies to readers how to deal with any quasi-digital sensors and transducers and build robust sensor systems on its basis. This book is based on his international R&D activities, as well as the last decade IFSA’s R&D activities in the whole.

The Digital Sensors and Sensor Systems: Practical Design is organized by the logic and methodical way. A preface is following by nineteen well-illustrated chapters on various sensor systems such as optical, temperature, pressure, humidity, acceleration, magnetic, rotational speed, flow, level, position, proximity, torque, chemical and biosensors systems. Each chapter is self-contained, can be used independently and starts from appropriate sensor market analyze and state-of-the-art review, contains practical examples, and followed by its own lists of references with dozens titles, including fundamental books, articles, papers, documents  and carefully selected web links. Practical design approach is based on the novel, advanced microelectronics components – Series of Universal Frequency-to-Digital Converters (UFDC) and Universal Sensors and Transducers Interface (USTI) integrated circuits available on the modern market.


All chapters related to sensor systems design contain detailed description of easy-to-repeat measuring experiments including measuring set-up and results. It gives to reader a unique possibility to compare these results with experimental results obtained by himself. But the objective of this book is not only to give to user design hints but also to help him to evaluate the designed sensor system from metrological point of view. The book’s Appendix contains well described, simple but precise engineering methodology for sensor system’s error estimation including practical calculation example. It makes this title very valued and different from existing books on sensor systems design.


This book is not limited by quasi-digital sensors with frequency-time outputs. If you are using analog or current output sensors and transducers you will find there how to build high performance Voltage- -to-Frequency Converters (VFC) and ADCs based on such VFCs to use it in the described advanced design approach to obtain a lot of advantages of frequency as an informative parameter of sensor’s output in comparison with voltage informative parameter of sensor’s output.


The title also contains many helpful information how to build smart and intelligent sensor systems with self-adaptation and self-identification (according to IEEE 1451 standard) intelligent features, and about smart sensor system integration, including systems-on-chip and systems-in-package.


The last chapter describes various interesting sensor and measuring systems examples, including remote laboratory for smart sensor systems design. The last one makes this book very useful for teachers and instructors to help them to setup numerous laboratory activities in sensors and measurements related courses.


Digital Sensors and Sensor Systems: Practical Design will greatly benefit undergraduate and PhD students, engineers, scientists and researchers in both industry and academia as well as for business development managers from sensor industry. This book is especially suited as a reference guide for practicians, working for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) electronics market (electronics/hardware), sensor industry, and using commercial-off-the-shelf components, as well as anyone facing new challenges in technologies. It is a book that you must have !



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