Page 1

Vol. 19, No. 3 June 2016

Women in I&M

contents table of

June 2016 VOL. 19, NO. 3

Instrumentation & Measurement I&M society web site

Instrumentation and Measurement for Power Systems in European Projects

I&M magazine web site

features —Ferdinanda Ponci


Wendy Van Moer University of Gävle Department of Electronics, Mathematics and Natural Sciences SE-801 76 Gävle, Sweden

associate editor-in-chief

June Sudduth

The Coordinated Universal Time


—Gianna Panfilo

A Human Visual “No-Reference” Image Quality Measure


—Karen Panetta, Long Bao, and Sos Agaian

Simona Salicone

senior editor


MIMO OTA Test for a Mobile Station Performance Evaluation


—Ya Jing, Hongwei Kong, and Moray Rumney

administrative assistant Kristy Virostek

I&M editorial board Ruth A. Dyer Alessandro Ferrero Mark Yeary Salvatore Baglio Zheng Liu Ruqiang Yan Veronica Scotti Bryan Kibble Charles Nader Lee Barford Kevin Bennet

The IEEE IMS Faculty Award Recipient The Automatic Measurement Systems Course at the University of Cagliari —Sara Sulis

Nonintrusive Appliance Load Monitoring for Smart Homes: Recent Advances and Future Issues

advertising sales manager Onkar Sandal +1 800 627 0932 x218 Fax: +1 785 843 1853

on the cover:

Credit: iStock photos. To all Companies, please send your “New Products” information for possible inclusion in the IEEE I&M Magazine to: Robert M. Goldberg 1360 Clifton Ave. PMB 336 Cifton, NJ 07012, USA E-mail:


—Liu Yu, Haibin Li, Xiaowei Feng, and Jizhong Duan


managing editor

Beverly Lindeen


Editorial 4 Guest Editorial 5 President’s Message 6 Women in I&M 7 Legal Metrology 13 Future Trends in I&M 22 Women in Microwave Research 24

Women in Metrology Research 27 Basic Metrology 39 IMS Members and Patents 63 Society News 67 Society News - Meeting Report 69


Calendar 62

New Products


IEEE INSTRUMENTATION & MEASUREMENT MAGAZINE: (ISSN 1094-6969) (IIMMF9) is published bimonthly by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. Headquarters: 3 Park Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10016-5997 +1 212 419 7900. Responsibility for the contents rests upon the authors and not upon the IEEE, the Society, or its members. Individual copies: IEEE members $20.00 (first copy only), nonmembers $25.00 per copy. Subscriptions: $6.00 per member per year (included in Society fee) for each member of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society. Nonmember subscription prices available on request. Copyright and Reprint Permissions: Abstracting is permitted with credit to the source. Libraries are permitted to photocopy beyond the limits of U.S. Copyright Law for private use of patrons: 1) those post-1977 articles that carry a code at the bottom of the first page, provided the per-copy fee indicated in the code is paid through the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 USA; 2) pre-1978 articles without fee. For other copying, reprint, or republication permission, write Copyrights and Permissions Department, IEEE Service Center, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA. Copyright © 2015 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Postmaster: Send address changes to IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine, IEEE, 445 Hoes Lane, P.O. Box 1331, Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331 USA. Canadian GST #125634188

Printed in the U.S.A.


IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

editorial Wendy Van Moer

Women in Instrumentation & Measurement


his has been the most difficult Editorial for me to write… What can I say about women in instrumentation and measurement? Are they so different from men in instrumentation and measurement? We also have two legs, two arms, big brains (please behave, Gentlemen!)… But we cannot ignore that, in some parts of the world and in many situations, it is still difficult for women to study, to be taken seriously, to do the ‘job of a man’… Also, the combination of work and family is not always an evident task for women. When speaking about work-related issues, I believe that it is important to think in terms of human beings and not in terms of men or women. This is especially true in one important field: scientific research. In this field, the only things that should matter are brilliant brains and a huge amount of dedication. And these attitudes are not confined to gentlemen or ladies: they belong to human beings. Unfortunately, as I wrote above, there are still many situations and parts of the world where this simple concept is not yet as clear as it should be.

The aim of this issue of the Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine is to prove through scientific articles, that women and men, in our I&M community, perform the same high-quality research and attain the same brilliant results. It will clearly show that discrimination, in this scientific field, has no reason to exist. This issue not only presents us state-of-the-art research performed by women in instrumentation and measurement, but also some interesting testimonies. Our guest editor is Prof. Ferdinanda Ponci from the Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems at the E.ON Research Center at RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany. Her research activities are focused on measurements for monitoring and control of distribution systems with pervasive presence of renewables. Prof. Ponci is also a member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE I&M Society. It was a great pleasure to work with her on this issue, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank her for her dedication and valuable time. Women in I&M, we are as strong as a diamond! Groetjes,

IEEE Women in Engineering Dear all, As the IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) International Chair, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Instrumentation & Measurement Society for the challenge to lead in helping WIE and the IEEE with respect to women’s participation within both IEEE and the profession. This opportunity to share resources allows us to align and build strong bonds across IEEE, which will inspire, engage, and empower female engineers. Let us work together to change the world! With warm regards, Takako Takako Hashimoto, Ph.D. ( Chair, IEEE Women In Engineering (2015-2016)


IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

guesteditorial Ferdinanda Ponci

A Measure of Progress


his issue of our Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine is dedicated to the contributions of women in this field of science and engineering. We hope that the readers will appreciate the technical contributions and the varied experiences and personalities of the contributors. And, we hope that they will recognize and remember them as role models who represent many others they may know, who could not fit here. We can consider this issue a success if our readers, males and females, will recognize in their own female colleagues, students, teachers, bosses, acquaintances such precious, multi-faceted natures. The normality of seeing women contributing and leading in science and engineering is the prerequisite for making sure that all those who want to get in, get educated, and pursue a career in the technical area can do so without limitations due to their gender. This means broadening the pool of talents, engaging a variety of different minds, and in the end getting more and better technology and science advancements and applications. The contributions in this issue represent (though not comprehensively) a variety of topics in instrumentation and measurement (I&M): from setting the world time reference, to assessing image quality, to measuring wireless communications, to monitoring power systems. Our contributors are from industry, academia, and metrological institutes. Some of our contributors are at the beginning of their career, some have well established positions, and some have leadership positions. They reside in different IEEE regions around the world.

June 2016

This is how we try to give an impression of the diversity of women in I&M and a hint on how many more are out there. I want to thank all of the contributors for sharing with us not only their technical expertise but a bit of their stories and thoughts, which are collected in one single article in this issue. This special issue is just one face of the engagement of women and men of the Instrument and Measurement Society (IMS) and IEEE towards the inclusion, recognition, and promotion of women engineers and scientists. Our volunteer officers and AdCom members, and our very own IMS President Ruth Dyer above all (whom I want to thank for being the constant reference she is), have been working on this challenge for years. And, not only with engaging speeches and exciting visions but also with very concrete actions. Enough to see the number of very active women involved in the administration of our society, which has increased in the past few years and is now well established, such that having a female President is no surprise to anyone now. Although it is a first in the history of our Society! An amazing catalyst of women’s advocacy is the IEEE Women in Engineering Society (WIE), for which I serve as Society Liaison and have served as Region 8 Coordinator. The resources, ideas and inspiration that the WIE members, and in particular the WIE Committee members, provide are invaluable to me and to the many Affinity Groups and Student Branches in the world. I invite our readers and contributors to spread this issue as much as they can. Leave a paper copy around in the office, show it to your students, daughters, colleagues, bosses, and teachers. Steps towards inclusion of gender diversity are also steps towards the inclusion of all other diversities. Finally a big “thank you� to Prof. Wendy Van Moer, the Editor-in-Chief of this Magazine, for conceiving and supporting with her usual energy, this special issue.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 5

message president’s

Ruth Dyer

Women in the Instrumentation and Measurement Society


t is wonderful to have the June 2016 issue of the I&M Magazine highlight and celebrate the many contributions and achievements of the women members of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society (IMS). Most of us are aware of the continuing challenge to increase the number of women in the science and engineering professions and to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment in which both they and the profession can thrive. We are very pleased to see both the significant growth in the number of women IMS members and the active manner in which they are participating in so many of our Society’s activities. Women are attending, giving presentations, serving on the technical-program committees, and chairing sessions at our conferences, workshops, and symposia. They serve on and chair some of the technical committees and IMS Chapters. They publish papers in the I&M Transactions, write articles and columns for the I&M Magazine, and serve as Associate Editors of IMS publications. One of our women members is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the I&M Magazine. Women have been elected to the IMS Administrative Committee (AdCom), and the undergraduate student, graduate student, and Young Professional positions on the AdCom have all been held by women appointees. Women AdCom members have served in leadership roles as Chair of the I2MTC Tutorials, as Chair of the Distinguished Lecturers Program, and as the Chapter Chair Liaison. The IMS AdCom has a total of seven Vice Presidents, and every one of these Vice


President positions has been held, at one time or another, by one of our women AdCom members. In fact, in 2012, five of the seven Vice President positions were held by women. A number of our women members also have received our Society awards, and some have been elevated to IEEE Fellow status. I could keep listing contributions and achievements of our women members, but I hope this brief glimpse illustrates the range and quality of their involvement in, and the impact upon, the I&M Society. We have experienced a significant change in the composition of the AdCom over the past ten years, and I especially want to acknowledge the efforts of our many active male advocates who deliberately and intentionally identify and include not only women but also those from other underrepresented groups on the AdCom and for leadership positions. I am always impressed by the strength and excellence that result when we embrace and encourage diversity. Time and again, we discover that the most robust solutions are achieved when a plethora of perspectives are sought and incorporated. As the science and engineering disciplines continue to direct their attention and efforts toward increased inclusion, we know our Instrumentation and Measurement Society will continue to thrive and grow, because we are committed to fostering and reaping the benefits of an inclusive Society.

