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State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "State-of-the-Art Sensors Technologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 94085

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Computer Science, University Politehnica of Bucharest, 060042 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: mobile wireless networks and computing applications, pervasive services, context-awareness, and people-centric sensing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Telecommunications, University Politehnica of Bucharest, 060042 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: internet of things; mobile communications; wireless networks; communications security; radio propagation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to provide a comprehensive overview of state-of-the-art sensors science and technology in Romania. The theme of the Special Issue is “From Sensors to IoT and the Digital Revolution”, as it is intended to underscore the importance of IoT technologies in bringing about the digital revolution and making it a reality.

We invite research articles that will consolidate our understanding of the state-of-the-art in this area. The Special Issue will publish highly-rated full research and review manuscripts addressing the above topics.

The covered topics will span from sensing devices and principles (including chemical, physical, biological, and optical sensors), to sensor technologies (including micro- and nanofabrication, film, and printed technologies), to sensor systems (including sensor electronics, energy harvesting, sensor networks, and Internet of Things), to applications in different scenarios (including industrial, automotive, environmental, food and agriculture, biomedical, and other fields).

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Physical, chemical, and biological sensors and microsystems;
  • Sensors materials and technology;
  • Theory, modeling, design, and simulation;
  • Sensor electronics and signal processing;
  • Wireless sensor networks;
  • Sensor systems and applications;
  • Actuators and micromachines;
  • Packaging and assembly technology;
  • Industrial sensors and IoT protocols;
  • Advanced communications and connectivity, and 5G technologies;
  • Sensors and the technology advances brought by artificial intelligence;
  • Cybersecurity, data security, and privacy technologies for sensory data;
  • Data and the Internet of Things—volume, velocity, and variability;
  • Green Technologies—the environment, sustainability and the circular economy;
  • From sensors and sensor systems.

Prof. Ciprian Dobre
Prof. Dr. Octavian Fratu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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27 pages, 7607 KiB  
Article
Exhaustive Description of the System Architecture and Prototype Implementation of an IoT-Based eHealth Biometric Monitoring System for Elders in Independent Living
by Cristian Vizitiu, Călin Bîră, Adrian Dinculescu, Alexandru Nistorescu and Mihaela Marin
Sensors 2021, 21(5), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21051837 - 6 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2992
Abstract
In this paper, we present an exhaustive description of an extensible e-Health Internet-connected embedded system, which allows the measurement of three biometric parameters: pulse rate, oxygen saturation and temperature, via several wired and wireless sensors residing to the realm of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present an exhaustive description of an extensible e-Health Internet-connected embedded system, which allows the measurement of three biometric parameters: pulse rate, oxygen saturation and temperature, via several wired and wireless sensors residing to the realm of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and cognitive assessment through Choice Reaction Time (CRT) analysis. The hardware used is based on ATMEGA AVR + MySignals Hardware printed circuit board (Hardware PCB), but with multiple upgrades (including porting from ATMEGA328P to ATMEGA2560). Multiple software improvements were made (by writing high-level device drivers, text-mode and graphic-mode display driver) for increasing functionality, portability, speed, and latency. A top-level embedded application was developed and benchmarked. A custom wireless AT command firmware was developed, based on ESP8266 firmware to allow AP-mode configuration and single-command JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) data-packet pushing towards the cloud platform. All software is available in a git repository, including the measurement results. The proposed eHealth system provides with specific NCDs and cognitive views fostering the potential to exploit correlations between physiological and cognitive data and to generate predictive analysis in the field of eldercare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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22 pages, 13383 KiB  
Article
Passive Equalization Networks—Efficient Synthesis Approach for High-Speed Signal Integrity Characterization
by Diana Brinaru
Sensors 2021, 21(4), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21041222 - 9 Feb 2021
Viewed by 2665
Abstract
High data rates challenges and long traces from current state-of-the-art systems imply high attenuation. In the present article, we will present a detailed process of synthesis of equalizers, for choosing the correct one for a given application. The methods are based on scattering [...] Read more.
