Article Index – 2001

All feature articles from this year are available online. Click the links below.

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December 2001
  • Editorial - Electronics, Poultry, and Greater Gifts

    Special Report:
    Best of Sensors Expo Awards

    Putting Sensors to Work:
  • Magnetostrictive Position Sensors Enter the Automotive Market
    New low-cost sensors are moving magnetostrictive technology from the factory floor to your vehicle.
  • New Vision System Inspects Polished Optical Fiber
    Machine vision technology has recently matured to the point where it can accurately find and measure fiber-end defects quickly, objectively, and repeatably.
  • Monitoring Bearing and Gear Failures in Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines, Part 3: Capturing and Analyzing Wear Chip Production
    After you collect representative wear debris, you can present it to failure detection logic in a monitoring system that relates the data to engine distress for a specific engine.

    Sensor Technology and Design:
  • A Perspective on Data Analysis
    Now that you have it, what are you going to do with it?
  • An Introduction to Piezoelectric Motors
    When precision outweighs strength on your desirability scale, a piezoelectric motor might be just what you need.
  • An Introduction to Fiber-Optic Sensors
    Fiber-optic sensors are becoming the first choice for applications characterized by minimal space, adverse environment, or EMI and RFI. Why? Part of the answer lies in knowing what a fiber-optic sensor is.
  • The 1 Msps Successive Approximation Register A/D Converter
    Combining a higher sampling rate and lower power consumption, this 16-bit A/D converter is turning heads in the data acquisition market.

    iSensors Supplement
  • Reader Tips
    How to Maximize Your Web Searches
  • Why the Internet Has Disappointed Engineers
    The Internet places phenomenal amounts of information at your fingertips. Unfortunately, only a few companies have perfected the mechanics of delivering what you want, when you want it.
  • Sharing Data from Behind a Firewall
    The Internet has made sharing company data with colleagues, vendors, and customers around the world a standard way of doing business. It's also made data security one of our top concerns. So how can you have it both ways?
  • List Servers
    Whether you're interested in surfing or flow measurement, there's a community of people out there who share your interest. List servers offer platforms for communication, providing the medium with which you can share ideas and exchange tips.
  • A User's Review: Online Product Searching
    Still working on the Everglades environmental remediation project, two scientists revisit and reevaluate Web sites in their online search to find sensors and other equipment.
  • Real-Time Collaboration on the Internet
    To do business in today's global economy, companies must enable employees to interact with coworkers, suppliers, and customers around the world as easily as they do with colleagues down the hall. Collaborative document review systems are the next generation of Internet tools that can make this happen.

      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List

  • November 2001
  • Editorial - Never Forget the Great Asymmetry

    Putting Sensors to Work:
  • The Color of Money: Using Magnetic Media Detection to Identify Currency
    Magnetic sensing systems are good at identifying counterfeit currency and other negotiable documents. System accuracy depends on using small, sensitive magnetic sensing devices-such as giant magnetoresistive sensors.
  • Monitoring Bearing and Gear Failures in Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines, Part 2: Removing Air and Wear Debris Particles from the Scavenge Lube Mixture
    How do aircraft engines work? What you need to know to monitor wear of engine components.
  • Bringing Medical Equipment Home
    A new generation of sensors is making it possible to design medical devices that are smaller, lower in cost, and much easier for patients to use.

    Sensor Technology and Design:
  • Linear Gap Displacement Transducer Sheds Light on Proximity Sensing
    A novel fiber-optic probe is the core of this new proximity sensor, whose ability to ignore variations in target lighting, reflectivity, diffusivity, and angular misalignment makes it a strong candidate for tough real-world applications.

    Intelligent Systems:
  • Real-Time Motor Testing and Development-Over the Internet
    With this Web-based platform, you and your colleagues can collaborate on real-time experiments-wherever you are.
  • A Smart Tire Pressure Monitoring System
    Most motorists would pay more attention to proper tire inflation if the tires themselves could give regular status reports. Well, now they can.