Ruth A. Dyer President, IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

womenI&M in

Ferdinanda Ponci

Portraits of Instrumentation and Measurement Society Ladies


hen it comes to diversity, personal acquaintance of the IMS, and often they combine one or more of these roles. This and friendships of individuals with diverse charac- more personal insight into their perspective combined with their teristics are key to acceptance. This means having technical and professional contributions returns the bright portrait of the ability to understand the differences, to learn to value them, and a portion of the IM community that is essential to its thriving. eventually, in professional engineering, to Other major contributors to this issue, who do not appear in work and relate to others to benefit technical this article, are Ruth Dyer, Kristen Donnell, Simona Salicone, and outcome, and human growth. The Instru- Wendy Van Moer. Please refer to their columns in this issue for their mentation and Measurement Society (IMS) bios and pictures. Their contributions as women advocates in the is well aware of this and actively implements IMS speak for themselves when looking at related news and matethis outlook whenever and wherever possible. rial on the IMS website. You may contact Dr. Ferdinanda Ponci at: Our Society’s Administration Committee Her bio is available at http://ieeeis a bright example of diversity in the scien- tific and technical area. Getting used to the Cheers! presence of female professionals is key to enFerdi courage young women to pursue this career. We present these short portraits and hints to give a quick insight into the life and thoughts of several of our IMS’s women scientists and engineers and to sketch role models for our junior group. The contributors provided brief descriptions of their careers and themselves. They also answered a selection of questions: ◗◗ why they became scientific professionals in the I&M field; ◗◗ what advice they would like to pass on; ◗◗ what is the favorite part of their job; ◗◗ how their job benefits humanity and themselves; ◗◗ how they talk about their job with others not in a technical field; and ◗◗ how gender diversity has increased their awareness of diversity in general. Some of the individuals featured in this article are contributors to this issue The Instrumentation and Measurement Society’s Ad Com women at the AdCom meeting in Lisbon in 2015. of the I&M Magazine, some are awardFront row (left to right): Kristen Donnell, Mihaela Albu, Ruth Dyer, Ferdi Ponci, and Jenny Wirandi. The back ees of the IMS, some are active members row (left to right): Judy Scharmann, Alessandra Flammini, and Wendy Van Moer. June 2016

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 7 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

womenI&M continued in

Gianna Panfilo After receiving an M.S. degree in mathematics at Rome University “La Sapienza,” I earned my Ph.D. degree in Metrology at Politecnico of Turin in collaboration with INRiM, the Italian Metrological Institute. After one year of a post Doc position at INRiM, I started working at the Bureau International des Poids et Measures (BIPM) in France, in a permanent position as a Physicist in the Time Department. I am responsible for the algorithm used for calculating the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). I am Secretary of the Working Groups for the Algorithms and for the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for the Consultative Committee of Time and Frequency (CCTF), and I am also the Executive Secretary of the Consultative Committee for Acoustics, Ultrasound, and Vibration (CCAUV). I have lived and worked in Italy, in the USA, and in France. I have two children ages five and two.

Why I Became a Scientific Professional I was good in math and physics in high school and college. I wanted to know what happens after. I was always hungry for new discoveries, and I was always amazed by the ability of the mind to go beyond well-established knowledge.

The Favorite Part of My Job To me, the favorite part of my job is the possibility of change. My work always offers the chance to evolve. Because of my work, I can travel, and I can meet people coming from all over the world to share knowledge and customs. I am satisfied with my career achievements.

Information and Advice for Young Women I would like to pass on to young girls who are interested in engineering that it is very important to pursue their career goal by developing her expertise. It is important to develop selfconfidence. It is very important to work hard and to be on time with excellent work. It is very important also to meet experienced people to create a good network and increase visibility. I have done these things and today, I have a solid career.

Southeast University, I joined the Agilent Measurement Research Lab Beijing team in 2006 to start my career, and I am now an expert level researcher. At Agilent, my work mainly focuses on the context of wireless communication, including MIMO channel models, MIMO channel emulation, and the MIMO OTA research. One recent major work was to invent the Two-Stage MIMO OTA test method as the primary technical contributor. I have one child age six, and I like to read books with my child. On the weekend, I like to watch movies and take care of the children together with my neighbor.

Information and Advice for Young Women I would encourage the young woman interested in engineering to believe in herself and that she can be a professional engineer if she holds onto her dream. Look at our team as an example: I work in a research team focusing on measurement science and technologies, this team has about 10 members, and three of them are women. Each of us holds a Ph.D. degree. We continue to deliver the promised outcomes on time, and then win the credibility from the team. We also keep good balance between work and family. Some advice from my experiences are to: keep curious to learn new knowledge; be willing to discuss your ideas with others and develop communication skills; and provide nice help when needed, as this is very helpful for building a good work atmosphere which makes you feel so happy to work there.

The Benefits of my Engineering Work My work as an engineer helps me build self-confidence. At work, I create a good relationship with partners and customers. My hard work is recognized by the manager and team members, the outcomes from the work make me feel proud, and I enjoy the work. All of these give me the sense of accomplishment, and I accept myself from the heart. The engineering work is also helpful to be a qualified mother. My actions can influence my child to setup good learning habits and work out clever methods to solve problems. The stable salary is also strong support for my family.

Ya Jing

Pilar Gomez-Gil

I earned a Ph.D. degree in communications and information systems from the E&E department of Southeast University at Nanjing, China in 2006. Before joining the Southeast University, I received my B.E. degree and M.S. degree in communications and information systems in ChongQing University of Post and Telecommunication. After graduating from

I am a computer researcher working in Tonantzintla, México, which is a small town located near a big city. My research relates to the design of novel algorithms in adaptive pattern recognition and prediction, applied to medical and industrial signals. I have no children, I love dogs, and my main hobby is to go around with my friends and relatives to talk and get


IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

involved in their lives. I also love to travel, and I am happily married to another scientist.

Why I Became an I&M Professional I am a software engineer who got a Ph.D. in Computer Science. When I was starting my career, I never thought that I would become a scientist, but destiny took me on a very interesting path. Soon after getting my first job as an engineer, I realized that I love to teach, which motivated me to get a part-time position as a lecturer in 1983. At that time, lecturers were not required to earn graduate studies. After a few years, I realized that to be a good teacher, I should get formal scientific preparation and then I got a Ph.D. degree. Due to some research projects in which I was involved during my master studies, I was introduced to the field of signal processing and computational intelligence, which took me to the world of instrumentation and measurement.

My Attention to Gender Diversity My aunt used to say that I am not a normal girl. And she was right, because in many aspects I am an outlier. I chose to study engineering at a time when girls were expected to get married and have children. Later, being single, I decided to travel to another country in order to be a scientist. The fact that I am different to others has made me realize that people do not understand gender diversity at first, and it has helped my awareness of diversity in general. However, if people come to know that diversity is an important part of human life that does not harm yourself or others, and that it makes our life more beautiful and rewarded, they accept it. Fortunately, my aunt lived long enough to testify to that.

Lingling Ren I received my Ph.D. degree in material science and technology. Since then, I have worked as an associate professor in a university in China and as a visiting scientist at the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). Now I am a Lab leader at the National Institute of Metrology of China. As a Lab leader, I need to focus on not only my research area in advanced materials metrology (measurements) but also in general affairs including provision management, scientific advances, and social connections. I am also a member of ISO/TC229, Asia Pacific Metrology June 2016

Program/technical committee of materials measurement (APMP/TCMM) and the Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards (VAMAS). Thanks to my scientific achievements, my family is proud of me. I am happy that my daughter, an eighteen-year old undergraduate student, has learned from me that women should also be independent, passionate, dedicated, and logical. I enjoy shopping with my daughter, watching movies and Beijing Operas with my husband, travelling and visiting friends with my family, and sharing books among family members.

Information and Advice for Young Women My suggestions for a woman starting her career in engineering would be to keep passionate and have self-confidence. Because of passion, I put my shoulder to the wheel but I am enjoying myself; because of self-confidence, I immerse myself in my work without caring about any comments about my gender. I am improving myself by any way possible and delivering promised outcomes on time with good quality. Today I am a Lab leader for a group that includes between fifteen and twenty people, including nine professionals and several students. My general affairs include routine management, scientific leadership, and management of national projects. I am really satisfied with my career achievements. Perhaps some of my experiences are encouraging and beneficial to young women just starting into engineering. As a woman it is important to connect with who you are, improve yourself, and grab career opportunities. Being a daughter, wife, or mother are all aspects of your life. Those aspects are not all that define who you are as a woman. The more you improve yourself, the more appealing you will be to others - and to yourself. For example, we can always improve ourselves by seeking advice from more experienced women and men in the work environment. As Confucius said, two heads are always better than one. In addition, we should have enough patience to increase one’s own professional credibility without caring too much about salaries and promotions. As we all know, Rome was not built in one day.

The Favorite Part of my Job Now, I work in the National Institute of Metrology of China (NIM) after holding several positions in university and research institutes. I found that I prefer to do research that produces results that could be used directly in a factory or company. Materials metrology meets well with my interests: standard documents, calibration instruments, and certified reference materials for end users. I am proud to have established the Advanced Materials Measurement Laboratory in NIM for metrology research of advanced materials. The favorite part of my job is traceability research of advanced materials measurements. In my opinion, traceability is like a bridge

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 9

womenI&M continued in

linking engineering design schemes and SI units. I enjoy finding and completing the bridge in a tangle of clues.

I Discuss Work Topics with my Daughter My daughter is an eighteen-year-old undergraduate student. We are talkative friends who keep no secrets from each other. I have discussed my work topics since she was a little girl. For example, I set a good example of hard working to achieve expected outcomes. From me, she learned that she should also work hard on her studies and be independent while her mother is working hard on her own work. Sometimes, I use my research examples on how to seek for problems and solve them, and I let her know that she should find a way to deal with problems through observation and analysis. In addition, we discuss my logical thinking about how to set up experiments in my research topics. Up to now, she is good at self-management, logical thinking, and dealing with problems. As women, we can be mothers and be scientists. Thanks to my scientific profession, my daughter is proud of me, and I set a good example to my daughter and pass the independence, passion, and dedication to the next generation.

Karen Panetta I have a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering, and I started my career as a computer engineer. I designed computer processors for a major computer manufacturer. I am an engineering professor and Dean of the Graduate Engineering programs at Tufts University, USA. Much of my research work is motivated by real life events. When I see systems fail that hurt or take human lives, it drives me to create better testing tools and methodologies to help make systems more robust, reliable and safe. I am very good at breaking things, so if I develop tools that can discover design flaws, software vulnerabilities, or unsafe conditions, I am catching these issues early, rather than once they are in use in the field. My image processing work has focused on helping to design imaging quality measures that can evaluate images like a human observer. This allows robots to see like humans and enables autonomous applications. For a woman starting out in her career, I would recommend that you try to be as interdisciplinary as possible. The methods you design to solve one problem will most likely be applicable to helping many other fields, too! Second, if you do not like what you are doing in your job, search for your dream job, identify the skills you need to obtain that job, and retool yourself so you can move into that new area. Once you are established, you will be faced with many life challenges and it is important 10

you have a career maintenance plan in case you decide to take time off to raise a family. This means staying involved in your society, staying connected with industry experts, and perhaps being a mentor for younger women in college to review their technical project proposals for their design classes, or even volunteering to be a guest lecturer to share your experiences. Finally, do not be afraid to reach out and ask our IEEE community for help! We are here to support and inspire each other to achieve great feats. Be proud of your accomplishments and never undervalue yourself or put limits on your dreams!

Melanie Po-Leen Ooi I received my Ph.D. degree from Monash University in 2011 in electronics and computing. I am currently an Associate Professor in Heriot-Watt University’s School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, UK, at the Putrajaya, Malaysia campus. I do research in measurement uncertainty with some applications of measurement in the engineering industry and medical fields. I live and work in Malaysia, am a member of the IEEE IMS Technical Committee-32 and am a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Engineering and Technology, U.K. I have two beautiful young daughters ages five and two, I am addicted to Candy Crush, and own an exceptionally large collection of LEGO.

