Semiconductor pressure sensors have limitations when used in hot environments. One of the most debilitating limitations is their susceptibility to electromagnetic interference. A new self-calibrated interfermetric intensity-based (SCIIB) sensor developed at the Virginia Tech Photonic Laboratory (VTPI) is immune to electromagnetic interference. It also resists chemical corrosion and withstands temperature above 482C—the temperature limit of sensors used in jet engines, power plants, and other hot environments. Sensors placed in a jet engine are expected to monitor sound pressure waves and warn the pilot about potential engine problems. The sensors are made using the fibers of a single crystal sapphire. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded VTPI's partner, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with funding to collaborate on the project and commercialize the sensors. Oak Ridge National Lab has a sapphire material processing and fabrication facility. For information call (540) 231-4363.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
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Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
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