Article Summaries

DronesBench: An Innovative Bench to Test Drones

Pasquale Daponte, Luca De Vito, Francesco Lamonaca, Francesco Picariello, 
Maria Riccio, Sergio Rapuano, Luca Pompetti and Mauro Pompetti


In the literature, the systems used for testing drones are mainly used for measuring parameters related to each component of the drone itself (such as control board, propeller, motor, and so on). These measurement systems are designed for testing each drone subsystem, and they do not allow assessing the reliability of a drone as a whole system. The DronesBench is currently
at the pre-series stage, with academic, educational and commercial collaborations in progress. In this paper, the first outcomes of the collaboration between the Laboratory for the Signal Processing and Measurement Information (LESIM) research group and the company DPM Elettronica S.r.l. (Foggia, Italy) are reported. The DronesBench platform is described, and a first model referring to thrust force measurements is presented. Furthermore, an automatic procedure for evaluating the FoM is proposed. The first results obtained from the characterization of a commercial drone using DronesBench are also reported.

This text is from introduction of the article.

Laser Metrology for Next Generation Gravity Mission

Luciana Bonino, Stefane Cesare, Luca Massotti, Sergio Mottini, Kolja Nicklaus, 
Marco Pisani and Pierluigi Silvestrin


The studies and research activities of the last years have paved the way towards the development and implementation of a Next Generation Gravity Mission that is potentially able to improve the knowledge and monitoring of geophysical phenomena related to Earth's gravity field well beyond the already excellent results achieved by the GOCE and GRACE missions. The key instrument of NGGM is a laser interferometer which shall measure the distance variation of two spacecraft separated by 100 km with the resolution of few nanometers. Two concepts of this interferometer that are suitable to meet the NGGM measurement requirements have been identified and defined together with their auxiliary metrology system for the optical link acquisition.

This text is from the conclusion of the article. 

Smart Metrology: The Importance of Metrology of Decisions in the Big Data Era

Annarita Lazzari, Jean-Michel Pou, Christophe Dubois, and Laurent Leblond


The beginning of the 21st century has seen the birth of a new industrial revolution, the digital revolution: the ability to store data from various sources (in particular through related items) in unprecedented big quantities and to exploit them through more and more high computing capabilities using artificial intelligence techniques. In this new scenario called “Big Data,” data reliability becomes an indispensable property: the large amount of data collected and their analysis are completely useless if untrusted information is stored that cannot help understanding a complex reality. Here is the role of metrology: to ensure the reliability of measured data. Smart Metrology is the implementation of a revised metrological function, oriented to reliability, rather than simply on complying with standards: ensuring reliability of measurements, knowing and mastering measurement uncertainty to make relevant decisions. This paper is a summary of issues for business metrology.

This text is from the introduction of the article. 

MEMS Barometers and Barometric Altimeters in Industrial, Medical, Aerospace, and Consumer Applications

Dimosthenis E. Bolanakis


Nowadays, MEMS sensors are considered a highly efficient technology, which is found in abundant industrial, medical, aerospace, and consumer applications. This article discusses the importance and pervasiveness of MEMS sensors in our daily lives and identifies the challenges and limitations of integrating barometric pressure sensors in cutting-edge applications. While inertial sensors (i.e., accelerometers and gyroscopes) have been thoroughly explored, little effort has been devoted to the explicit examination of MEMS barometers and barometric altimeters. An overview of the potential applications of MEMS barometric sensors as well as the critical issues that affect system performance, along with recommendations on different prototype platforms for research and educational practices, are presented in this article.

This text is from the introduction of the article. 

Fault Diagnostics in Rotary Machines through Spectral Vibration Analysis Using Low-Cost MEMS Devices

Luciane Agnoletti dos Santos Pedotti, Ricardo Mazza Zago, and Fabiano Fruett


The present work shows a low-cost instrument, based on a microelectromechanical systems accelerometer which costs less than US$ 1.20/unit and is designed to analyze unbalance in rotating machines. The acceleration signals were acquired using two perpendicular axes on a free wheel shaft, which were used to analyze the shaft vibration in the frequency domain by its Fast Fourier Transform. These signals from orthogonal accelerometers were also used to calculate the shaft unbalance. The instrument prototype was mounted on the shaft of an electrical bicycle motor wheel, rotating in a range of 60 to 270 rpm. Composing the characterization apparatus, some weights were introduced at the ends of rim spokes to simulate a mechanical wheel unbalance. The experimental results showed that both vibration and unbalance can be measured successfully and that this instrument is a suitable low-cost solution to measure vibration and unbalance in rotating machines.