Information and Advice for Young Women Honestly, I do not know why more women do not go to study engineering. It is far better than marketing, in my opinion… and we get to play with cool toys. Engineering is not just about heavy calculations, mathematics, and physics. It is about making things work. It is a field where we can maintain our childlike curiosity for all things around us. A good engineer has good instincts that were honed to perfection after hours of experimentation and poring through theories and data to understand their observations. Such practical and theoretical knowledge culminated in a large number of projects that failed and, best of all, successful and ingenious products that they had developed. I always ask my undergraduate and postgraduate students as they relentlessly pursue their degrees: Are you still having fun? To me, this is important for any young person pursuing a degree in engineering – we need to enjoy asking questions, experimenting with ideas and sustaining a deep passion for our interests. The theories are just text until we can use them to engineer a new idea or product. My advice is to always be brave, do not just focus on just getting the right answers, but test the limits of what works (and more importantly, what does not)!

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Choosing the right company to work in is the most important step in one’s career. At some point in a woman’s career, an important question may arise, which is “Should I be working?” When young people embark on their careers, they are equal in every aspect regardless of gender. The differences start when child-rearing responsibilities come into play. In Asia where I am from, this is still very much a woman’s domain, and the question on whether or not a mother should continue working largely depends on the well-being of her children and the career that she is building. I would advise young women to avoid engineering companies that do not have an organizational structure that accommodates employees with care-giving responsibilities. Such companies are easy to identify since they typically do not have a healthy proportion of women in senior management positions. When we are in an organization with a strong emphasis on work-life balance that considers opportunities and challenges fairly, the only distinguishing factors are our skills and abilities. This will allow anyone with care-giving roles to continue being recognized as a valuable contributor in the company even as their roles in their personal lives evolve.

No Discussions yet on Work Topics My daughters are just five and two, which makes it quite hard to have any meaningful conversation on engineering! However, I do spend an inordinate amount of time building with LEGO, so my daughters have cultivated the interest of designing, building, and playing with me. It is a good toy for children, and I am very glad that this company started a more feminine line-up for girls. As my two daughters grow up, I plan to have them move on to building robots, programming apps, and maybe even developing sensor systems… hopefully by the time they are ten years of age. Engineering is about having fun, making, and playing with systems, (what I playfully refer to as toys). Young children have insatiable curiosity to find out how things work, and many of them show great interest in making them work better. My five-year-old enjoys improving things, and I am sure that she will grow up to be a very good engineer (even if she eventually chooses to study marketing someday).

Helen Chen I am currently an R&D manager in the Oscilloscope Product Division of Keysight Technologies. I lead multi-disciplinary teams of engineers to invent, develop, and deliver new equivalent time oscilloscopes to customers in aerospace, defense, and communication markets. I earned an M.S.E.E. degree in digital communication from June 2016

Stanford University and a B.S.E.E. degree in microwave circuit design from Cornell University. I started my engineering career designing analog and RF circuits and expanded my engineering skills to include digital signal processing as applied to digitally modulated communication signals. This combination of skills enabled me to contribute to the development of test instruments for the early deployment of digitally modulated wireless communication devices (GSM/CDMA) and digital video. After ten years as an individual contributor engineer in both R&D and manufacturing, I stepped into R&D management roles utilizing strengths in collaboration, communication, and tactical/strategic planning. I have delivered many source, analyzer, and scope new product introductions to market, harnessing technology invention to solve new measurement needs. I have a strong commitment to supporting the growth of STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education of the public schools. I serve on school strategic planning teams and lead projects to build project-based learning skills of local public school teachers. I balance my working activities with activities to build physical wellness in both myself and my community. I mentor Girls on the Run as a Running Buddy, coaching 3rd to 8th grade girls to achieve a goal of running a 5K. I challenge myself to strive for excellence in marathon racing and hope someday to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I live in Santa Rosa, California where the climate is conducive to running, organic gardening, and raising a family.

What is the Favorite Part of my Job? Over many years in an engineering profession, I have greatly enjoyed working with communities of people with brilliant minds and diverse personalities. At its core, the engineering community recognizes the merit of great contributions that solve problems and give measurement insight from any teammate, man or woman. Those many times when I and my teams know that we have brought something new and useful into existence are what keeps me energized in a long technical career.

Information and Advice for Young Women Free yourself of the need to attribute external reasons to why you might feel your skills are underutilized, under-appreciated, or unrecognized and focus on ascertaining how you can best make contributions that can be seen to shine and move the community forward. It’s more effective to figure out where your strongest skills honestly are and then find a team that really needs them. The core values of a good engineering community are to recognize and appreciate the merit of great contributions from team members, male or female. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of continually being cast as a mentee and never the mentor.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 11

womenI&M continued in

Sara Sulis

Why I became an I&M professional

I have been an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Electronic Measurements at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (DIEE) of the University of Cagliari since March 2006, when I also defended my Ph.D. thesis concerning methodologies for the identification of harmonic pollution sources.

During my early studies, I had never imagined this kind of job. However, I have always preferred scientific subjects, and as a consequence, the Faculty of Engineering seemed to me the most suited to my skills. Initially, I chose electronic engineering, and then a colleague recommended that I explore electrical engineering. He said, “Electrical Engineering is certainly right for you.� I do not know what would have happened, if I had continued my studies in electronic engineering; in any case, I am very glad to have followed that advice. My decision to work in the field of power measurements was motivated by the experience of studying under the guidance of Prof. Muscas, the Professor of Electrical and Electronic Measurements who was always willing to help and guide students. He became my thesis advisor and was the professor who mainly collaborated with me during my doctorate. We still work together.

One of the Favorite Parts of my Job I also completed my Ph.D. degree in industrial engineering in the city of Cagliari, so all my life, I have been living in Italy and, in particular, in Sardinia, a sunny island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Fortunately, I particularly like going to the beach! However, sometimes, the insularity is quite a problem, and for this reason, I really enjoy the travelling and networking experiences involved in my job. I do research activity in academia, and my main research topics concern distributed measurement systems designed to perform both state estimation and harmonic sources estimation for power distribution networks. I am a member of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society and of the IEEE-IMS TC39- Measurements in Power Systems Committee.


Information and Advice for Young Women Up to now, I have been teaching graduate students, and the paper presented in this issue concerns this teaching activity in the field of automatic measurement systems. During the next semester, I will teach undergraduate students who are building on their study of engineering. This change is sure to be very challenging. In particular, I hope to convey to the young women attending my classes the confidence that they can do a successful job in this field.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

legalmetrology Women in Burkina Faso: Producing Handcrafted Shea Butter with Metrological Traces Gianfranco Molinar Min Beciet and Veronica Scotti


requently the idea related to I&M activities describes the scenario of technical and scientific experts who have specfic skills and use them to do research useful for the progress of scientific knowledge. In this article, we intend to consider metrology from another viewpoint. According to the topic of this issue of the Magazine, we wish to share the experience of some very special women in Instrumentation and Measurement (WIM). With the help of an Italian nonprofit organization (SOLE Onlus), a group of 150 women from the small West-African country of Burkina Faso established an association called ASVT Dollebou (which means for tomorrow in the local Bissà language) to produce Shea butter and its by-products. Shea butter (also known as beurre de Karité) is a pale solid triglyceride vegetable fat obtained from the seeds of the Shea tree (Vitellaria Paradoxa) and is used in food, cosmetics, soaps, candles, etc., mainly produced by women in the Sahel in Africa. Where is the connection with Women in Instrumentation and Measurement? Shea butter is a very interesting natural product with excellent properties and it is useful not only in cosmetics but also to produce medicinal ointments. In Burkina Faso, as well as in other African countries, it is still handcrafted probably following the same procedure used in ancient times. Although local handcrafted production may potentially attain the highest quality, due to the use of seed harvested at the optimal time, and the use of only natural elements in the production process however, the final quality of products obtained by chemical and physical transformation of first matter (natural components) strongly depends on a well-balanced mix of elements. Of course, this implies good measurements, otherwise the final quality shows high variations that are generally not compatible with European standards and prevent use of this genuine Shea butter outside the local production area. So, how can we preserve the advantages of handcrafted local production and, at the same time, ensure a stable, high-quality product? By learning how to measure the right

June 2016

quantity of input elements and monitor the most critical steps of the production process! This is exactly what those women learned and this is why they can be now considered, without any doubt, Women in Instrumentation and Measurement. Let’s see how!

The Production Process Shea butter is obtained as the result of a number of manual activities that are briefly summarized. Shea nuts are first selected and cleaned. This step is quite simple, and consists in selecting the better of the dried kernels inside the nuts and cleaning them very carefully. The selected kernels are then smashed into little pieces (not powder) so that the toasting process can start. The smashed kernels are inserted into a big cylinder that is then heated on coals. Flames have to be avoided to prevent kernel carbonization. To decide when the heating process has to come to an end, Dollebou women use a trick that is also used in brewing or coffee production: the toasting process is considered over when touching the small Shea pieces causes hand skin to sting. So, the rule is simple: touch the Shea kernels frequently and stop the toasting process when their hands start stinging! A first purification stage comes after toasting. It takes time and requires patience because the product has to be strongly shaken by hand for many hours to remove impurities and obtain a product that floats in water, is uniform, and soft. The final purification stage can then start by boiling (well below 80 °C) the Shea butter to remove other smaller impurities. A big pot is normally used and the process causes impurities to reach the surface, so that they can be easily removed using a large clean spoon obtained from a pumpkin. To decide when the product is sufficiently purified, Dollebou women use, once again, a simple and ingenious trick. A visible mark is carved on the bottom part of the big pot (at about 1 m height). When the liquefied Shea butter becomes so clear and clean that the mark is clearly seen from above, the process stops. Then the cooling stage starts and the butter is slowly poured, while it is still liquid, into clean containers for storing the freshly produced Shea butter which is ready for use and to be sold. All of the above activities are quite simple and are controlled only by eye measurements and human experience.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 13 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

legalmetrology continued

Fig. 1. A Yoruba container that can hold approximately 2.5 kg of Shea nuts.

Nevertheless, they are really important to obtain a high quality Shea butter. In particular, the production process of Shea butter requires a wise mix of measuring activities and skills learned from experience and common knowledge. About 850,000 tons of nuts per year give an annual estimate of 275,000 tons of Shea butter. It is astonishing to realize that, despite the sizeable production and trading of Shea nuts in Burkina Faso, the local standard unit for volume measurement is still represented by the Yoruba dish, which is a steel or aluminium container that has the capacity of about 2.5 kg of dry nuts (Fig. 1). Despite the commendable diligence those ladies put in the production process, the final quality of the obtained Shea butter is strongly affected by the lack of accuracy in weighing the beginning amount of nuts, which is definitely below the standard required to enter a global market. How can we help those ladies to overcome this problem?

