Sensors And Metrology Digitalization Driving Force

Many digitalized processes depend on data collected by increasingly powerful sensors and other test and measurement technology. When this data is processed, it provides precise and reliable information about the operating environment. Fraunhofer Institutes will be presenting the results of their research into sensor technology and its applications in the field of testing and measurement at the upcoming Sensor+Test 2019 in Nürnberg, Germany from June 25 to 27.

Wider-Spectrum Contact-Free Materials Testing

Terahertz imaging is one of the new technologies that is being used increasingly to monitor industrial processes and test new materials. This non-contact method can be used to measure coating thickness, analyze the structure of polymer composites, or detect defects in non-conductive materials. The Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI, will be presenting the next generation of fiber-coupled terahertz transceivers. The integrated sensor probe permits reflection measurements orthogonal to the surface of the test sample and can be used without modification in combination with commercially available terahertz measuring systems.

Reducing Machine Downtime, Manufacturing Defects and Reject Rates

The Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT will demonstrate how the quality of workpieces and components can be assured using a non-contact, non-destructive test method based on audio sensing of product and process parameters combined with machine learning. Visitors can learn more about this method, which can be used both to monitor production processes and to perform end-of-line product testing, in a series of interactive exhibits.

Supplying sensors With Energy Created By Tiny Vibrations

One of the challenges in the Internet of Things (IoT) is how to supply power to wireless sensors – a question that Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS is tackling by developing energy harvesting solutions. Even the slightest vibrations generating a pressure of 100 mg at a frequency of 60 hertz are sufficient for a vibration transformer to produce the electrical energy needed to operate several sensors and transmit data once per second. The Maximum Power Point Tracker provides an effective means of controlling the charge converter so as to guarantee a maximum power yield. The energy harvesting solution recharges the battery while the device is in operation and enables the design of IoT sensors with an unlimited service life, without power cable or swapping batteries.

CMOS optical filter for low-cost chip-size spectrometers

Given the already high cost of six-band multispectral sensors, sensors with more than six spectral bands are too expensive for applications in many price-sensitive markets. The nanoSPECTRAL technology developed by Fraunhofer IIS is based on optical nanostructures and enables a very cost-effective monolithic production of the required optical filters directly in CMOS semiconductor processes, together with the optical sensor elements. The chip-size spectrometer shown at the fair already has more than 30 spectral bands and suitable for numerous applications.

Ultrasound-Based Gesture Recognition

A team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS is using a new class of micromechanical ultrasonic transducers to reliably detect three-dimensional distance changes, movement patterns and gestures within a range of up to 500 centimeters. The miniaturized components are cheap to produce and generate high sound pressures, with a frequency response that allows them to be tuned to the optimum balance between distance and sensitivity. Applications for the non-contact motion sensors include automation and safety systems, medical devices, the automotive industry, entertainment electronics and household appliances. Fraunhofer IPMS will show one of its first function demonstrators at Sensor+Test.

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