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    MEMS accelerometers can now measure gravitational attraction

    By Richard Wallace | May 12, 2016

    Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 4.45.41 PM

    The world of accelerometers just got more interesting with reports that researchers at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom have built a sensor that measures tiny fluctuations in gravity. It’s sensitive enough to measure tidal effects at the micro-level.

    Meters that measure gravity are not new, but shrinking one to micro-size through the use of MEMS technology is.

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      The IoT library: sensor design and fusion in the age of smart

      By Richard Wallace | February 3, 2016

      The IoT library: sensor design and fusion in the age of smart

      Smart sensors, widely distributed throughout our network of devices, are becoming the eyes and ears of the Internet of Things: Connected devices that measure monitor, transmit, and control vast amounts of vital data, wirelessly, in an ‘always on’ mode.

      With so many eyes, and ears, and with so much constantly-updated system data to work with, tomorrow’s designers will need to learn how to integrate entire databases of  “perceptual information” from data-rich sensors into future products.

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        The Scent of a Disease: electronic nose sniffs for cancer

        October 20, 2015

        The Scent of a Disease: electronic nose sniffs for cancer

        Nanotechnology sensors may lead to simple, inexpensive, portable, noninvasive diagnostic procedure for cancer.

        The well-known olfactory ability of dogs to detect, in urine or in human breath, very low concentrations of the alkanes and aromatic compounds generated by tumors has long hinted at the promise of sniffing out certain cancers as a viable screening process.

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          Sensors Play a Key Role in Monitoring Active Volcanoes

          October 14, 2015

          Sensors Play a Key Role in Monitoring Active Volcanoes

          Image credit: NASA

          Sensors used for scientific purposes run the gamut from motion tracking to pressure sensors, from inertial measurement units to those created specifically for seismic monitoring. Following are just a few sensors that are representative of those used to measure and even predict when a powerful volcano will erupt.

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            Sensing Techniques for Load Monitoring in Smart Energy and Automation

            October 14, 2015

            Sensing Techniques for Load Monitoring in Smart Energy and Automation

            Image credit: Amazon

            Measuring energy is a key concern in today’s world, for conservation and billing purposes. Closures of fossil-fuel power stations under initiatives such as the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive are forcing grids to rely more on renewable sources. In turn, this raises the importance of demand management and encouraging changes in consumer behavior.

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              Using Biometric Sensing to Verify Identity

              October 14, 2015

              Using Biometric Sensing to Verify Identity

              Image credit: The Engineer

              Available methods of identification include fingerprint analysis, facial recognition, unique iris pattern identifiers, and more. There is a comprehensive portfolio of biometric ID technologies available to engineers, with others, still on the drawing board, that provide varying degrees of authentication and carry an equally large variety of price tags.

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                Magnetic Sensors: Growing in Use, Shrinking in Size

                Magnetic Sensors: Growing in Use, Shrinking in Size

                Image credit; NIST

                Magnetic sensors are traditionally used for speed, rotational speed, linear position, linear angle, and position measurement in automotive, industrial, and consumer applications. In particular, the automotive sector has emerged as the global market leader for magnetic field sensors, accounting, and according to some estimates, for more than 40 percent of the total magnetic-field-sensor market.