High data rates challenges and long traces from current state-of-the-art systems imply high attenuation. In the present article, we will present a detailed process of synthesis of equalizers, for choosing the correct one for a given application. The methods are based on scattering parameters applied on interconnections modeled as microstrip or stripline. Firstly, one may have an overview of types of equalizers, passive, active, and adaptive ones, and a detailed filter synthesis is applied in microwave systems having as start point the insertion loss of a given trace on a given substrate. Next, time domain analyses offer a better understanding of the performance of the interconnect, based on eye diagram inspection and the variation of waveforms with time. Finally, we will present results based on simulation of the equalizers network in a microstrip technology followed by discussions and conclusions. The study proposes to use equalizers in either the transmitter or receiver point, proposes a bridge equalizer with the cost of additional elements but improved constant input, output impedance, and also a new variant for single ended trace based on microwave resonator is proposed. Performance is demonstrated by results from simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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18 pages, 3865 KiB  
Article
The Application of Electromagnetic Sensors for Determination of Cherenkov Cone Inside and in the Vicinity of the Detector Volume in Any Environment Known
by Valeriu Savu, Mădălin Ion Rusu and Dan Savastru
Sensors 2021, 21(3), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21030992 - 2 Feb 2021
Viewed by 2094
Abstract
The neutrinos of cosmic radiation, due to interaction with any known medium in which the Cherenkov detector is used, produce energy radiation phenomena in the form of a Cherenkov cone, in very large frequency spectrum. These neutrinos carry with them the information about [...] Read more.
The neutrinos of cosmic radiation, due to interaction with any known medium in which the Cherenkov detector is used, produce energy radiation phenomena in the form of a Cherenkov cone, in very large frequency spectrum. These neutrinos carry with them the information about the phenomena that produced them and by detecting the electromagnetic energies generated by the Cherenkov cone, we can find information about the phenomena that formed in the universe, at a much greater distance, than possibility of actually detection with current technologies. At present, a very high number of sensors for detection electromagnetic energy is required. Thus, some sensors may detect very low energy levels, which can lead to the erroneous determination of the Cherenkov cone, thus leading to information errors. As a novelty, we propose, to use these sensors for determination of the dielectrically permittivity of any known medium in which the Cherenkov detector is used, by preliminary measurements, the subsequent simulation of the data and the reconstruction of the Cherenkov cone, leading to a significant reduction of problems and minimizing the number of sensors, implicitly the cost reductions. At the same time, we offer the possibility of reconstructing the Cherenkov cone outside the detector volume. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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21 pages, 4200 KiB  
Article
A Practical Experience on the Amazon Alexa Integration in Smart Offices
by Răzvan Bogdan, Alin Tatu, Mihaela Marcella Crisan-Vida, Mircea Popa and Lăcrămioara Stoicu-Tivadar
Sensors 2021, 21(3), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21030734 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 7766
Abstract
Smart offices are dynamically evolving spaces meant to enhance employees’ efficiency, but also to create a healthy and proactive working environment. In a competitive business world, the challenge of providing a balance between the efficiency and wellbeing of employees may be supported with [...] Read more.