      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List

  • October 2001
  • Editorial - Some Good Advice

    Putting Sensors to Work:
  • Monitoring Bearing and Gear Failures in Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines, Part 1: Preventive Maintenance and the Fundamentals of Scavenge Lube Systems
    A unique use of sensors helps aircraft engine maintenance departments trend wear debris that could lead to engine failure. Here's how it works.
  • Dynamic Rotary Torque Measurement Using Surface Acoustic Waves
    A new noncontact frequency domain strain torque sensor based on SAW technology can satisfy a variety of static and dynamic measurement applications.

    Sensor Technology and Design:
  • Design a Low-Jitter Clock for High-Speed A/D Converters
    To calm the jitters for high-speed, high-performance A/D converters, you need a well-designed, high-frequency clock.
  • Combining Motion and Vision Systems in Automation
    Using both vision and motion punches up the power of your automation process. With new off-the-shelf tools and software interfaces, even nonexperts can design their own integrated systems.
  • Manometer Basics
    Manometers, devices for measuring differential fluid pressures, come in two flavors-liquid-based and digital. Knowing how each type works will help you make the best choice for your application.
  • The Best of Both Worlds for Surface Roughness Measurements
    Combining the advantages of optical approaches and features of stylus systems, this new system gives you more measurement flexibility and range.

      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List

  • September 2001
  • Editorial - Dots Right

    Putting Sensors to Work:
  • The Importance of Sensing Contrast
    Understanding contrast is key not only to choosing the right sensor but also to increasing the reliability of your sensing system.
  • Adapting Acoustic Monitoring Technology to Detect Bulk Solids Flow
    The basics of acoustic emission sensors are augmented here by four brief real-world applications.

    Sensor Technology and Design:
  • A Self-Calibrating Miniature Hall Effect Solution to Gear Tooth Speed Sensing
    Advances in BiCMOS Hall effect sensor fabrication, circuit design, and packaging are satisfying automotive gear tooth speed sensing requirements.
  • The New IRt/c: Real-World Performance Accuracy>
    This infrared thermocouple has some subtle features that give it a significant edge over conventional IR thermometry.
  • Proposed Enhancements to the IEEE 1451.2 Standard for Smart Transducers
    It is time to update this breakthrough transducer interface standard to incorporate lessons learned and to accelerate its adoption into general use.

    Guest Commentary:
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Recession

    Intelligent Systems:
  • The Next Step—A Wireless IEEE 1451 Standard for Smart Sensor Networks
    The potential market for wireless sensors is almost limitless. Everything from home automation to battlefield coordination could benefit from mature wireless sensor networks.
  • PC-Based Motion Control
    These systems are easier to program and offer more flexibility and better performance than PLC-based motion systems. Applications can be customized to meet current and future requirements, eliminating the need to reinvest in a new system.
  • Storage Area Networks: Increasing Testing Efficiency by Simplifying Data Sharing
    Thanks to recent advances in data storage driven by the commercial multimedia market, PC-based industrial testing is now much easier. With storage area networks, you can share and analyze your data online, avoiding bottlenecks caused by hardwired approaches.

      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List

  • August 2001
  • Editorial - It's (Almost) Showtime (Again)!
  • Special Report: Best of Sensors Expo Awards
  • Measuring Temperature and Liquid Level in Cryogenic Fluids
    The Cryo-Tracker, a single probe capable of measuring liquid and ullage temperatures and liquid level inside cryogenic tanks, has been developed to solve mass gauging problems that engineers and technicians encountered while testing sub-cooled propellants for the space program.
  • Clamp-On Flowmeters for Fluids
    Clamp-on transit time flowmeters for liquids have been around since the 1960s. Now the technology extends to gases.
  • A Comprehensive Guide to Industrial Networks, Part 3: Alternatives to Building It from Scratch

