The advancement of ‘Instrumentation & Measurement concept’ in sensors and transducers: from standard to emerging and greener solutions

Lecturer: 
Prof. Carlo Trigona
Lecturer's institute: 
University of Catania
Date: 
7.10.2019 09:00 to 25.10.2019 11:00

Abstract 

The increasing demand for completely self-powered devices, autonomous sensor nodes and solutions to improve the performance of battery-free sensors and transducers has caused an increase of research into suitable design, novel materials, smart power harvesting devices and innovative measurement systems.

Energy harvesting can be obtained from different energy sources, in particular the attention of the course will be focused on mechanical ambient vibrations (such as naturally noise sources, induced oscillations, vehicle motions, multi tone vibrating systems and noisy environments). A common approach is based on vibrating mechanical bodies that collect energy through the adoption of self generating materials in order to charge a battery and to supply a specific sensor.

This family of systems shows good performance around its natural frequency; however, this is not generally suitable for energy recovery in a wide spectrum of frequencies as it is expected in the vast majority of cases when ambient vibrations assume different forms and the energy is distributed over a wide range of frequencies.

In this context several ways to optimize the amount of harvested energy coming from the environment (i.e. weak kinetic vibrations) will be presented, as regards the conversion, extraction mechanisms, “standard“ materials,  green solutions and the exploitation of nonlinearities in order to improve the performance of the devices which are able to supply or to sustain a specific sensor or transducer. Particular attention will be also given to the exploitation of dynamics, suitable/optimized design, architectures of transducers and  autonomous or quasi-autonomous sensors able to store the converted energy also in presence of weak level of vibrations, to perform measures of external physical quantities and to transmit data. It is worth noting that the proposed solutions operate passively on ambient vibrations with no required external power or control systems.

Learning Objectives and Course Structure

The goal of this class consists in introducing the PhD students to the discipline of instrumentation and measurements and to teach metrics and solutions from standard to advanced approaches also considering eco-friendly and green conception for sensors, transducers and novel self-sustained measurement architectures.

These concepts will be discussed and applications to the area of electrical and electronic engineering will be presented. Class will include both lectures and laboratory activities, in order to gain direct knowledge of the methods and to apply the theoretical concepts studied.

At the end of the class students will have knowledge about methodologies for measurement system characterization, measurement methods and working principles of autonomous systems from standard to advanced solutions.

Knowledge gained will allow to correctly perform metrological characterization of the systems and to efficiently design and implement the architectures.

Schedule

7-12 October

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9:00-10:00

 

 

 

Introductory lesson

Autonomous and quasi-autonomous sensors and transducers (part 2: technologies, transduction mechanisms and nonlinearities)

10:00-11:00

 

 

 

Autonomous and quasi-autonomous sensors and transducers (part 1: Energy harvesting, sources and materials)

Scaling Issues and MEMS devices (part 1: Integrated energy harvesters)

14-19 October

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

9:00-10:00

 

Scaling Issues and MEMS devices (part 2: MEMS processes and materials)

Conditioning Circuits (part2: Novel approach to collect and store energy from weak random vibrations with zero voltage threshold

-Magnetically coupled transducers)

Green solutions (part1: Bacterial cellulose compounds for biodegradable measurement systems, material and process)

10:00-11:00

 

Conditioning Circuits (part1: Standard solutions)

21-26 October

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

9:00-10:00

 

Green solutions (part2: Sensing capabilities and sensors. Eco-friendly, biodegradable and green energy harvesters from vibrations

Laboratory activities (part1: Design of sensors and transducers with advanced solutions)

 

Laboratory activities (part2: Experiments and metrological characterization of autonomous measurement systems)

 

10:00-11:00

 

 

 

 

 

 


Short Bio

Carlo Trigona received the Laurea degree (cum Laude) in Automation Engineering and Control of Complex Systems from University of Catania, Catania, Italy in 2006.

From 2006 to 2009 he was PhD student at the University of Catania and “visiting PhD student” at the at University of Barcelona/IMB-CNM (Spain), University of Montpellier/LIRMM (France) and several Universities in Italy. In 2010 he obtained his PhD degree in Electronic, Automation and Control of Complex Systems from University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

From 2010 to 2011, he worked as a post-doc at the University of Montpellier/LIRMM (France), from 2011 to 2017 as post-doc at the DIEEI, University of Catania (Italy) and from 2017 to 2018 he worked as a post-doc at the Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany). During his post-doctoral positions he was “visiting researcher” in various Universities and research centers.

From 2010 to 2011, he also worked as a lecturer at the University of Montpellier and from 2012 to 2018 as a lecturer at the University of Catania in the field of instrumentation and measurements.

Since 2018 he is an Assistant Professor of Electronic Instrumentation and Measurements at the DIEEI, University of Catania (Italy). He is involved in several national and international academic and engineering projects as coordinator and partner. Additionally, he contributes in the Instrumentation and Measurement community with several activities also including editor and reviewer for several prestigious journals starting from 2006, until now. Dr. Trigona received several awards for his research activity since 2007.

On February 2011 and on March 2017 he received, in France and in Italy respectively, the National Scientific Habilitation to be Associate Professor.

Regarding his research activity, the first paper of Dr. Trigona appeared in 1997 and, at the moment, he is co-author of more than 150 scientific publications, with more than 1000 total citations, which include chapters in books, papers in international journals, proceedings of international conferences and patents. His research interests include sensors, transducers, MEMS, NEMS, fluxgate magnetometers, energy harvesting, green and biodegradable sensors.

Last updated: 18.6.2019