This summary includes text from the article. 

Vision-Based Fall Detection System for Improving Safety of Elderly People

Fouzi Harrou, Nabil Zerrouki, Ying Sun, and Amrane Houacine


Recognition of human movements is very useful for several applications, such as smart rooms, interactive virtual reality systems, human detection and environment modeling. The objective of this work focuses on the detection and classification of falls based on variations in human silhouette shape, a key challenge in computer vision. In this study, the detection is achieved with a multivariate exponentially weighted moving average (MEWMA) monitoring scheme, which is effective in detecting falls because it is sensitive to small changes. A classification stage based on a support vector machine (SVM) is applied on detected sequences. To validate this methodology, two fall detection datasets have been tested: the University of Rzeszow fall detection dataset (URFD) and the fall detection dataset (FDD). The results of the MEWMA-based SVM are compared with three other classifiers: neural network (NN), naïve Bayes and K-nearest neighbor (KNN). These results show the capability of the developed strategy to distinguish fall events, suggesting that it can raise an early alert in the fall incidents.

This text is from the introduction of the article.

Development of a Magnetoinductive Lens for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Jie Wu and Bing Nan Li


In this article, the authors present a magnetoinductive lens (MIL) with negative permeability by
using metamaterials to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of MRI surface coils. The metamaterial capacitor-loaded metallic rings are designed and fabricated on a thin slab to guide the propagation of near-field electromagnetic waves. This metamaterial MIL is able to focus the B1 field at the Larmor frequency nearby 297.2 MHz for 7.0 T MRI. The results of MRI scanning with and without MIL show that the surface coil is enhanced about three times in terms of SNR. Its potentials in spatial resolution and penetration depth are preliminarily demonstrated as well.

This text is from introduction of the article. 



Future Trends in I&M

The Role of Measurement in Smart Cities Pilot Projects

Stefano Rinaldi


The target is clear: create a pervasive sensors network that can be used to measure and control the flows of energy and people in Smart Cities using existing technologies and infrastructures. The challenges are also clear: device interoperability, data integrity, cyber-security, node identification, network self-organization and management, user privacy, user interface, data storage and processing, just to mention the most important ones. The IoT paradigm applied to the Smart Cities scenario cannot ignore the specific requirements that different applications have. Each of the Smart City applications has specific challenges to be faced and specific constraints of the IoT domain.

This text is from the column. 

Basic Metrology

Yardsticks of Science: The Origins and Future of the International Unit

Jackie Ferguson and Chris Burns


The historical trend of extracting, purifying, characterizing and in some cases, then chemically synthesizing, biological medicines is changing. Biological molecules which do not have a natural or native counterpart can be designed to exhibit the desired binding, bioactivity or retention time in the body. Gene therapy to correct malfunctioning genetic information and regenerative medicine based on delivering whole cells suggest that even with the analytical capabilities of the twenty-first century, modern medicine will look to ever more intricate solutions to alleviate disease. As it was first intended, the International Unit will remain a pragmatic, practical solution to ensure safety and consistency in facilitating the application of these advanced therapies.

This text is from the conclusion of the column. 

Life After Graduation


By the Numbers! 

J. Max Cortner

For success, take charge of the appearance of your data as well as the integrity of your data. Think about learning styles: Visual, Aural, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic. People who are better at visual learning may struggle at seeing the point of a nicely bulleted presentation of words and numbers. These learning styles aren't exclusive, so present information in many formats, even if one may seem to be slower and less exciting. If you understand the learning style of your boss, you can tailor the presentation, but if you have a broader audience, you need to cover the possibilities. A hybrid presentation that includes seemingly duplicative information using different styles vastly increases the chances of success.

This text is from the body of the column.

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