Materials for Sensors and Technological Processes Control Systems
Doc. Ing. Pavel Václavek, Ph.D.
THEMATIC RESEARCH FOCUS
- Smart sensors and signal processing, sensor design using new materials
- Advanced control technologies, control of technological processes
- Mobile robotic systems
- Embedded systems and communication technologies
The development of novel composite materials with functionally graded structures for improving the efficiency and lifetimes of components and devices for energetics, communication and control technologies (conductive ceramic and polymer materials for electrodes, novel actuators, sensor components, control and instrumentation systems for technological processes, catalyst for the decomposition of gaseous pollutants, biopolymers and precursors from plants and plant residues).
CONTENT OF RESEARCH
Materials for sensors and technological processes control systems
This research focusses on advanced robotics, control and sensor systems using new materials. New robotic systems in the areas of rescue systems and life-science applications are being developed (e.g. intelligent service and special environment reconnaissance). New approaches inspired by nature are used in the development work. Control technologies for technological processes with critical reliability and safety are studied. Specific results of control technology development will also be applicable beyond the scope of robotic systems; special consideration is given to control applications for traction drives for ecological transportation. The topic also includes smart sensor design research using new materials. These smart sensors are expected to provide the necessary process data gathered from technical and biological systems interacting with the controlled robotic systems.
Specific research activities include:
Intelligent sensors using new materials
The research focusses on the development of special smart sensors and power harvesting devices. The goal of this sensor research and development is the application of advanced materials and new methods of signal processing, especially for data fusion, signal processing of sensor arrays, autocalibration and autodiagnostics. These methods would typically be used on MEMS sensors and sensors utilizing new materials to enhance their parameters; for example, accuracy, frequency response, long-term stability and reliability. Research also focusses on the optimization of energy consumption of wireless and robotic sensors using energy harvesting devices and advanced materials that can produce energy in operating conditions. The development of new methods and devices utilizing new materials for decreasing energy consumption is also an important objective.
Robotic systems for special and hazardous environments
Reconnaissance mobile robotic systems for special environments are being developed. The systems are to work in hazardous environments, such as areas with chemical, nuclear and biological contamination, places with extreme environmental conditions, risk of explosion or intentional damage. Due to the nature of these environmental conditions, the systems will widely use special materials to be able to withstand massive contamination, decontamination processes, and to decrease their detectability; namely in visible, near and far infrared and also to substantially decrease electromagnetic radiation in a wide frequency spectrum. Various smart sensors are used onboard the robots to enhance their functionality. Biologically inspired robots as well as bio-oriented robot control devices such as augmented reality and enhanced telepresence make up another research activity of the robotic group. These machines are to use devises known as non-traditional actuators in robotics, such as pneumatic muscles, and shape memory alloys. Specialized mini-manipulators and/or mobile robots will be eventually developed for material handling and fabrication if demanded by other groups (super-clean environments, precise positioning, hazardous material handling, etc.).
Advanced control systems
Research focusses on advanced control algorithms and their applications in technological processes control. New algorithms based on the modern control theory are being developed. These algorithms will be used for energy optimal, safe and reliable control of robotics systems and technological processes. Special attention is given to advanced control of electrical drives with applications in precise servo-drives in robotics, technological processes actuators and ecological transportation systems.
Instrumentation, communication and special electronics for technological processes
Research activities in this area include the development of communication interfaces for special instrumentation including smart sensors and actuators; the design of new solutions for distributed data acquisition and data fusion; algorithms for diagnostics and self-monitoring; the development of special electronics for special technological processes; and the evaluation of performance of communication subsystems, interfaces and electronic modules in general in terms of error rates, timing errors, power consumption and robustness. Development of embedded systems equipped with very high data rate interfaces, systems for hardware accelerated real-time data processing development of solutions meeting requirements on functional safety or high availability.