Smart offices are dynamically evolving spaces meant to enhance employees’ efficiency, but also to create a healthy and proactive working environment. In a competitive business world, the challenge of providing a balance between the efficiency and wellbeing of employees may be supported with new technologies. This paper presents the work undertaken to build the architecture needed to integrate voice assistants into smart offices in order to support employees in their daily activities, like ambient control, attendance system and reporting, but also interacting with project management services used for planning, issue tracking, and reporting. Our research tries to understand what are the most accepted tasks to be performed with the help of voice assistants in a smart office environment, by analyzing the system based on task completion and sentiment analysis. For the experimental setup, different test cases were developed in order to interact with the office environment formed by specific devices, as well as with the project management tool tasks. The obtained results demonstrated that the interaction with the voice assistant is reasonable, especially for easy and moderate utterances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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24 pages, 7474 KiB  
Article
An Hybrid Approach for Urban Traffic Prediction and Control in Smart Cities
by Janetta Culita, Simona Iuliana Caramihai, Ioan Dumitrache, Mihnea Alexandru Moisescu and Ioan Stefan Sacala
Sensors 2020, 20(24), 7209; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20247209 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2965
Abstract
Smart cities are complex, socio-technological systems built as a strongly connected System of Systems, whose functioning is driven by human–machine interactions and whose ultimate goals are the well-being of their inhabitants. Consequently, controlling a smart city is an objective that may be achieved [...] Read more.
Smart cities are complex, socio-technological systems built as a strongly connected System of Systems, whose functioning is driven by human–machine interactions and whose ultimate goals are the well-being of their inhabitants. Consequently, controlling a smart city is an objective that may be achieved by using a specific framework that integrates algorithmic control, intelligent control, cognitive control and especially human reasoning and communication. Among the many functions of a smart city, intelligent transportation is one of the most important, with specific restrictions and a high level of dynamics. This paper focuses on the application of a neuro-inspired control framework for urban traffic as a component of a complex system. It is a proof of concept for a systemic integrative approach to the global problem of smart city management and integrates a previously designed urban traffic control architecture (for the city of Bucharest) with the actual purpose of ensuring its proactivity by means of traffic flow prediction. Analyses of requirements and methods for prediction are performed in order to determine the best way for fulfilling the perception function of the architecture with respect to the traffic control problem definition. A parametric method and an AI-based method are discussed in order to predict the traffic flow, both in the short and long term, based on real data. A brief comparative analysis of the prediction performances is also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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21 pages, 7524 KiB  
Article
Design, Implementation and Simulation of a Fringing Field Capacitive Humidity Sensor
by Adrian-Razvan Petre, Razvan Craciunescu and Octavian Fratu
Sensors 2020, 20(19), 5644; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20195644 - 2 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3493
Abstract
The world population is growing in an accelerated way urging the need for a more efficient and sustainable agricultural industry. Initially developed for smart cities which face the same challenges caused by an increasing population, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have evolved rapidly [...] Read more.
The world population is growing in an accelerated way urging the need for a more efficient and sustainable agricultural industry. Initially developed for smart cities which face the same challenges caused by an increasing population, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have evolved rapidly over the last few years and are now moving successfully to agriculture. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have been reported to be used in the agri-food sector and could answer the call for a more optimized agricultural management. This paper investigates a PCB-made interdigited capacitive (IDC) soil humidity sensor as a low-price alternative to the existing ones on the market. An in-depth comparative study is performed on 30 design variations, part of them also manufactured for further investigations. By measurements and simulations, the influence of the aspect ratio and dielectric thickness on the sensitivity and capacitance of the sensor are studied. In the end, a Humidity and Temperature Measurement Wireless Equipment (HTMWE) for IoT agriculture applications is implemented with this type of sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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34 pages, 3497 KiB  
Article
A Model for the Remote Deployment, Update, and Safe Recovery for Commercial Sensor-Based IoT Systems
by Alexandru Radovici, Ioana Culic, Daniel Rosner and Flavia Oprea
Sensors 2020, 20(16), 4393; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20164393 - 6 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3750
Abstract
Internet of Things (IoT) systems deployments are becoming both ubiquitous and business critical in numerous business verticals, both for process automation and data-driven decision-making based on distributed sensors networks. Beneath the simplicity offered by these solutions, we usually find complex, multi-layer architectures—from hardware [...] Read more.
