Sensor

A sensor is a device that detects and responds to some type of input from the physical environment. The specific input could be light, heat, motion, moisture, pressure, or any one of a great number of other environmental phenomena. The output is generally a signal that is converted to human-readable display at the sensor location or transmitted electronically over a network for reading or further processing.

  • A Sensor System Learns to "Hear": Reliable Detection of Failures in Machines and Systems

    The sensor system inspects the rotating cutting unit of a combine harvester for defective vibrations or noises. Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser

    Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrücken have developed a sensor system that can detect failures or imperfections in systems and machines quickly and reliably by means of an acoustic noise assessment similar to human hearing. The "hearing" sensor system AcoustiX has already been successfully deployed by John Deere, the American global market leader in the fields of agricultural engineering, to inspect the cutting units of combine harvesters. In the event that large-scale machines or plants are already in operation, defects or defectively assembled components may result in malfunction of machines and thus in production shutdown and economic loss.

  • Carinthia continues to expand Villach as a microelectronics research cluster

    CTR research cleanroom media conference from left: Werner Scherf (CTR), Gaby Schaunig (Deputy Governor of Carinthia), Simon Grasser (CTR)  CTR/Helge Bauer

    Carinthian Tech Research (CTR) invests €4.5 Mio in research cleanroom for microsensors and systems integration. Carinthian government supports investment in high-tech facilities at the Villach site.

    CTR Carinthian Tech Research is on of Austria’s largest application-oriented research centres in the area of smart sensors and systems integration. In close cooperation with industry, over 70 researchers work on developing the tiniest microsensors and power electronics as well as their assembly and packaging. An important new addition to the R&D facilities at the Villach site is the recently built research cleanroom, which is now available for microchip research and systems integration.

  • Cebit 2017: A new simulation process makes complex hardware and software compatible

    Researchers in Kaiserslautern, Dr. Thomas Kuhn (left) and Matthias Jung, developed a simulation method to verify in what combination hardware and software systems function correctly together. Credit: Thomas Koziel

    Technology used in cars, aeroplanes and industrial robots is becoming increasingly complex. Can the software be extended? How does the system handle errors? More and more companies are tasked with such questions. A simulation method, developed by researchers in Kaiserslautern, will provide a solution. With this, they verify in what combination hardware and software systems function correctly together. In addition, the researchers can examine the reaction of systems critical for safety in the occurrence of errors. At the Cebit computer trade fair in Hannover, researchers will present their technology at the research stand of Federal State Rhineland-Palatinate (hall 6, stand C17).

  • Cebit 2017: The intelligent school book supports pupils using innovative sensor technology

    From left to right: Shoya Ishimaru, Prof. Andreas Dengel, Prof. Jochen Kuhn.  TU KL/DFKI

    Joint press release by University of Kaiserslautern and German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Digital technologies found their way into daily life long ago - including school life. Researchers in Kaiserslautern are exploring how the technologies can be applied usefully in lessons. In the “HyperMind” project, an intelligent school book is being developed for tablet and PC. This uses technology, which will detect the reader’s line of vision, which it will then analyse. This will quickly determine whether the pupil has understood the learning content. The technology aids individual progress. At the Cebit computer trade fair in Hannover, researchers will present their project from 20th to 24th March at the research stand of Federal State Rhineland-Palatinate (hall 6, stand C17).

  • COMPAMED 2016 connected medical devices and people

    Materialise NV from Belgium speaking on “Innovation in 3D Printed Wearables” at COMPAMED HIGH-TECH Forum 2016. IVAM

    Miniaturized connected systems and outstanding business contacts: forming networks on both technical and business level was one of the key features of COMPAMED 2016, the international trade fair for suppliers and manufacturers of medical technologies. This trend was visible at and enhanced by the joint trade fair booth of the IVAM Microtechnology Network in hall 8a, the accompanying presentation forum and numerous B2B meetings between companies from Germany and Japan.

  • Computer in der Jacke, in der Brille und auf der Haut

    Leuchtende Fasern erzeugen wechselnde Tartan-Webmuster auf dem Kleidungsstück Bild: L. Fraguada/E. Bigger

    Computer sind ein wichtiges Werkzeug im Alltag, sei es als PC oder als Smartphone. In Zukunft werden sie zunehmend mit den Alltagsgegenständen verschmelzen und von dort aus den Nutzer unterstützen, etwa als Smartwatch, Displaybrillen, Sensorkleidung und vieles mehr. Über diesen Trend der Digitalisierung tauschen sich Wissenschaftler, Unternehmer, Modedesigner und Nutzer auf der vom KIT mitorganisierten Konferenz ISWC/UBICOMP vom 12. bis 16. September 2016 in Heidelberg aus. Vertreter der Medien sind herzlich eingeladen. Anmeldung bitte mit beigefügtem Formular oder per E-Mail.

  • Control 2017: Fraunhofer HHI presents digital 3D endoscopy and Terahertz sensing

    Endoscope room.

    Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI presents new processes for digital 3D measuring technology and for the inspection below the surface as well as in the material inward at Control in Stuttgart, Germany, at booth 6302 in hall 6.

    Innovations for the digital society of the future are the focus of research and development work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI. In this area, Fraunhofer HHI is a world leader in the development for mobile and optical communication networks and systems as well as processing and coding of video signals.

  • Countdown to the space mission “Solar Orbiter”: Measuring instruments from Kiel start their voyage

    The three sensors from Kiel are ready for space: EPT-HET1 and 2 on the left, and STEP on the right. Photo/Copyright: Jürgen Haacks, CAU

    Around five years ago, a team led by a physicist from Kiel University, Professor Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber, won the coveted tender for providing instruments to be placed on board the “Solar Orbiter” space probe. This joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US space agency NASA is expected to launch in October 2018, and will go closer to the sun than has ever been done before. Now, exactly on schedule, the preparations in Kiel for this mission are entering their final phase. On Monday 21 November the flight instruments from Kiel will be handed over to the space probe installation team in England.

  • Deciphering the motility apparatus of bacteria

    Salmonellae with dye-stained flagella. Each colour marks a section of the flagella that grew in a defined time interval (blue: Salmonellae). HZI/Renault et al.

    HZI scientists elucidate how bacteria assemble flagella outside the cell. Many bacteria move by rotating long, thin filaments called flagella. Flagella are made of several tens of thousands building blocks outside the bacterial cell and grow up to ten times longer than the bacterial cell body. They allow bacteria to swim towards a nutrient source or to approach cells of the human mucosa in order to infect them. This means that flagella are also tools in infection processes and might be suitable as potential targets for new agents against pathogenic bacteria.

  • Effect of humidity on graphene sensors demistified

    Humidity effect on graphene doping.

    Graphene produced with chemical vapor deposition (CVD) will form the cornerstone of future graphene-based chemical, biological, and other types of sensors. Graphene, however, is extremely sensitive to air, in particular to humidity. To avoid unwanted background coming from humidity and to calibrate future sensors, it is highly important to investigate the mechanisms by which water (in the form of environmental humidity) affects graphene sheets.

  • Effective Deposition of Thin Insulating Layers for Sensors in Hydrogen Technology

    Schematic of a hydrogen filling station as an application scenario for pressure sensors with insulation layers. © metamorworks / Shutterstock

    Scientists at the Fraunhofer FEP have investigated new approaches for depositing low-defect insulating layers, part of the joint project “NaFuSS“ (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research/BMBF promotional reference number 13N13171). The aim is to increase the reliability and durability of pressure sensors for hydrogen technology, an area that is becoming increasingly important.

  • Electronic tattoos: Using distinctive body locations to control mobile devices intuitively

    Using ultra-thin, electronic tattoos at distinctive body locations, users can control mobile devices. Universität des Saarlandes

    Computer scientists from Saarland University and the US company Google are giving wrinkles, knuckles and birthmarks a whole new meaning. Similarly to temporary tattoos for children, the researchers are placing ultra-thin, electronic tattoos on distinctive body locations. The user can touch, squeeze or pull them, and thereby intuitively control mobile devices such as a music player, or easily make indicators light up. The advantage is that the body locations are so familiar that the individual control elements can be operated even with one's eyes shut. In addition, they enable a completely new type of interaction, and also allow for a natural way to provide operating instructions.

  • Emission measurement: High-precision nanoparticle sensor developed

    Pic 1: The newly developed APCplus exhaust gas analyser has 20 per cent more power in order to count tiny particles faster and more accurately. ©AVL

    A research team based in Graz and Villach has developed an exhaust gas analyser that detects tiny particles faster and more accurately. CTR is the largest non-academic research centre in Carinthia and ranks among Austria’s leading research institutes in the area of smart sensors and systems integration. Its task and objective is to develop innovative sensor technologies (photonic, sensor, micro and nano systems as well as assembly, packaging and integration technologies) for industry and to integrate them in concrete applications. CTR research will therefore play a role in meeting society’s great challenges, such as energy, mobility, health, climate and security. Services range from feasibility studies, simulations and tests to prototyping and system design.

  • Engineers at Saarland University Turn Polymer Films into Self-sensing High-tech Actuators

    To showcase their technology at Hannover Messe, the engineers Philipp Linnebach (r.) and Paul Motzki (l.) have come up with a playful way of demonstrating its capabilities. Credit: Oliver Dietze

    They might only be made from thin silicon film, but they can squeeze down hard, deliver a powerful thrust, vibrate or hold any required position. And because they can act as sensors, they are becoming important tools in technical applications. Stefan Seelecke and his team at Saarland University are developing a new generation of polymer film-based engineering components that can be used as continuous switches, self-metering valves, motorless pumps or even as tactile aids for touchscreens. The technology needs neither rare earths nor copper, it is cheap to produce and consumes very little energy and components made using it are astonishingly light.