A Pinch of Metrology was the Lacking Ingredient A Yoruba dish could be used for buying Shea nuts only as this is the tradition in Burkina Faso, but for selling products it is necessary to train the women to make accurate weight measurements. The Dollebou women were equipped with simple mechanical balances with standard uncertainties: 5x10-3 at 0.2 kg; 1.5x10-3 at 1 kg; 2x10-3 at 50 kg; and 4x10-3 at 250 kg. They were also trained to avoid introducing air bubbles while filling containers in the final step, to prevent the risk of an incorrect estimate of product quantity in the case of volume measurements instead of weight measurements. But this was only the beginning of a much more complex and intriguing evolution. Mastering the production process, though extremely important (and those ladies have a natural and amazing talent in doing this), represents only the basis of the whole process that, of course, will conclude in sales. Here comes the other difficult challenge these ladies have to face: 14

Fig. 2. Factory building of ASVT Dollebou at Garango, Burkina Faso.

bureaucracy! In this field, metrology also plays an important role to build the necessary knowledge and skills to pass the product tests needed to assess conformity to the international standards related to cosmetic production. The goal, therefore, was not only to provide some technical skills, helpful to correctly use more modern instruments and tools, but also to make those ladies aware about the necessity of relevant administrative accomplishments. So, we provided help in studying the European regulations in the cosmetic industry to enable Shea butter to enter the EU market and in trying to obtain the ECOCERT certification for the Shea butter. Explaining regulations also required us to study the ingredients and their properties and to prepare different labels for each product. It required skills on how to identify a single lot of Shea butter through proper measurements, on how to properly stock material, prepare the labels, and indicate the expiration date for each lot. This was not an easy task, since it required significant training in estimating the quantity of product that is obtained from the available first step, and also in estimating the quantity of product that can be sold before it expires. Becoming familiar with measuring instruments proved to be of great help also in understanding these concepts, since it gave immediate quantitative feedback to the estimates. While regulations were being explained, we made contacts with ECOCERT in Burkina Faso and asked them to open a dossier to allow ASVT Dollebou products to be evaluated for accreditation under the commercial name KARINA. The starting point was the pure Shea butter. However, we also decided to begin the accreditation procedure for organic ingredients, which is the most difficult. The Shea butter had to be accredited to contain organic ingredients (ORG), natural origin (NO), Plant Ingredients (Veg) and Agro Ingredient (PPAI) [1]. Working toward this accreditation represented a hard challenge,

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

support the women received in choosing machinery of high technological importance. As an example of the attained results, Table 1 shows the results of some tests on the pure Shea butter KARINA. It can be readily seen that all test results are extremely satisfactory and in full agreement with the most important international standards, thus proving the top-level quality of KARINA Shea butter and of the excellent work that those 150 ladies were able to realise with attention, care and continuous dedication. Further evidence of the international recognition of the attained results is given by the origin of the certificates listed in Table 1, some of which were issued in Italy. This was absolutely necessary to allow importation of KARINA Shea butter for Terra Madre Conferences in Torino, Italy. Thanks to the support given by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, it has been possible to label the KARINA products according to the INCI instructions [1] since 2010.


Fig. 3. Logo for KARINA for the Shea butter of ASVT Dollebou in Burkina Faso and products.

though necessary, since this kind of recognition of product quality could be extremely relevant for increasing the trade chances for the ladies’ product. A great help toward the success of this initiative was from the good relations established by ASVT Dollebou with Burkina Faso IRSAT-CNRST, the Department of Agriculture Technology. This help was decisive not only for issuing certificates that indicated their product conformed to well-accepted standards by the international community, but also for the technical June 2016

The story told in this paper shows that instrumentation and measurement, as well as Women in I&M, are not confined in labs or high-technology production centers. They can be found everywhere and they are extremely important in every activity, including that of 150 African women—actually WIM—who succeeded in producing high quality Shea butter and cosmetic products using that butter and placing them on the European market while preserving a many centuries-long tradition of handcrafted production. A key, enabling factor for ASVT Dollebou was the support received by the SOLE Onlus, which greatly contributed to the following achievements. Improvements of buildings, including the introduction of electric energy, and machinery (Fig. 2). Educational courses were organized by SOLE Onlus to improve the literacy of a large number of analphabetic women. It is worth reporting that in this year 16 ASVT ladies will afford the passage from elementary school to college. It is important to preserve this initiative in future years to establish a solid and competent leadership able to manage the increasing demand and access a more extensive international market. Metrological education in the basic elements and concepts of metrology that are useful for their production was a large part of their training. Product certification of the Shea butter produced by these ladies is now certified accordingly to some international (ISO) standards. Trademarks were registered for the KARINA logo (Fig. 3a) by the ladies in the whole Sahel Region to protect their products in Western Africa, enabling them to realize the importance economically and legally of having a logo on all of their production products (Fig. 3b). The association entered the Table du Karité, a public institution that covers all issues related to production and trade of Shea butter and its by-products to improve its trading and political relationships.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 15

legalmetrology continued Table 1 – Sample of tests performed on pure Shea butter KARINA produced by ASVT Dollebou in Burkina Faso. Date


Certificate number

430/07/201 to ASVT Dollebou

Main results of planned tests

Issued by


Nat. Lab for Public Health Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

pH 6.8 (dilution 10 %) Stable product at 50 °C for 24 hr. Stable product after centrifugation for 24 hr. Hydroquinone is absent.

NT.18.10 80/1335/EEC 80/1335/EEC 80/1335/EEC

IRSAT-CNRST Research Inst. Applied Sciences and Technology, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Humidity (0.017 ± 0.003) % Acidity (5.64 ± 0.063) mg of KOH/g Oleic acid (2.82 ± 0.032) % Undissolvable impurities (1.45 ± 0.05) %



29/2009 to ASVT Dollebou


IRSAT-CNRST 6/2009 to ASVT Dollebou Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Total flora < 10 CFU (*)/g Total yeast < 10 CFU/g Total mold < 10 CFU/g

NF-EN ISO 4883: 2003, 30 °C NF-EN ISO 7954: 1988, 25 °C


2012/4779 to Slow Food Biodiversity Foundation, Bra, Italy

Chem. Lab Chamber of Commerce Torino, Italy

Total yeast < 10 CFU/g Total mold < 10 CFU/g

ISO 16212:2008

Nat. Lab for Public Health Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Acidity 4.7 mg/g of KOH (limit is 8.0 mg/g) Volatile matter at 105 °C0.05 % (limit is ≤ 2 %) Undissolved impurities 0.75 % (limits is ≤ 2 %)

ISO 660 ISO 662 ISO 663


1123/2014 to ASVT Dollebou

Note: (*) CFU = (Colony Forming Unit). In microbiology, CFU/g is an admitted unit. The substance is set on a flat surface at 30 °C and then the number of bacteria per grams developing during 2 days is counted.

Thanks to the competence and experience gained during the last decade, these ladies are slowly progressing in the process of starting a small enterprise, capable of collecting orders and selling high-quality products all over the world (Fig. 3c). We believe that this experience represents evidence of the possible coexistence of modern techniques and traditional handcrafts within the same production process in which high-quality products can be produced despite the lack of industrialization. There is still a long way to go to acquire all of the competencies needed to build the necessary relationships with the institutions, increase the technical skills (especially on product testing), and pursue higher education, so that a larger market can be accessed. The good news is that the path is set.

This short article is not only a tribute to a group of African ladies who succeeded in producing high-quality products and placing them on a global market while preserving their tradition. It is also a tribute to a profession (Instrumentation and Measurement) that has always proven throughout the centuries its importance in advancing and improving human life. And, last but not least, it is a tribute to a very special group of WIM! Contact them if you wish, please in the French language by this email:

Reference [1] “Cosmetics,” European Commission, [Online]. Available: http:// en.htm.

continued on page 21 16

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Instrumentation and Measurement for Power Systems in European Projects Ferdinanda Ponci


his paper presents an overview of instrumentation and measurement (I&M) topics in power systems as they appear in recently completed and current projects funded by the European Commission. An overview helps to identify the evolutions to be expected in this technical area, which are considered critical to European competitiveness in the global landscape. In particular, this is achieved by exploiting I&M for securing the present and future sustainable energy supply, which will unlock markets (especially markets of services) to new and existing businesses. The projects referenced here are funded, for the most part under two large programs. One is the Seventh Programme for Research and Development (2007-2013) called FP-7 [1], where the latest projects are in their last year right now. The other one is the new H2020 (2014â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2020) [2] program, the largest European research program ever with its 80 billion euro. Some projects in particular are funded through initiatives for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) within these larger programs. Also, one particularly large project referenced here is funded by the EU Future Internet Public-Private Partnership (FI-PPP). The complete database of EU projects can be found at [3]. The structure of the programs and funding is fairly articulated. The power system measurement and monitoring activities are predominantly funded within ICT and Energy calls. The projects cover all technology readiness levels, with emphasis though on field demonstrations of significantly large scale. This overview also covers some of the projects of, the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET) [4]. These projects are part of the past European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) (2009-2013) and the current European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) co-sponsored by the EU Commission within H2020.

Critical Topics This section presents some critical topics and selections of projects that tackle them. The individual project descriptions and detailed information can be found in [1]. The goals and June 2016

findings of the projects FLEXMETER, IDE4L, and FINESCE are presented later with more detail.

Automation Architecture and ICT Infrastructure INTEGRIS (FP-7, 2010-2012), OPEN METER (FP-7, 2009-2011), FLEXMETER (H2020, 2015-2018), IDE4L (FP-7, 2013-2016), CDAX (FP-7, 2012-2015), and FINESCE (FI-PPP), among others, address communications and Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure. INTEGRIS has integrated Power Line Communication and wireless into an ICT infrastructure to fulfill the present and foreseeable communications requirements of the Smart Electricity Networks. On top of this, the project has developed electrical network monitoring and management solutions for Medium Voltage (MV) and Low Voltage (LV) networks. OPEN METER has tackled the process of creating open and public standards for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), supporting multi commodities (electricity, gas, water, and heat), and producing recommendations to CEN-CENELEC-ETSI. C-DAX has proposed a cyber-secure Data and Control Cloud for future power distribution networks as an integrated communication and information infrastructure. This is expected to guarantee the secure, synchronized, and timely delivery of measurement and control data to ensure a stable and reliable supply. Most recently, NOBEL GRID (H2020, 2015-2018) is tackling a Smart Low-cost Advanced Meter (SLAM) to be designed in support of the new services for Distribution System Operators (DSO) and for other third party users. The new proposed Information Communication Technology infrastructures are often service oriented, with monitoring as a service that advances their feasibility. In addition to FINESCE and C-DAX, other projects deal with this topic. For example, MONITUR (FP-7 SME, 2013-2014) has developed an open platform for offering condition monitoring of wind turbines as a service, unlocking the market to small and medium European enterprises. And on a similar track, on a smaller scale, CLOUD DIAGNOSIS (H2020 SME, 2015-2015) exploits AI techniques, cloud computing, and data mining for condition monitoring of wind turbines, eventually avoiding

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 17 1094-6969/16/$25.00Š2016IEEE

site visits. Other projects are targeting condition monitoring for wind turbines, like INTELWIND (FP-7 SME, 2011-2013), which implements a modular sensor approach to integrate and easily extend by retrofitting the current condition monitoring systems. The challenge of merging measurements and data from disperse resources requires tackling the data models, e.g., on a short term range, harmonizing canonical data models like IEC61850, Common Information Model (CIM), synchrophasors, and smart meter data from different energy carriers.