    Intelligent Systems:
  • Editorial: When Data Acquisition Means Intelligent Systems
  • Sensor Agents—When Engineering Emulates Human Behavior
    Researchers are studying the human mind to find ways of enabling smart sensors to mimic our ability to learn, make decisions, communicate, and work together. Will these intelligent agents be managing your plant in 10 years?
  • Machine Vision—Moving Beyond the End of the Line
    New technology gives you cost-effective distribution of machine vision at key points along a manufacturing line. Ethernet networking gives you central management of that vision activity. The results: better process control and more effective use of vision data.
  • Emerging Trends in Machine Vision
    Evolutionary and revolutionary—developments in machine vision technology are rapidly moving us toward the day when "faster, cheaper, more accurate, more robust" will no longer be mutually exclusive demands.

      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List

  • July 2001
  • Guest Editorial - Still Plenty of Opportunity in M3
  • An Introduction to Analog Filters
    Take a look at how analog electronic filters work. This introduction covers the basics, including the various types of filter functions and the circuits and techniques that implement them.
  • A Comprehensive Guide to Industrial Networks, Part 2: Embedded Networking 101-The Nuts and Bolts of Hardware and Software Design
  • Extrusion Melt Pressure Measurement for Food and Medical Applications
    A new version of the standard mercury-filled pressure sensor uses mineral oil as the pressure transfer medium and a corrugated sensing diaphragm that compensates the effects of oil expansion at high temperatures and pressures.
  • Choosing a Humidity Sensor: A Review of Three Technologies
    This discussion of the operating principles of capacitive, resisitive, and thermal conductivity humidity sensors also addresses their advantages, disadvantages, and applications.
  • The Promise of Generic Micromachining Technology for MEMS
    New, generic technologies for surface micromachining on SOI wafers, along with drastically dropping costs, promise substantial benefits for MEMS development.

      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List

  • June 2001
  • Editorial - Of Robots and Reader Service
  • Vision Fundamentals
    Tempted by vision systems, but daunted by the hardware and programming skills required? Give in to temptation. Hardware and software advances make implementing a system easier and more intuitive.
  • A Comprehensive Guide to Industrial Networks, Part 1: Why Use an Embedded Network or Fieldbus, and What Are the Most Popular Standards?
    Silicon and software now make it possible to put network capability on a chip small enough to drop into a sensor. This guide explains why you'd want to do that and demystifies the confusing array of network protocols from which to choose.
  • A User-Friendly, High-Sensitivity Strain Gauge
    A single-crystal silicon strain gauge with a flexible polyimide backing combines the best properties of silicon and metal foil strain gauges. Its features include a gauge factor as high as 110, nickel or gold solder pads, and a 60 mil bend radius.
  • New Directions in Eddy Current Sensing
    Nondestructive testing needs an effective, inexpensive way of detecting deeply buried or small cracks at the edges of metallic parts and structures. One solution comes in the form of solid-state magnetic sensors based on giant magnetoresistance (GMR) and spin-dependent tunneling (SDT) effects integrated in eddy current probes.
  • The Changing Character of Machine Vision
    Technical evolution and dramatically dropping prices have yielded machine vision systems that can help improve quality in nearly any application.
  • Virtual Chemical Sensor Arrays and High-Resolution Olfactory Images: The zNose
    The zNose, based on gas chromatography and surface acoustic wave technology, can simulate hundreds of virtual chemical sensors derived from a chemical spectrum produced in just 10 s.
  • A Micromachined Thermal Accelerometer for Motion, Inclination, and Vibration Measurement
    Thermal-based accelerometers offer designers a way to reduce system cost, size, and complexity.
  • Looking Under the (Wheatstone) Bridge
    Looking at each individual element of a Wheatstone bridge during normal operation makes it possible to understand the details of what, exactly, is going on electrically in a transducer during normal operation.
  • Magnetic Wire for Monitoring Strain in Composites
    A new strain sensor is based on a small-diameter wire coated with a magnetic film that dominates the impedance of the wire and has a significant loss component. This loss component is highly strain sensitive, permitting effective measurement of both tensile and compressive applied strain.