  • Five developments for improved data exploitation

    Seamless communication from sensor to Internet is a prerequisite for industry 4.0.

    Integrating advanced IT/OT elements throughout the SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 production plant – from the IO module and MQTT to the dashboard. The advanced development of IT/OT* elements makes it easier to access the data of the SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 production plant. Now data can be displayed, integrated, transported, and recorded much more easily. Highlights include an IO module, operational data publication via MQTT, two dashboards, and a web-based product configurator. The Technologie-Initiative SmartFactoryKL and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) will present these developments in cooperation with 18 contributing partner companies at the Hannover Messe on April 24-28, 2017 in Hall 8, Stand D 20.

  • Flexibles Halbleitermaterial für Elektronik, Solartechnologie und Photokatalyse

    Flexibler Halbleiter aus Zinn, Iod und Phosphor (SnIP) mit Doppelhelix-Struktur Bild: Andreas Battenberg / TUM

    Die Doppelhelix hat als stabile und flexible Struktur des Erbguts das Leben auf der Erde erst möglich gemacht. Nun hat ein Team der Technischen Universität München (TUM) eine Doppelhelix-Struktur auch in einem anorganischen Material entdeckt. Das Material aus Zinn, Iod und Phosphor ist ein Halbleiter, besitzt außergewöhnliche optische und elektronische Eigenschaften und ist mechanisch hoch flexibel.

  • Fraunhofer IVV Dresden presents new systems for improving process efficiency at interpack 2017

    Two variants of the Mobile Cleaning Device: self-driven or on conveyor belt. Fraunhofer IVV Dresden

    The Fraunhofer IVV Dresden will present two new systems for efficient process management at interpack 2017 from 4-10 May 2017 in Düsseldorf on the stand of the VDMA (Hall 5, Stand J38): An innovative mobile device for cleaning processing machinery and a self-learning assistance system to help remedy machine faults. A new mobile device has been developed by the Fraunhofer IVV Dresden to facilitate the cleaning of processing machinery. The showcase "Mobile Cleaning Device" (MCD) brings together the benefits of traditional automated cleaning systems and the versatility of manual cleaning.

  • Fraunhofer Researchers Develop High-Pressure Sensors for Extreme Temperature

    High temperature sensor for extrusion systems: SOI chips (left) and casing (right). Fraunhofer IZM

    Many industrial processes depend on exact pressure gauges. The SOI high-pressure sensors (silicon-on-insulator) developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM makes this exact monitoring possible for processes operating at temperatures of up to 400° centigrade. The sensor promise an exceptionally long life as well as precision and efficiency. To keep up with technological requirements, future iterations of the sensors will be designed to withstand temperatures above 600° centigrade.

  • Gravitationswellen als Sensor für Dunkle Materie

    Falls der Dunkle-Materie-Halo einer Galaxie aus einem Bose-Einstein-Kondensat (BEK) sehr leichter Teilchen besteht, werden durchgehende Gravitationswellen (GW), nicht aber Lichtwellen (γ) gebremst. Grafik: MPIK

    Die mit der Entdeckung von Gravitationswellen entstandene neue Disziplin der Gravitationswellen-Astronomie bekommt eine weitere Aufgabe: die Suche nach Dunkler Materie. Diese könnte aus einem Bose-Einstein-Kondensat sehr leichter Teilchen bestehen. Wie Rechnungen zeigen, würden Gravitationswellen gebremst, wenn sie durch derartige Dunkle Materie laufen. Dies führt zu einer Verspätung von Gravitationswellen relativ zu Licht, die bereits mit den heutigen Detektoren messbar sein sollte. Im Universum muss es gut fünfmal mehr unsichtbare als sichtbare Materie geben. Woraus diese Dunkle Materie besteht, ist immer noch unbekannt. Die experimentelle Suche konnte bisher nur Teilchenarten bzw. Energiebereiche ausschließen; gelegentliche Erfolgsmeldungen und Vermutungen ließen sich nicht verifizieren. Es sind aber noch längst nicht alle theoretischen Vorschläge überprüft.

  • Healthy Hiking in Smart Socks

    Markus Hill (right), research assistantand, and textile producer Thomas Lindner check the sensors in the smart sock. Wolfgang Schmidt

    Researchers of the Chemnitz University of Technology develop tough electronic for sport and medical science. Often, a one-sided weight loading is the reason for hurting feet. But only few notice while walking. That is where the “Smart Sock”, developed by the Professorship of Sports Equipment and Technology of the Chemnitz University of Technology and in cooperation with the textile producer Lindner from Hohenstein-Ernstthal, starts: “The at the University developed electronic of the sock measures the pressure distribution and acceleration on the foot. This way, conclusions from parameters such as one-sided weight loading can be drawn”, Prof. Dr. Stephan Odenwald explains.