Operation Dynamic measurements for operation and for quality of service assessment [5], inclusion of uncertainties and correlations in state estimation and forecasting, and wide area monitoring are main trends in recent system development. EURAMET SMART GRID II (2014-2017) addresses measurement tools for smart grid stability. Focus is on PQ propagation and analysis, starting from the installation and characterization of synchronized PQ analyzers for wide-area network operation. This is expected to support mitigation measures and influence network planning to reduce required reinforcement. Phasor management units (PMUs) used in distribution and in dynamic conditions call for calibration, particularly on site, and characterization of the instrument including the detailed effect of transducers, with particular attention to PQ effects. This is, to some extent, the continuation of the EURANET SMART GRID that was completed in 2009 to modernize the Smart Electrical Grids. This developed tools for supporting the planning of measurement strategies by the operators, produced a suite of devices for traceability of PMU measurements and established a reference, based on on-site measurements, for the operators to assess a priori the power quality effects from large penetration of renewables. Project iTELSA (FP-7, 2012-2015) is focused on supporting the operators in taking preventive and curative actions to keep the system in a secure state. This is based on risk-based assessment and dynamic assessment assisted by time-domain simulations. This requires developing methods for modeling and processing of uncertainties that are suitable for on-line use. On a similar track, UMBRELLA (FP-7, 2012-2015) addresses primarily simulation of uncertainties of markets, renewables, and loads, and optimisation of corrective actions in reaction to simulated risks. The closer and closer time scales of technical and business operations and their interactions push for merging the uncertainty budget of very different domains. Distribution grids are particularly in the spotlight because of their rapid evolution. In these, the large projects UPGRID (H2020, 2015-2018) and IDE4L are good representations of the research trends. UPGRID, in the monitoring area, is tackling the lack of visibility of the LV portions of the distribution grid as an enabler to fully control them. Similarly, the smaller SmartGridEnable (H2020 SME 2015) targets, in particular, measures that support demand-response and low cost PMUs suitable for massive deployment. SUNSEED (FP-7, 18

2014-2017) aims at multi-technology coverage of communication specifically for collection of wide area and smart meter measurements. Concerned with the operation of individual components of the grid, EURAMET Metrology for Improved Power Plant Efficiency (2010-2013) targets traditional generation plants. In the electrical domain, this project has developed a complete system that achieves 0.15% uncertainty of generated power measurement in on-site conditions. This, together with the improvement of temperature and flow measurements, is expected to enable a potential efficiency improvement of 1.5% within the plants. The underlying requirement for many monitoring functions is the knowledge of the grid model at least to some extent. EURAMET GridSens (2014-2017) is developing techniques to enhance the capabilities of sensor networks, to be able to reliably assign uncertainties to real network parameters.

Sample Project FLEXMETER FLEXMETER targets multi-energy carrier, service oriented meters [6], [7]. It is an H2020 project aiming at the development, deployment, and demonstration of a flexible smart metering architecture fit for multiple services to customers and power system operators. The underlying infrastructure is based on off-the-shelf meters for electric, water, gas, and heat, which are installed at the usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; premises. Meter readings are collected by concentrators, which have key roles in the FLEXMETER architecture, and they are responsible for aggregating data of different customers and managing multiple energy vectors. Aggregated data are then transmitted to a cloud system, where they are made available for different functions and services. The concentrators are the intelligent nodes where the smartness of the metering infrastructure resides and allow, for example, the system to implement demand side management functionalities or to connect new plug-and-play devices. Custom designed interfaces enable interoperability across heterogeneous commercial devices with different communication protocols and allow for managing the measurements related to different energy vectors. As a consequence, the concentrator infrastructure (and related costs) can be shared among utilities. Based on this architecture, FLEXMETER researchers will develop innovative services for customers and distributed service operators (DSOs). Customers will benefit from the cloud-based architecture by having easy access to the information about their consumption, like historical records and real-time visualization of consumption data, through userfriendly web-based interfaces. Additional information, like personalized tips and suggestions or energy consumption of the individual appliances, will be also provided to enhance usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; awareness and to stimulate a more efficient use of energy. The measurements collected in the cloud and anonymized enable advanced management and control of the power system. In this direction, real-time monitoring, fault and outage detection, optimal integration of distributed generation and storage are some of the services to the DSOs that will be tested.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

The FLEXMETER solutions that will be deployed and demonstrated in two pilot applications in Italy and Sweden will involve both DSOs and volunteer prosumers. Laboratory simulations, together with the real field demonstrations, will validate the FLEXMETER architecture and functions.

Sample Project IDE4L IDE4L is an FP-7 demonstration project of the medium term new automation architecture and functions for planning and operation of distribution. The goal is to prove heuristically that active electrical distribution networks can be automated to host more generation, enable the operation of commercial aggregation, and achieve better reliability and continuity of service [8], [9]. New solutions for monitoring, control, and network planning, supported by this architecture are now being deployed in the field, hosted by the partner DSOs. The new IDE4L automation architecture supports these solutions. Architecture and technical solutions are expected to be ready for extensive deployment in about ten years [10]. This automation architecture, hierarchical and decentralized, includes control center information systems, substation automation, and customer interface for smart meters. It enables the real-time monitoring and control of the whole medium and LV networks and control of distributed energy resources through aggregators. Some of the main developments related to measurement and monitoring involves smart meter data to augment the knowledge of the conditions of the LV network. These data are used, for example, in local state estimation and state load and generation forecasting. The state estimation and forecasting are carried out at each individual substation, making the size of the problem manageable. The monitoring of the quality of service via measurement of power interruptions, sags, and swells at every voltage level, goes beyond the requirement of the current regulation. The architecture has a provision for more dynamic monitoring, particularly at the interface with the Transmission System Operator, so it can be informed continuously about the dynamic conditions of the distribution grid, via synchrophasor measurements. The automation system is based on standards to enhance and simplify the integration of subsystems, which is an essential requirement put forward by DSOs. The IEC 61850 data models are exploited for real time data exchanges, as measurement and control set points. Also, DLMS/COSEM is implemented for smart meters whereas IEC 61850 MMS messages for substation intelligent electronic devices. Quasi-static information, such as the network topology and asset information, is formalized through the CIM standard. The preliminary testing of the automation architecture, particularly to verify the integration of separate SW components, algorithms, interfaces, communication and databases was carried out in the labs, for the most part leveraging real time simulation of the power system and hardware in the loop [11]. This type of challenge demonstrates how tightly intertwined the design and testing of these systems are. In particular, in June 2016

the fast developing world of automation of active distribution networks, engineers are expected to design today’s measurement infrastructures to support future control and protection systems whose target performances are still unknown and operating in networks whose dynamic characteristics are still unknown, too. Finally, the issue of ownership on instruments, particularly smart meters, and the ownership of the measurements themselves may limit ideal operation (maximum use of available energy, minimum grid losses, etc.) This is, for example, the case when DSO and Aggregators operate together. To guarantee market fairness in the energy and ancillary services markets (as envisioned) as well as privacy, the status of the network and the status of expected congestions cannot be shared, possibly leading to non-optimal technical operation.

Sample Project FINESCE On the way to the Future Internet (FI) for energy is a major current trend in ICT. FI is convergence of the once separate branches of mobile communications, data processing, and internet into a set of common, cloud-based technologies, robust enough for industrial applications. The EU has been sponsoring the European FI industry through the FI-PPP [12] to develop FIWARE [13] as a common, open FI infrastructure for building FI applications. FIWARE provides a set of generic open components, called Generic Enablers (GEs) and a supporting set of application development resources. Future Internet Technology for Smart Energy (FINESCE) is a project to test FIWARE in the Smart Energy domain [14], [15]. In particular, GEs for the Internet of Things, Data Management, Security and Cloud Infrastructure have been integrated in separate field trials across Europe: ◗◗ demand-response and demand-side management in mixed-use buildings in a city district of Malmö, Sweden; ◗◗ efficient grid utilisation through demand-side management of prosumers in Horsens, Denmark and Madrid, Spain; ◗◗ industrial demand-response within a cross-border Virtual Power Plant in Aachen, Germany; ◗◗ energy marketplace for demand-response in presence of varying energy production from Distributed Energy Resources (DER) in Terni, Italy; and ◗◗ control of electrical vehicle charging to balance DER supply and improved utility communications in Ireland. Measurements and data from the live field trials have been made freely accessible through an open FINESCE API for experimentation of interested parties. This way, applications will be able to use the measurements and more in general the Platform’s services. This will facilitate the development of new applications, for example measurement services, and their implementation, as part of the software services that are provided by the platform. The plan to incrementally develop the Platform, whose high level structure is shown in Fig. 1, through a series of projects supported by a foundation model is currently being carried out in the framework of the Flexible Electrical Networks (FEN) initiative [16], collecting and realizing interests

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 19

above. This is partly caused by the mandatory field demonstration and by the proximity of the new technologies to actual innovation and commercialization. For transducers, EURAMET Future Grid (2014-2017) aims at traceability for the growing group of non-conventional voltage and current sensors and methods and tools to realize their calibration.

Long Term Pushes Fig. 1. Structure of smart energy service platform.

of different industry partners of the FEN Low Voltage consortium. In particular, the first project starting at the beginning of 2016 will yield the mapping of the automation architecture designed by the IDE4L project onto the Platform. The monitoring functionalities are the first target and will be demonstrated in the lab. With particular reference to power grid monitoring as a service: ◗◗ the platform could be managed by third parties and then the need of new skills would be removed; ◗◗ the monitoring as a service concept allows the introduction of the grid monitoring as an incremental process so to smooth the process within the company; and ◗◗ when buying the monitoring as a service, the DSO does not need to make any hardware investment to upgrade its computation facility (in many cases many operators have no computing infrastructure at all.) Middleware platforms was the theme of the FINESCE final conference in September 2015 in Berlin under the heading “Utility 4.0,” where about 100 representatives from the energy and ICT industries had lively discussions on how FI components enable tomorrow’s Smart Energy. A proposal on the technical and collaborative framework to realize the cloud platform for future energy systems and enable the alliance of different and potentially competing stakeholders has been presented in [17], together with a sample implementation of monitoring as a service for distribution networks.

Other Measurement Related Challenges Measurement responsibilities in the power system change with the changing roles of the network operators, investigated in EVOLVDSO (FP7, 2013-2016) and other parties, and regulation. Regulation implies the ability to measure performance of network operators and other parties in form of indicators, e.g., as in [5]. It should be common practice to apply the principle of metrology to such indexes as well. Measurements for network and operational planning, i.e., making investment and operational decisions, are extracted from the status of network and the behaviour of customers and are also utilized for developing models for network analysis. Comprehensive visions of this are proposed, e.g., in [8]. Standards are critical, and they are addressed in the form of identification of gaps or formulation of suggestions for standardization in the vast majority of research projects mentioned 20

Some long term drivers of the evolution of measurements and monitoring of power systems are reported here, rooted in the most recent EU funded research projects. Ultra-advanced energy distribution concepts, like energy routing, as e.g., in HEART (FP-7 2014-2019), Energy Internet [18], the grid as a web-of-cells of ELECTRA IPR (FP7, 2013-2017), and the hybrid AC-DC distribution down to the MV level and building level, are being investigated for feasibility. Such concepts address non-traditional measurement needs. The evolution of the smart city, with the coupling of different energy carriers and storage, their joint management, the availability of an enormous amount of data, which can be exploited, e.g., for state estimation and load forecasting, requires that they first be harmonized and merged. The active participation of all citizens and stakeholders implies the joint use of measurements, which can make the behavior of the individuals traceable, despite the consequent privacy issues. It will offer a greatly complex system whose measure of performance, e.g., CITYKEYS (H2020), may be now within reach. In this scenario, the end energy users and producers have to understand what measuring means. Project SMART-UP (H2020, 2015-2018) is an example of developing tools to educate the end consumers, especially the vulnerable ones, on how to understand and use, actively and effectively, smart meters for saving. On a professional level, IEEE Technical Committees are active in collaboration, dissemination and standardization in the area of instrumentation and measurement for power systems. In particular, TC-39 [19] of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society has organized the workshop on Applied Measurements in Power Systems (AMPS) yearly since 2010. The technical contributions in this venue reflect very well the most challenging and hot topics, such as “To measure is to know,” and to realize this in the power system domain is one of the most exciting and challenging tasks that research and innovation are facing in Europe and beyond. You may contact Dr. Ponci at FPonci@eonerc.rwth-aachen. de. Her bio is available at ferdinanda-ponci.

