Electrical measurement plays an essential role in many engineering disciplines and is the key to make industrial processes efficient and environmentally friendly. The measurement tasks are manifold and cover applications from electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, environmental technology, chemistry and many others.
Despite the continuous progress in all areas of the measurement chain, from sensors to analog circuit technology and digital signal processing, there are measurement tasks, which can so far be solved only with insufficient accuracy, severe limitations, or not at all. Main reasons are often the lack of a suitable sensor, i.e. a sensor with a strongly pronounced sensor effect in relation to the desired measurement variable, and a large number of internal and external influences. Especially in situations involving harsh operating conditions, influences such as aging effects, cross-sensitivities, electromagnetic interference and noise have to be considered. These factors cause the desired information to be concealed in the measured signal, so its influence is only ‘weak’. This class of measurement problems is also referred to as ‘weak signal measurement’. However, established state-of-the-art measurement methods do not adequately cover the involved challenges, leading to unsatisfactory measurement results.
The vision of this CD laboratory entitled ‘Measurement Systems for Harsh Operating Conditions’ is to gain a profound understanding of the causes, interactions and effects of the influencing factors. It provides the potential to develop groundbreaking measurement technologies to solve application-specific challenges involving ‘weak signals’. The research activity pursues a holistic approach, which combines the research topics Sensor Effects, Dependable Measurement Circuitries, Digital Signal and Information Processing, and Holistic Metrological Analysis and thus takes into account the specifics of the process, the sensor physics and the entire measurement system.
The CD laboratory is to be established at the ‘Energy Aware Measurement Systems’ group of the Institute of Electrical Measurement and Sensor Systems at Graz University of Technology. The CD laboratory will start with three industrial partners. In the field of heavy industry, application-specific tasks of steel production and processing will be tackled together with the partners. Here, the above mentioned methods will be applied especially to unsolved measurement tasks in conveying processes. As a second field of application, measuring tasks in the field of automotive test bench technology will be addressed. These research activities are carried out together with the partner.
The results of this CD laboratory will not only lead to new measuring systems and sensor solutions, which will bring long desired advantages for the participating industrial partners, but will also improve the basic understanding of the causes and handling of ‘weak signals’.