    Motion Control Special Section

  • Advances in Machine Vision for Robot Control
    A new generation of vision sensors is changing robotic automation and inline process monitoring.
  • Linear Motors in a Rotary World
    The degree of acceptance of linear electric motors is directly tied to how well their design engineers are able to make them perform with established control systems.
  • Energy Coupling and Efficiency
    A properly designed and operated transducer can be seen as a part of a larger dynamic system that converts one form of energy to another. Using the relationships developed here, the power source can be minimized to only that size required to supply the energy to be transduced plus the energy that is inevitably dissipated as heat.

      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Book Review
      Wish List

  • May 2001
  • Editorial - Have Your Say on the Wireless Standard
  • An Open Architecture for Information Integration
    Plant optimization requires integration of information from sensors/actuators, automation systems, and application software. Foundation Fieldbus incorporates a device-level network and a high-speed backbone that promise to bring it all together-fast.
  • 1-Wire Addressable Digital Instruments for Environmental Monitoring
    Meteorological data on rainfall, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, relative humidity, and barometric pressure can be collected, converted, and transmitted over the same single twisted pair that powers the sensors.
  • 4-Wire Measurement
    Like a test bench in your PC, data acquisition cards can now handle multiquadrant operation and four-wire measurement, offering versatile test options that ensure that you get accurate readings.
  • An Extremely Low-Noise Micromachined Accelerometer with Custom ASIC Circuitry
    The development of a seismic sensor for oil and gas exploration entailed the highly integrated design, simulation, and fabrication of a vacuum-packaged micromachined silicon accelerometer, and a custom mixed-signal ASIC.
  • Fiber-Optic Temperature Measurement
    Fiber-optic probes are among the more interesting temperature measurement devices in current use. Here's the way one company's products work.
  • One Chip, Many Functions
    To reduce the size and increase the performance of your transformer temperature monitor, consider integrating several features on a single chip.
  • Insulation Displacement Contact Technology: Implications for Sensors and Actuators
    IDC connector technology, a fast and simple termination method that requires no tools, lends itself to installation, testing, and maintenance of industrial cables.

      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List

  • April 2001
  • Meet the New Boss
  • Wireless Sensors-Buyer Beware
  • Design and Manufacture of Automotive Pressure Sensors
  • Monitoring Ethylene Oxide in Sterilization Operations
  • Microfabrication Protocols for Deep Reactive Ion Etching and Wafer-Level Bonding
  • The Next Generation of Position Sensing Technology, Part 2: Differential Displacement and Linear Capabilities
      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List

  • March 2001
  • IVI Extends Its Reach
  • Monitoring Your Equipment
  • The Next Generation of Position Sensing Technology, Part 1: Theory and Design
  • Diamagnetic Levitation: The Invisible Force
  • Trends in Automation
  • Protect Your Circuits
      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List
      Advertiser Index

  • February 2001
  • What's On Your Mind?
  • Monitoring, Analyzing, and Improving the Indoor Scene with Environmental Data Loggers
  • Using Acoustic Microimaging to Locate Flaws and Other Anomalies
  • Building a Tiny Accelerometer to Detect Very Small Signals
  • Imaging Sensors That Capture Your Attention
  • A Selection Guide to Hydrophobic Microporous Membranes
  • Eliminating False Triggering with the DCDD Pressure Switch
  • Accurate Speed Sensing on Harley-Davidson Racing Bikes
  • Enhancing Overpressure Tolerance with Bellows
  • New, Integrated Interface ASICs for Capacitive Measurement Technology
      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List
      Advertiser Index

  • January 2001
  • First, Dream It
  • Mobile Ad Hoc Networking
  • How to Select and Use the Right Temperature Sensor
  • DSSP-Based Pressure Sensors
  • Protect Your Sensors and Reduce Plant Downtime
  • Bringing MEMS Pressure Sensors to Market—Fast
      Business Sense
      Research & Developments
      Web Picks
      Wish List
      Advertiser Index

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