References [1] “Research and Innovation,” European Commission, EU FP-7 Programme. [Online]. Available: fp7/index_en.cfm. [2] “Horizon 2020, The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, European Commission, EU H2020 Programme, [Online]. Available: horizon2020/.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

[3] “CORDIS, Community Organization Research and Development

[11] A. Sadu, A. Angioni, F. Ponci, and A. Monti, “Application of a

Information Service,” European Commission Project Database,

testing platform to characterize dynamic monitoring systems

[Online]. Available:

for distribution grids,” in Proc. 2015 IEEE Int. Instrum. Meas.

[4] “The gateway to Europe’s integrated metrology community,” EURAMET, [Online]. Available: [5] “Study on tariff design for distribution systems- Final Report,” prepared by AF-Mercados, REF-E and Indra for: European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy, Jan. 2015. [6] “Flexible Smart Metering for multiple energy vectors with active

Technology Conf. (I2MTC), pp. 1965-1969, May 2015. [12] FI-PPP. [Online]. Available: [13] FIWARE. [Online]. Available: [14] “What a Wonderful World: Talking Energy!” FINESCE, [Online]. Available: [15] “FINESCE: Future Internet Technology for Smart Energy,”

proconsumers,” FLEXMETER, [Online]. Available: http://

RWTH Aachen University, [Online]. Available: http://www.

[7] “FLEXMETER - Flexible smart metering with active prosumers, Horizon 2020 initiative for innovative services, RWTH Aachen University, [Online]. Available: Flexmeter-teaser/lidx/1/.

Projekte/~faxs/FINESCE-Future-Internet-Technology-for/ lidx/1/. [16] “Center for FEN,” RWTH Aachen University, [Online]. Available: [17] A. Monti, F. Ponci, M. Ferdowsi, P. McKeever, and A. Löwen,

[8] “IDE4L, Ideal Grid for All,” Tampere University of Technology, Finland, [Online]. Available: [9] “IDE4L, Ideal Grid for All,” Research Projects at RWTH Aachen University, [Online]. Available: http://www.acs.eonerc.rwth-aachen. de/cms/E-ON-ERC-ACS/Forschung/~dllf/Projekte/lidx/1/. [10] S. Repo, F. Ponci, and D. Della Giustina, “Holistic view of active

“Towards a new approach for electrical grid management: the role of the cloud,” in Proc. 2015 IEEE Int. Workshop on Meas. and Networking (M&N), pp. 1-6, Oct. 2015. [18] Internet Energy at GIP. [Online]. Available: http://www.gip. com/112-1-Energy-Internet.html [19] “Measurements in Power Systems,” IEEE Instrumentation

distribution network and evolution of distribution automation,”

and Measurement Society, IMS TC-39, [Online]. Available:

in Proc. 2014 IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conf.

Europe (ISGT-Europe), pp. 1-6, Oct. 2014.


continued from page 16

For Further Reading: Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC and related documents. Inventory of Cosmetic Ingredients as amended by Decision 2006/257/EC, establishing a common nomenclature of ingredients employed for labelling cosmetic products throughout the EU (INCI stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients). Registration required to access documents. French Version – Règlement (CE) N° 889/2008 de la Commission du 5 Septembre 2008 portant modalités d’application du règlement n° 834/2007 du Conseil relative à la production biologique et à l’étiquetage des produits biologiques en ce qui concerne la prodution biologique, l’étiquetage et les contrôles, Regulation (EC) Ner 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products :L:2009:342:0059:0209:en:PDFUE Cosmetic Ingredients Database CosIng: http:// cfm?fuseaction=search.simple The main reference documents related to Eco Certifications of cosmetic materials, through ECOCERT can be found at: ECOCERT

June 2016

COSMOS for organic and natural cosmetics Gianfranco Molinar Min Beciet ( was a career scientist (now retired) of CNR - Instituto di Metrologia “G. Colonnetti” (now INRiM) in Torino, Italy. He was the Director of CNR-IMGC in Italy from 1998 to 2002, a member of SOLE Onlus a nonprofit organization in Collegno (Torino, Italy) operative in Burkina Faso since 2007. Veronica Scotti ( is a registered lawyer in Milan, Italy. She received her degree in law from the Catholic University of Piacenza, Piacenza, Italy, in 2000, and she has been a registered lawyer in Milan since 2003. She is a contract professor of Legal Implications of the Engineering Profession at Politecnico di Milano. Her practice focuses on commercial contracts, construction and engineering, environment, and quality assurance. Due to her long collaboration with engineering faculty, she has built a solid background on legal-technical issues that is extremely useful in handling disputes involving complex technical problems. Her research interests relate to the analysis of the relationship between measurement activities and metrology and the regulation field, with particular concern to the legal implications of an incorrect specification of measurement uncertainty.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 21

futureI&M trends in

Simona Salicone

Future Trends in I&M Should Fill in the Gap between the Academic and Industrial Worlds


ear readers, this time is indeed up to me to write this column on Future Trends in I&M… When you will read my words, it will be almost summer time: days will be long, warm and sunny and probably your minds will already dream summer holidays... But now, when I’m writing, it is still winter time: days are short, cold, and cloudy, Christmas holidays have just finished, all of us have come back to their cities and their own offices, and our sons/ daugthers to their schools… This does not mean we have just restarted working, since, nowadays, technology allows work to reach us almost everywhere, unless (maybe!) you spend your holidays in the center of the Amazon forest! Well! It was one of those vacation days, when I was in an enchanted mountain village, when I received the official email from Wendy, the Editor in Chief of this journal, announcing to the Editorial Board that I was going to be her new Associate Editor in Chief. That day, I did not let myself worry about the new job… and I went on playing in the snow and building snowmen with my son… But now, that I am again sitting at my desk and I have the opportunity to do it openly, I want to thank Wendy a lot for all her trust in me. I would not repeat myself (I&M Magazine - October 2014). If I was amazingly surprised when Wendy asked me to take care of the column in Future Trends in I&M, imagine my surprise now! Thank you Wendy for this new opportunity and for every thing you will teach me. I’m always grateful to anyone who has something to teach me. That said, what am I going to tell you in this column? As I did in the last column I personally wrote (I&M Magazine - October 2015), I would like to resume and find a common point in the columns written by my guest authors. As I promised, after a long series of guest ladies-authors, I also invited some men to contribute. So, since the December 2015 issue up to now, we have had Roberto Tinarelli (I&M Magazine - December 2015), Mohamed Khalil (I&M Magazine – February 2016) and, then, again a lady: Jenny Wirandi (I&M Magazine - April 2016).


Roberto wrote about the difficulty, for the students, to fully understand the measurement uncertainty concepts, which also turns out to be the same difficulty for engineers and technicians working in industries. He wrote: “…uncertainty evaluation is rather often perceived as something that must be done but without really understanding what it means…”. Mohamed wrote about his previous experience in a company (he is now a PhD student) as a testing engineer for high-voltage power transformers. He, as well as Roberto, spoke about measurement uncertainty, a term that, as far as his experience is concerned, is “unfortunately… absent in the quality control dictionary.” He also wrote: “Generally, the whole testing process of a product is regulated based on two main references: the signed contract and the relative standards. Not surprisingly these two basic references lack measurement uncertainty.” Both Roberto and Mohamed underlined, with their own different experiences, the same existing problem: the big gap between the research and industry worlds. It was more or less in the same period that I asked them if they could write a contribution for the I&M Magazine, letting them be free to decide the topic of their contribution. Moreover, Roberto and Mohamed do not know each other, and because of the publication deadlines, Mohamed had to give me his contribution some months before Roberto’s contribution was published. In other words, there is no doubt that they did not influence each other and wrote their contribution on their own. Despite that, both of them chose to give the readers of the I&M Magazine the same message: there is still a big “… gap between research and industry, and a lot of future efforts are still necessary in order to fill in this gap.” How is it possible to do that? Maybe the answer was in my previous column… In that column, I wrote about the importance of the I&M fundamentals, which I have found to be the common point of the previous columns written by my guest ladies-authors. “The fundamentals are fundamental” was the motto of my column. And my suggestion to create strong fundamentals and to steer the future of I&M was to promote metrology schools or, at least, to expose students to I&M fundamentals at all levels. Well! In this column the motto is different: future trends in I&M should fill in the

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

June 2016

gap between the academic and industrial worlds. But, in my opinion, the path to reach this goal is the same: education in the I&M field. I do not want to repeat myself. So, let’s go on… I was surprised when I read that, at the same time, both Roberto and Mohamed chose to write for the I&M Magazine about the same topic (the measurement uncertainty) and to conclude in the same way (research and industry must get closer). So, imagine my surprise when I read Jenny’s contribution, giving us her own experience in a company, where that gap we were speaking about has been completely filled in! Jenny wrote about the project, in the company she works, “… to reduce the measurement uncertainty of an important parameter by combining existing methods and novel research.” She also wrote some technical details. But, probably, what intrigues the readers more is her conclusion: simply reducing the measurement uncertainty “has resulted in an extra income of ~6 million Euro per year. And at the same time we have increased our safety margins and without any reconstruction of the Power Plant!” I think that Jenny’s experience does not need any further comment. Of course, her experience has been possible because there was somebody working at the company who has fully understood the measurement uncertainty concepts. As

