Category Archives: Electronics

Methods for estimating periods of noisy signals

W. Fan, Y. Li, K. L. Tsui and Q. Zhou, A Noise Resistant Correlation Method for Period Detection of Noisy Signals, IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 66, no. 10, pp. 2700-2710, DOI: 10.1109/TSP.2018.2813305.

This paper develops a novel method called the noise resistant correlation method for detecting the hidden period from the contaminated (noisy) signals with strong white Gaussian noise. A novel correlation function is proposed based on a newly constructed periodic signal and the contaminated signal to effectively detect the target hidden period. In contrast with the conventional autocorrelation analysis (AUTOC) method, this method demonstrates excellent performance, especially when facing strong noise. Fault diagnoses of rolling element bearings and gears are presented as application examples and the performance of the proposed method is compared with that of the AUTOC method.

Another paper about this in the same issue: 10.1109/TSP.2018.2818080.

A microprocessor designed for real-time predictability and short WCETs

Schoeberl, M., Puffitsch, W., Hepp, S. et al, Patmos: a time-predictable microprocessor, Real-Time Syst (2018) 54: 389, DOI: 10.1007/s11241-018-9300-4.

Current processors provide high average-case performance, as they are optimized for general purpose computing. However, those optimizations often lead to a high worst-case execution time (WCET). WCET analysis tools model the architectural features that increase average-case performance. To keep analysis complexity manageable, those models need to abstract from implementation details. This abstraction further increases the WCET bound. This paper presents a way out of this dilemma: a processor designed for real-time systems. We design and optimize a processor, called Patmos, for low WCET bounds rather than for high average-case performance. Patmos is a dual-issue, statically scheduled RISC processor. A method cache serves as the cache for the instructions and a split cache organization simplifies the WCET analysis of the data cache. To fill the dual-issue pipeline with enough useful instructions, Patmos relies on a customized compiler. The compiler also plays a central role in optimizing the application for the WCET instead of average-case performance.

Time synchronization (only offset) or power sinusoid signals

A. Mingotti, L. Peretto and R. Tinarelli, Accuracy Evaluation of an Equivalent Synchronization Method for Assessing the Time Reference in Power Networks, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. 600-606, DOI: 10.1109/TIM.2017.2779328.

This paper deals with the evaluation of the accuracy performance of an approach for assessing the phase displacement between voltages at power network nodes. This task is accomplished by processing asynchronous measurements taken at each node. This turns into an equivalent synchronization, which is, therefore, obtained without exploiting any synchronization signals, such as the ones provided by means of wireless (i.e., global positioning system) or wired technologies. As a matter of fact, distribution system operators will gain the possibility of deploying, at more affordable costs, wide area measurement system (WAMS) over their power networks for enhancing their stability and reliability. Phasor measurement units (PMUs) are the most common examples of such WAMS, but, besides their high cost, there are circumstances where providing a time reference signal to remote PMUs often becomes a difficult task. This paper aims at recalling the basic theoretical principles of the method and at proving its applicability in power network through a deep analysis of its metrological performance.

Electronic circuit for harvesting energy autonomously in a multi-sensor device

Dias, P.C.; Morais, F.J.O.; de Morais Franca, M.B.; Ferreira, E.C.; Cabot, A.; Siqueira Dias, J.A., Autonomous Multisensor System Powered by a Solar Thermoelectric Energy Harvester With Ultralow-Power Management Circuit, in Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on , vol.64, no.11, pp.2918-2925, Nov. 2015, DOI: 10.1109/TIM.2015.2444253.

An autonomous multisensor system powered by an energy harvester fabricated with a flat-panel solar thermoelectric generator with an ultralow-power management circuit is presented. The multisensor system was tested in an agricultural application, where every 15 min the values of the temperature, air humidity, and solar radiation have to be measured and stored in a mass memory device (a Secure Digital card), with their respective time stamp. The energy-harvesting switching dc-dc converter is based on a low-input-voltage commercial integrated circuit (LTC3108), which charges a 1.65-F supercapacitor up to 5.0 V. A novel ultralow-power management circuit was developed to replace the internal power management circuitry of the LTC3108, and using this circuit, the operation of the system when no energy can be harvested from the environment is extended from 136 h to more than 266 h. The solar thermoelectric generator used for the energy harvesting is composed of a bismuth telluride thermoelectric generator with a 110-mV/°C Seebeck coefficient sandwiched between a 40 cm \times 40 cm anodized aluminum flat panel and an aluminum heatsink. On a sunny winter day in the southern hemisphere (12 August 2014, at Campinas, SP—Brazil, Latitude: 22° 54’), the energy supplied by the harvesting system to the supercapacitor was 7 J.