Article Summaries

Future Trends for I&M 

Katelyn Brinker and Reza Zoughi

Summary

The field of Instrumentation and Measurement (I&M) is constantly and rapidly changing. These changes manifest themselves as evolutions of technologies and techniques but also as innovations. They come from the technical creativity of people in this field and also from advances in other fields. Conversely, advances in I&M also lead to advances in other fields. Given this two-way relationship, while it is impossible to know the future, [the authors] look at emerging trends across different technological fields and application realms and begin to predict what trends may be at the forefront of I&M over the next five years. These trends can be examined as Trends of Choice and Trends of Consequence. 

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Basic Metrology for 2020

Richard Davis and Stephan Schlamminger

Summary

[The authors] discuss five promising advances that are on a watchlist for 2020. First, [they] describe the measurement of volume and gas pressure using electromagnetic waves. These measurements rely on the fixed value of the speed of light in vacuum c0. They then pivot to the Planck constant h. SI traceable measurements of mass and force can be obtained from h. Interesting developments are coming in mass metrology since the definition changed from the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram to the value of the Planck constant. Adding the elementary charge e to h gives access to resistance and impedance measurements via the quantum Hall effect. The last section of the paper explains how the noise across a resistor can be used to measure thermodynamic temperature. As is shown, the temperature can be linked to the quotient of the Boltzmann constant kB and the Planck constant
.

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The Potential of IoT for Instrumentation and Measurement 

Boon-Yaik Ooi and Shervin Shirmohammadi

Summary

In I&M, IoT provides an unprecedented approach for instruments to collect measurements, track, detect, monitor, characterize, identify, estimate or count physical phenomena, and perform analysis with almost no human intervention. In that view, [the authors] can say that IoT is in fact a natural extension of many measurement instruments. In this article, [they] first highlight the benefits of having IoT as part of measurement instruments, before discussing the caveats of incorporating IoT into measurement systems. [They] also cover how IoT is currently being used in I&M literature, and what voids need to be filled with further research.

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Artificial Intelligence

Veronica Scotti

Summary

This brief overview on a new, exciting field that poses many questions [shows] the importance of finding an international common ground to establish the legal concept of AI liability and define specific ethical requirements to ensure protection for humans (fundamental rights) and avoid negative consequences coming from the complexity of these products. Probably our legal framework (referring only to legal orders of Western countries, considering both civil law systems and common law systems), which has gone through centuries, needs only new interpretations of still suitable rules.

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Big Data, Dataism and Measurement

Dario Petri

Summary

Currently, size of data is celebrated while only their usefulness in decision-making is actually important. Principles, methodologies and techniques of metrology are crucial to ensure proper and effective collection and use of data. Unfortunately, the fundamentals of metrology are seldom offered in educational degree programs, including those in scientific and technological subjects. Consequently, we should not be surprised if dataism (i.e., unconditioned belief in data) is spreading and a tsunami of improperly used data is submerging us. In the age in which measurements permeate all areas and every level of society with the expectation of promoting inconceivable socio-economic progress, underestimating the relevance of metrology is likely to lead to many serious potentially negative consequences.

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Innovating on Top of I&M Fundamentals for Safer Humanitarian Demining

Davorin Ambruš, Darko Vasic´, and Vedran Bilas

Summary

In this paper, [the authors] explain how the requirements for rigorous, well-defined standard operating procedures, and simple, robust, inexpensive and easy-to-use detection equipment affect key aspects of instrumentation and measurement (I&M) systems applied to landmine detection in
humanitarian demining. [They] also show how fundamental knowledge in physics and I&M, as well as industry’s practical know-how (accumulated over the past decades), can be combined with new technological advancements to build devices with improved abilities to detect, characterize, classify and locate buried hazardous objects. [They] use a handheld metal detector as an illustrative showcase of a relatively simple, low-cost and well-established I&M technology. The challenge is to upgrade such a device with object discrimination capabilities by bringing scientific and technological innovations at three different levels: signal level, feature extraction level and feature interpretation level.

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