June 2016

Roberto wrote: “Of course, the theory of uncertainty must be defined in a rigorous way but, according to its name, the GUM should be a guide that helps its users in performing a task. Many engineers working in companies and industries will be very glad of this,” and, I add, it could translate into amazing results, as in Jenny’s experience! I really thank Jenny for having shared with the I&M community her own stunning experience. I think this is the kind of paper that best fit the purpose of the I&M Magazine and may help the I&M community to fully understand the importance of the I&M fundamentals. As the AEIC of this journal, I encourage the publication of such papers! This way, the I&M community can help the I&M community itself to understand not only the theoretical importance of the I&M fundamentals, but also their practical importance, as proved by Jenny experience. I hope her contribution will be the first of a long series … Best wishes! You may contact Dr. Salicone at simona.salicone@polimi. it. Her bio is available at simona-salicone.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 23

womenresearch in microwave

Kristen M. Donnell

Active Microwave Thermography â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A New Twist on Microwave NDT


he field of microwave nondestructive testing (NDT) which takes place due to the interaction between dielectric includes numerous test and measurement techniques materials (i.e., non-conducting materials) and the incident with a wide range of applications. It is a field that I electromagnetic energy. The second heating mechanism in have been a part of since my undergraduate days, and one that AMT occurs when conductive materials (such as carbon fiber I now contribute to as an academician, along with my own un- composites) are present. When a conductor is irradiated with dergraduate and graduate students. I feel extremely fortunate electromagnetic energy, surface currents are induced on the to have the job that I have and the research team with whom conductor, which in turn serve as a secondary source of heat. I work, and as such, would like to share some of what we do As mentioned, AMT has shown promise as an NDT soluon a regular basis. When I give students and visitors tours tion for a number of infrastructure and aerospace applications. of my lab, they are often surprised to see the sorts of items Next, measurement results from a few of these applications sitting on our lab benches. Along with the expected items (antennas, power supplies, etc.), one may also see a microwave oven, a thermal camera, corroded steel rebar, and small concrete samples. Now, what do these things have to do with microwave NDT? As a matter of fact, these items are part of a new area of microwave NDT focusing on the integration of microwave and thermographic NDT, referred to as active microwave thermography (AMT). AMT utilizes the combination of microwave energy to generate controlled and localized heating and commercially-available infrared (thermal) cameras to capture surface thermal images of a structure under test in real-time, as illustrated in Fig. 1. AMT has shown potential as an NDT solution for various applications in the transportation and aerospace industries, including detection of delamination and Fig. 1. Illustration of active microwave thermography (AMT). debonding in structures rehabilitated with carbon fiber reinforced composites, corrosion detection in steel-based materials, and characterization of steel fiber reinforced cementbased materials. As AMT utilizes a microwave heat excitation, t w o d i ff e re n t h e a t i n g mechanisms can be generated depending on the material properties of the structure under test. The first heating mechanism is based on dielectric heating, Fig. 2. Measurement schematic for detection of corroded steel rebar.


IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 1094-6969/16/$25.00Š2016IEEE

June 2016

are provided, starting with detection of corrosion on reinforcing steel bars (rebars). An AMT system capable of transmitting 50 W of electromagnetic energy at 2 to 3 GHz was designed. Measurements were conducted using this system on a rebar, as illustrated in Fig. 2. As shown, the rebar contained four small sections of heavy corrosion glued on top of a lightly-corroded rebar, referred to as C1 to C4, and spaced ~ 1 cm apart. The irradiating energy was transmitted for 10 seconds using a transverse electromagnetic (TEM) horn antenna, polarized parallel with respect to the rebar with 1 cm standoff (the distance between the antenna and the rebar). The thermal images obtained with a DRS Tamarisk 320 thermal camera (sensitivity of 50 mK) are shown below in Fig. 3 for three different operating frequencies spanning 2 to 3 GHz. The corroded Fig. 3. Temperature profiles (with respect to ambient) of corroded rebar after 10 seconds heating: C1 (left) and C4 (right). areas show up as hot spots. Preliminary measurements have also been performed using the AMT system described above on two different sample types shown in Fig. 4: ◗◗ The image of Fig. 4a is a concrete sample covered with a carbon fiber (CF) patch containing a fabricated disbond (constructed by a lack of adhesive in this area) located offset from the center of the sample) and ◗◗ The image of Fig. 4b is a cylindrical concrete sample (containing defects), circumferentially wrapped with a (unidirectional) carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite. Measurements were made on the concrete sample (Fig. 5a) using the AMT system at a standoff distance of 6 cm with a heating time of 5 sec. Similarly, measurements were made on the cylindrical concrete sample using a standoff distance of 6 cm and a heat duration of 5 sec to investigate a large crack (Fig. 5b) and a flat-bottom hole (Fig. 5c). The thermal images of these defects (along with the debonded region of the other concrete sample) are shown in Fig. 5. The presence of defects within the concrete is clearly evident in the thermal images. Fig. 4. The ATM system set up to measure (a) a square concrete sample and A last application of AMT that has been investigated is in(b) a cylindrical CFRP composite-wrapped concrete sample. spection of rehabilitated aluminum structures (an area of interest in the aerospace industry). To this end, AMT measurements were performed on an aluminum plate containing two CFRP patches (shown as samples in Fig. 6a and Fig. 6b. In the sample of Fig. 6a, a single layer of CFRP covers the plate and contains three disbonds (created by a lack of adheFig. 5. Thermal images of (a) the concrete sample in Fig. 4; CFRP wrapped concrete (b) shows a crack and (c) a flat bottom sive) at different positions. hole. June 2016

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 25

womenresearch continued in microwave

Fig. 7. Thermal images show the temperature distribution of the rehabilitated aluminum plate in Fig. 6. (a) shows the single layer CFRP composites patch and (b) shows the multiple layered patch.

For Further Reading

Fig. 6. AMT measurements on rehabilitated aluminum on (a) a single layer of CFRP, and (b) multiple layers of CFRP.

In the sample of Fig. 6b, multiple layers of CFRP are considered with six disbonds located at different layers. Measurements were made on the aluminum plates with a standoff distance of 1 cm with 30 sec of microwave illumination at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. Thermal images of the samples in Fig. 6 are shown in Fig. 7. The debonded areas are visible in the thermal images as three hot spots. My research team and I have had a great time working to develop AMT as another NDT tool. As evidenced by the results shown here, AMT looks to be a promising technique, with new applications yet to come.


For further information on our work (including the measurement results presented here), I invite you to view the following publications: A. Foudazi, M. T. Ghasr, and K. M. Donnell. “Characterization of corroded reinforced steel bars by active microwave thermography,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 64, no. 9, pp. 2583-2585, 2015. A. Foudazi, K. M. Donnell, and M. T. Ghasr. “Application of active microwave thermography to delamination detection,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Meas. Technology Conf. (I2MTC), 2014. A. Foudazi, M. T. Ghasr, and K. M. Donnell. “Application of active microwave thermography to inspection of carbon fiber reinforced composites,” in Proc. IEEE AUTOTESTCON, 2014. You may contact Dr. Donnell at Her bio is available at: kristen-donnell.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

womenresearch in metrology

Lingling Ren

Uncertainty Evaluation for Raman Shift Measurement of Fullerene by Least Square Method


s a new kind of emerging semiconducting materials, fullerene nanofiber has been widely used in applications such as solar cells, MEMS, composite fillers, superconductors, etc. Raman spectroscopy is a commonly used technique for fullerene characterization, as the variations in Raman shifts potentially reveal the sub-structure and internal motions of fullerene. However, the Raman shifts of fullerene are very sensitive to measurement conditions. For example, under relative high laser exposure energy, peak positions will shift to lower wave numbers due to induced polymerization. Therefore, pre-standardization is necessary for characterization of fullerene nanofibers by Raman spectroscopy. At the National Institute of Metrology of China (NIM), I have been working on qualitative and quantitative measurement of carbon-based nanomaterials for five years. I also am working on standards and reference materials related to Raman spectroscopy. In such cases, I am trying to develop a protocol of optimum measurement conditions along with shifts calibration and uncertainty evaluation for reliable and accurate results. Through an international interlaboratory comparison led by Dr. Kun’ichi Miyazawa from the TWA 34 of Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards (VAMAS), optimum parameters such as exposure power density and integral time, sample preparation protocol, and evaluation of Raman shift uncertainties have been determined by two round-robins. What follows is my experience on fullerene characterization by Raman spectroscopy. Calibration of Raman shifts can be performed by using reference materials. Solids and liquids covering a wide

June 2016

wave number range (from 85 to 3327 cm−1) can be found in the ASTM, E1840-96–2014 standard. One thing to mention is that peak positions of selected reference materials should cover the region of interest of fullerene. Moreover, the measurement uncertainties from this calibration can be extracted by least squares method from a single experiment. In the case of multi-points calibration, the measurement uncertainty can be evaluated by calibration plots fitting through the least squares method. Additionally, other uncertainty sources such as sample, optical path alignment, and wavelength calibration cannot be ignored and should have been explored comprehensively as well. With the above mentioned parameters in consideration, one can obtain precise and accurate results of Raman shifts, not only for fullerene but also for carbon nanotubes, polymers, biological molecules, and so forth. The objective of this short column is to present a summary of the concepts related to fullerene characterization that would help develop a protocol of shifts calibration and uncertainty evaluation for reliable and accurate results, with repeatability and reproducibility. I hope that the content may be of particular interest to researchers in instrumentation and measurement areas. Lingling Ren ( is the Leader of Laboratory of Advanced Materials Measurement, National Institute of Metrology (NIM), China. She is focusing on the advanced materials metrology and stabilization. She is the representative of the Asia Pacific Metrology Program/ technical committee of materials metrology, member of Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards SC and ISO/TC-229, and secretary of Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China/TC279/WG5.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 27 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

The Coordinated Universal Time Gianna Panfilo


he Time Department of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) is responsible for maintaining and disseminating the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the world time reference. UTC obtains its stability from several hundred atomic clocks located in more than 70 laboratories worldwide and its accuracy from primary (PFS) and secondary frequency standards (SFS) constructed and operated in about ten laboratories. The calculation of UTC relies on two main ingredients: the methods used to compare atomic clocks and the algorithms. The algorithms are designed to optimize the UTC’s long term stability and accuracy, and they are updated whenever necessary for dealing with the improved performance of clocks and new time transfer techniques. Starting in 2011, a new algorithm was implemented to improve the UTC performance. This article reviews the present status of the UTC time scale computed at the BIPM after the implementation of the algorithms and includes the following: general definitions and descriptions of the time scales; predictions and the weighting procedures; a short presentation of the steering algorithm; a discussion of the dissemination of BIPM time scales; and a presentation of an analysis of the uncertainties published by the BIPM.

Calculation of UTC An event can be localized by specifying space and time coordinates: the space coordinates answer the question “where,” and the time coordinates answer “when” an event is localized. A time scale is defined as the time axis of a system of coordinates; it is a world standard for dating events. A typical example of a time scale is the calendar. Electronic devices used by time laboratories to realize a stable local time scale are atomic clocks such as caesium clocks or hydrogen masers. Another possible method used to build a time scale is to combine clocks in an ensemble. The BIPM combines atomic clocks through an algorithm designed to optimize the frequency stability and accuracy, and increase the reliability of the time scale above the level of performance that can be realized by any individual clock in the ensemble. Each month, the algorithm in use in the Time Department of the BIPM [1] – [4] produces the 28

international reference UTC. The calculation of UTC is carried out in three successive steps: ◗◗ The free atomic time scale EAL (Echelle Atomique Libre) [1] – [4] is computed as a weighted average of about 450 free-running atomic clocks located worldwide. Two main algorithms to predict [2] and to give appropriate weight [3] to clocks have been designed to optimize the longterm frequency stability of the scale. ◗◗ The frequency of EAL is steered to maintain agreement with the definition of the second defined from the International System of Units (SI), and the resulting time scale is International Atomic Time (TAI). The steering correction is determined by comparing the EAL frequency with that of PFS and SFS [5]. ◗◗ Leap seconds are inserted to maintain agreement with the time derived from the rotation of the Earth. The resulting time scale is UTC. Different algorithms can be considered depending on the requirements on the scale; for an international reference such as UTC, the requirement is extreme reliability and long-term frequency stability. UTC therefore relies on the largest possible number of atomic clocks of different types, located in different parts of the world and connected in a network that allows precise time comparisons between remote sites. The calculation of a timescale on the basis of the readings of clocks located in different laboratories requires the use of methods to compare distant clocks. UTC is built with the contribution of 74 laboratories, as reported in Fig. 1. The BIPM has established a network of international time links which, as of mid-2011, are in a star-like scheme that links all contributing laboratories to a unique pivot, currently the PhysikalischTechnische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany. Time transfer is possible using the signals broadcasted by Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) satellites, which contains timing and positioning information. Another technique used to compare atomic clocks for UTC generation is two-way satellite time and frequency transfer (TWSTFT). Many details and references about time transfer techniques used for TAI are reported in [6].