Internet of Things (IoT) systems deployments are becoming both ubiquitous and business critical in numerous business verticals, both for process automation and data-driven decision-making based on distributed sensors networks. Beneath the simplicity offered by these solutions, we usually find complex, multi-layer architectures—from hardware sensors up to data analytics systems. These rely heavily on software running on the on-location gateway devices designed to bridge the communication between the sensors and the cloud. This will generally require updates and improvements—raising deployment and maintenance challenges. Especially for large scale commercial solutions, a secure and fail-safe updating system becomes crucial for a successful IoT deployment. This paper explores the specific challenges for infrastructures dedicated to remote application deployment and management, addresses the management challenges related to IoT sensors systems, and proposes a mathematical model and a methodology for tackling this. To test the model’s efficiency, we implemented it as a software infrastructure system for complete commercial IoT products. As proof, we present the deployment of 100 smart soda dispensing machines in three locations. Each machine relies on sensors monitoring its status and on gateways controlling its behaviour, each receiving 133 different remote software updates through our solution. In addition, 80% of the machines ran non-interrupted for 250 days, with 20% failing due to external factors; out of the 80%, 30% experienced temporary update failures due to reduced hardware capabilities and the system successfully performed automatic rollback of the system, thus recovering in 100% of the temporary failures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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17 pages, 611 KiB  
Article
Gait Recognition as an Authentication Method for Mobile Devices
by Matei-Sorin Axente, Ciprian Dobre, Radu-Ioan Ciobanu and Raluca Purnichescu-Purtan
Sensors 2020, 20(15), 4110; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20154110 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2982
Abstract
With the rate at which smartphones are currently evolving, more and more of human life will be contained in these devices. At a time when data privacy is extremely important, it is crucial to protect one’s mobile device. In this paper, we propose [...] Read more.
With the rate at which smartphones are currently evolving, more and more of human life will be contained in these devices. At a time when data privacy is extremely important, it is crucial to protect one’s mobile device. In this paper, we propose a new non-intrusive gait recognition based mechanism that can enhance the security of smartphones by rapidly identifying users with a high degree of confidence and securing sensitive data in case of an attack, with a focus on a potential architecture for such an algorithm for the Android environment. The motion sensors on an Android device are used to create a statistical model of a user’s gait, which is later used for identification. Through experimental testing, we prove the capability of our proposed solution by correctly classifying individuals with an accuracy upwards of 90% when tested on data recorded during multiple activities. The experiments, conducted on a low sampling rate and at short time intervals, show the benefits of our solution and highlight the feasibility of an efficient gait recognition mechanism on modern smartphones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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16 pages, 4460 KiB  
Article
Sensors for Cryogenic Isotope-Separation Column
by Eva H. Dulf and Clement Festila
Sensors 2020, 20(14), 3890; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20143890 - 13 Jul 2020
Viewed by 2216
Abstract
Cryogenic isotope-separation equipment is special, encountered in relative few research centers in the world. In addition to the main equipment used in the operation column, a broad range of measuring devices and actuators are involved in the technological process. The proper sensors and [...] Read more.
Cryogenic isotope-separation equipment is special, encountered in relative few research centers in the world. In addition to the main equipment used in the operation column, a broad range of measuring devices and actuators are involved in the technological process. The proper sensors and transducers exhibit special features; therefore, common, industrial versions cannot be used. Three types of original sensors with electronic adapters are presented in the present study: a sensor for the liquid carbon monoxide level in the boiler, a sensor for the liquid nitrogen level in the condenser and a sensor for the electrical power dissipated in the boiler. The integration of these sensors in the pilot equipment is needed for comprehensive system monitoring and control. The sensors were tested on the experimental equipment from the National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies from Cluj-Napoca. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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36 pages, 525 KiB  
Article
A Comprehensive Survey of Indoor Localization Methods Based on Computer Vision
by Anca Morar, Alin Moldoveanu, Irina Mocanu, Florica Moldoveanu, Ion Emilian Radoi, Victor Asavei, Alexandru Gradinaru and Alex Butean
Sensors 2020, 20(9), 2641; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092641 - 6 May 2020
Cited by 96 | Viewed by 11011
Abstract
Computer vision based indoor localization methods use either an infrastructure of static cameras to track mobile entities (e.g., people, robots) or cameras attached to the mobile entities. Methods in the first category employ object tracking, while the others map images from mobile cameras [...] Read more.