KEY RESEARCH EQUIPMENT
The Electrical Drives Laboratory is equipped with a 5kVA 3-ph arbitrary waveform programmable power supply; DC to 3GHz spectrum analyser; 6-channel wattmeter; 1 GHz Mixed Signal Oscilloscope Tektronix MSO4104B – design and performance assessment of advanced control algorithms and systems for small AC drives; software for the simulation of dynamic and discrete event systems, design and validation of advanced control algorithms.
The Laboratory of Sensors and Measurement is equipped with a microphone array and a set of acoustic sensors for acoustic holography for noise source identification; PXI multichannel measuring equipment for signal processing and data acquisition; and a Precision laser vibrometer and climatic test chamber for sensor calibration and testing.
The Laboratory of Telepresence and Mobile Robotics is equipped to be able to develop small and mid-sized mobile robot prototypes, as well as do research in reconnaissance robotics, mapping and navigation, telepresence, and special sensor applications. The key equipment includes various 2D and 3D optical scanners: Velodyne HDL-64E, Velodyne HDL-32E, Swissranger SR4000, SICK 2D lidars; an iMAR iTraceRT-F400-E high performance INS/GNSS with FOG and RTK; 3x Trimble BX982 RTK GNSS – 1x Base station, 2x rover; Thermal imagers, CCD cameras; and an EPSON C3 industrial manipulator.
The Laboratory of Special Electronics and Commuications is equipped with a Digital Signal Analyzer – 8 GHz, 40 GSa/s, 4 Ch, 50M memory; an Infiniium MSO – 1 GHz, 10/20 GSa/s, 4+16 Ch; a Probe Amplifier – InfiniiMax II, 10 GHz; a 2-Channel 30 MHz Function/Arbitrary Waveform Generator; an MXA Signal Analyzer; a PXA Signal Analyzer; an ENA Series Network analyzer; and a 3.35 GHz 1-channel Pulse-/ Pattern Generator.
CURRENT RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE
Electrical drive laboratory equipped with a 5kVA 3-ph arbitrary waveform programmable power supply, DC to 3GHz spectrum analyser, 6-channel wattmeter – design and performance assessment of advanced control algorithms and systems for small AC drives; software for the simulation of dynamical and discrete event systems, design and validation of advanced control algorithms.
- ENIAC MotorBrain – Nanoelectronics for electric vehicle intelligent failsafe power train (270693), Infineon (Germany), 2011-2014, P. Vaclavek, Brno University of Technology.
- CAK3 – Center for applied cybernetics 3 (TE01010197), Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, 2012–2019, P. Vaclavek, Brno University of Technology.
- CREDO – Cabin noise reduction by experimental and numerical design optimization (30814), Universita Politecnica delle Marche (Italy), 2006-2009, P. Benes, Brno University of Technology.
- ARTEMIS IOE – Internet of energy for electric mobility (269374), 2011-2014, SINTEF (Norway), R. Vrba, Brno University of Technology.
- ARTEMIS POLLUX – Process oriented electrical control units for electrical vehicles developed on a multi-system real-time embedded platform (100205), SINTEF (Norway), 2010-2013, G. Kalivodova, Institute of Microelectronic Applications.
- BERAN, J., FIEDLER, P., ZEZULKA, F. Virtual automation networks. IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine. 2010, 4(3), p. 20-27.
- HAVRANEK, Z., KLUSACEK, S. Experimental evaluation of methods for estimation of regularization in acoustic holography with MEMS sensor array. In Inter-noise 2012. New York, USA, 2012. p. 1-6.
- Vaclavek, P., Blaha, P., Herman, I. AC Drives observability analysis. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. 2012, Early Access Articles, p. 1-13.
- ZALUD, L. Augmented reality user interface for reconnaissance robotic missions. In Proceedings of 16th IEEE int. symposium on robot & human interactive communication. Korea, Daejeon: Genicom, Co. Ltd, 2007. p. 974-979.
- VACLAVEK, P., BLAHA, P. Lyapunov-function-based flux and speed observer for AC induction motor sensorless control and parameters estimation IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. 2006, 53(1), p. 138-145.