Computer vision based indoor localization methods use either an infrastructure of static cameras to track mobile entities (e.g., people, robots) or cameras attached to the mobile entities. Methods in the first category employ object tracking, while the others map images from mobile cameras with images acquired during a configuration stage or extracted from 3D reconstructed models of the space. This paper offers an overview of the computer vision based indoor localization domain, presenting application areas, commercial tools, existing benchmarks, and other reviews. It provides a survey of indoor localization research solutions, proposing a new classification based on the configuration stage (use of known environment data), sensing devices, type of detected elements, and localization method. It groups 70 of the most recent and relevant image based indoor localization methods according to the proposed classification and discusses their advantages and drawbacks. It highlights localization methods that also offer orientation information, as this is required by an increasing number of applications of indoor localization (e.g., augmented reality). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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Review

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37 pages, 4648 KiB  
Review
Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Solutions: A Review
by Corina Covaci and Aurel Gontean
Sensors 2020, 20(12), 3512; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123512 - 21 Jun 2020
Cited by 327 | Viewed by 41136
Abstract
The goal of this paper is to review current methods of energy harvesting, while focusing on piezoelectric energy harvesting. The piezoelectric energy harvesting technique is based on the materials’ property of generating an electric field when a mechanical force is applied. This phenomenon [...] Read more.
The goal of this paper is to review current methods of energy harvesting, while focusing on piezoelectric energy harvesting. The piezoelectric energy harvesting technique is based on the materials’ property of generating an electric field when a mechanical force is applied. This phenomenon is known as the direct piezoelectric effect. Piezoelectric transducers can be of different shapes and materials, making them suitable for a multitude of applications. To optimize the use of piezoelectric devices in applications, a model is needed to observe the behavior in the time and frequency domain. In addition to different aspects of piezoelectric modeling, this paper also presents several circuits used to maximize the energy harvested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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20 pages, 1633 KiB  
Review
Wearable Solutions for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease and Neurocognitive Disorder: A Systematic Review
by Asma Channa, Nirvana Popescu and Vlad Ciobanu
Sensors 2020, 20(9), 2713; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092713 - 9 May 2020
Cited by 67 | Viewed by 9780
Abstract
Prevalence of neurocognitive diseases in adult patients demands the use of wearable devices to transform the future of mental health. Recent development in wearable technology proclaimed its use in diagnosis, rehabilitation, assessment, and monitoring. This systematic review presents the state of the art [...] Read more.
Prevalence of neurocognitive diseases in adult patients demands the use of wearable devices to transform the future of mental health. Recent development in wearable technology proclaimed its use in diagnosis, rehabilitation, assessment, and monitoring. This systematic review presents the state of the art of wearables used by Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients or the patients who are going through a neurocognitive disorder. This article is based on PRISMA guidelines, and the literature is searched between January 2009 to January 2020 analyzing four databases: PubMed, IEEE Xplorer, Elsevier, and ISI Web of Science. For further validity of articles, a new PEDro-inspired technique is implemented. In PEDro, five statistical indicators were set to classify relevant articles and later the citations were also considered to make strong assessment of relevant articles. This led to 46 articles that met inclusion criteria. Based on them, this systematic review examines different types of wearable devices, essential in improving early diagnose and monitoring, emphasizing their role in improving the quality of life, differentiating the various fitness and gait wearable-based exercises and their impact on the regression of disease and on the motor diagnosis tests and finally addressing the available wearable insoles and their role in rehabilitation. The research findings proved that sensor based wearable devices, and specially instrumented insoles, help not only in monitoring and diagnosis but also in tracking numerous exercises and their positive impact towards the improvement of quality of life among different Parkinson and neurocognitive patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Romania 2020)
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