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

June 2016

Fig. 1. Geographical distribution of the laboratories that contribute to TAI and time transfer equipment.

Each month, the differences between the international time scale UTC and the local approximations UTC(k) in contributing time laboratories are reported, at five-day intervals, in differed time in the official document called BIPM Circular T [7]. The general equation for defining EAL [1] – [4] is given by the equation:

The difference (3) between any clock Hj and EAL depends on the clock weights, the clock frequency prediction, and the measured clock differences. The clock Hj may also represent a UTC (j) time scale; therefore, xj (t) can also be interpreted as:


where for simplicity, we have dropped the time instant t from the notation. The clock frequency prediction and weights are fixed by appropriate algorithms [2], [3] based on the clock behavior in the past, and in (3), they can be considered as time-varying deterministic parameters. From (4), and following the steps described in the preceding section, the differences [TAI – UTC (j)] and finally [UTC – UTC (j)] are evaluated. The most important algorithms used in UTC calculation are: ◗◗ the prediction algorithm used to avoid time and frequency jumps due to different clock ensembles being used in consecutive calculation periods, ◗◗ the weighting algorithm optimized to guarantee the long– term stability of the time scale, and ◗◗ the steering algorithm used to improve the time scale accuracy.

where N is the number of participating clocks during the interval of calculation (one month), wi the relative weight of clock is the preHi, hi(t) is the reading of clock Hi at time t, and diction of the reading of clock Hi that serves to guarantee the continuity of the time scale. The weight attributed to a clock reflects its long-term stability, since the objective is to obtain a weighted average that is more stable in the long term than any of the contributing elements. Considering that the data used take the form of time differences between readings of clocks, written as:


the algorithm gives the solution: June 2016



IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 29

Prediction Algorithm

In this section, the new prediction algorithm [2] used to generate UTC since 2011 is presented. In the generation of a time scale, the prediction of the atomic clock behavior plays an important role; in fact, the prediction is useful to avoid or minimize frequency jumps of the time scale when a clock is added or removed from the ensemble or when its weight changes. Considering two successive intervals of UTC calculation Ik-1 (tk-1, tk) and Ik (tk, tk+1), we impose several constraints on the prediction term at time tk to avoid or minimize time and frequency jumps in the resulting time scale. is expressed as the following quaThe prediction term dratic form to describe the frequency drift of the hydrogen masers or the ageing of the caesium clocks:



The estimation of the parameters of (5) as shown in [2] leads to this formula: (6) where the symbol ^ indicates the estimate of the parameters reported in (5). The physical meanings of the terms in (6) are: is the estimation of the time correction rela◗◗ tive to EAL of clock Hi at date tk expressed by


is the estimation of the frequency of clock Hi, relative to EAL, predicted for the period [tk, t]. From the theoretical point of view, its best estimation for any interval is the difference with respect to EAL between the first and last clock data points for that interval, as expressed by the following relationship:


is the estimation of the frequency drift of the clock Hi, relative to a frequency reference, predicted for the period [tk, t]. To estimate the frequency drift of the ensemble of the clocks under the hypothesis that this drift remains constant over a one-month interval, the choice of the frequency reference is very important. While the phase data (EAL- hi) were used to estimate the time and frequency corrections, the frequency data yTT-hi of the clock with respect to Terrestrial Time (TT) [5] are used to estimate the drift. A linear least-squares technique is applied to six months of yTT-hi to evaluate the frequency drift. At the moment of the changing of the prediction algorithm, the frequency of EAL was affected by a very important frequency drift. When the model for the prediction term was adapted to take into account the frequency drift of the masers, the stability of EAL improved drastically. As can be observed in Fig. 2, the difference between the frequency of EAL and the frequency of PSFS used to steer the EAL frequency is reported. The frequency of EAL changed its behavior with the introduction of the new model for the prediction term, and the frequency drift affecting its behavior completely disappeared. ◗◗

Weighting Algorithm

Fig. 2. [f(EAL) - f(PSFS)] calculated using the new algorithms for the prediction and the weights. 30

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

In time-scale algorithms, different choices can be made concerning the clock weights. In the case of UTC, the long term stability should be guaranteed. The new weighting strategy [3] that takes into account the prediction used in the calculation of EAL is based on the principle that a good clock is June 2016

a predictable clock [3], [8]. By using the EAL prediction, the deterministic signatures affecting atomic clocks, such as the frequency drift or ageing, can be minimized or eliminated. Hydrogen masers are characterized by a very significant frequency drift that can usually be predicted with a very low uncertainty [9]. By taking into account this prediction, the hydrogen masers can contribute to the timescale ensemble with a realistic (significant) weight without degrading the long-term stability of EAL. This can be achieved by analyzing the difference between the frequency of the clocks obtained by using the relationship and their prediction defined in (7). Clearly, the frequency drift of the hydrogen masers must not be allowed to degrade the long-term stability of EAL. In UTC calculation, an upper limit of weight is set to limit individual clock contributions to prevent domination of the scale by a small number of very stable clocks. The choice of a method to implement an upper limit of weight, as well as its value, thus plays an important role in the stability of the resulting time scale. The maximum weight currently is equal to wmax=4/N, where N is the number of the clocks used in the calculation. The weighting algorithm is a four iterations process; the differences between the predicted and the real frequencies are evaluated for each one-month interval over one year, and these values are used to define the weight. By using one year of data, we maintain the long-term stability of EAL and UTC. Each iteration runs as follows: 1. The values [EAL- hi] are found using a given set of relative weights. In the first iteration, the weights are those obtained in the previous computation interval after normalization. In the following iterations, they are those obtained from the previous iteration; 2. One year of the square of the absolute difference between and their prediction the frequency of the clocks where the index i idencorresponding to tifies the clock and Ik the time interval is considered to ensure long-term stability of EAL and UTC; 3. A filter has been implemented to give a more pre­dom­i­ nant role to more recent measurements with respect to older ones, considering that new measurements have most reliable statistics: (8)

where i identifies the clock, j the calculation interval and M the number of available measurements (which can vary from 5 to 12, given that 5 is the minimum number of months requested to observe the behavior of a clock prior to its introduction into the UTC calculation, and one year is the standard period of observation). 4. The relative weight of clock Hi is computed theoretically using a temporary value given by June 2016


The new weight ωi of clock is equal to ωi,TEMP except in two cases: a) Clock Hi satisfies the requirement set for the limitation of weight so it cannot contribute according to its full stability. This first condition establishes the upper limit of weight statistically necessary to make the time scale rely on the best clocks and yet avoid giving a predominant role to any one of them. This is linked to the requirement of reliability. b) Clock Hi shows abnormal behavior during the interval of computation so it cannot contribute. This second condition protects the time scale against an abrupt change in frequency of one contributing clock, for which the predicted frequency would be very bad. This is linked to the requirement of stability. In this case, the current value of the difference between the real frequency and the predicted one is checked. If the value is greater than a fixed threshold (that means 5 ns/day of difference between the prediction and the real data corresponding to about 150 ns at the end of calculation interval), the clock is temporarily excluded from the ensemble. In such a way we eliminate about 1% of the total number of clocks participating in UTC. A key feature of (a) is that the resulting time scale is not necessarily more stable than the best contributing clocks when an upper limit of weight is set, the full quality of stability of these individual elements not being taken totally into account. The choice of a method to implement an upper limit of weight, as well as its value, thus plays an important role in the stability of the resulting time scale. After the implementation of the new weighting procedure in 2014, we observed a very different impact of clock types in the time-scale ensemble. Fig. 3 shows the number hydrogen masers (blue line) and caesium clocks (red line) at maximum weight. It is evident from Fig. 3 that it shows the bigger number of hydrogen masers (about 50) at maximum weight than the caesium clocks (less than 5) in the current algorithm used for UTC.

Steering Algorithm TAI is a realization of Terrestrial Time (TT), a coordinate time of a geocentric reference system. TAI gets its stability from some 450 atomic clocks kept in some 70 laboratories world– wide and its accuracy from a small number of PSFS developed by a few metrology laboratories. The frequency of EAL is compared with that of the PSFS using all available data, and a frequency shift (frequency steering correction) is applied to EAL to ensure that the frequency of TAI conforms to its definition. Changes to the steering correction are expected to ensure accuracy without degrading the long-term (several months) stability of TAI, and these changes are announced in advance in the BIPM Circular T. The accuracy of TAI therefore depends

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 31

on PSFS measurements, which are reported more or less regularly to the BIPM. Data from several PSFS are combined to estimate of the duration of the scale unit of TAI [5]. The algorithm used at the BIPM to estimate the duration of the scale unit of TAI [5] combines the individual calibrations of PSFS and calculates the frequency of the time scale during a given interval (usually the month of calculation of Circular T). The calibrations are usually referred to a local independent time scale. When using them to improve the accuracy of TAI, Fig. 3. Number of hydrogen masers (blue line) and caesium clocks (red line) contributing with maximum weight. The we should account for the abrupt change of the behavior is due to change of the algorithm. transfer resulting from the local time scale to the reference time scale (in this case EAL), calculate another time scale called TT(BIPM), also a realization and for the transfer of the frequency measurements from the of TT. TT(BIPM) is a time scale optimized for frequency accuracy. It is evaluated annually by making use of all available PFS various calibration dates to the period of interest T. A frequency standard j carries out nj calibrations. If N is the data reported to the BIPM by national laboratories. number of standards considered, the number of available cal. We calculate the rate of EAL over an Dissemination of the BIPM Timescales ibrations will be The time scales TAI and UTC are disseminated every month interval T as: by Circular T. An excerpt of the Circular T is reported in Fig. 4. (10) where W ji is the rate difference between EAL and the PSFS j for a given interval Tji, and aji are the filter coefficients. The filter coefficients aji, are normalized and depend on: ◗◗ the uncertainty of the evaluation i of the standard j ◗◗ the distance between Tji and T and ◗◗ the instability of EAL, which transfers the evaluation from Tji to T. The same algorithm used to evaluate the frequency of EAL is used i n p o s t – p ro c e s s i n g t o 32

Fig. 4. An excerpt of the Circular T 337 from January 2016.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

UTC is disseminated on paper, and physical realizations are realized from the national laboratories and called UTC(k). The Circular T is published monthly at five-day intervals with a delay from 10 to 45 days. Considering that UTC, as published today, is not adapted for real and quasi-real time applications, a more rapid realization called rapid UTC (UTCr) [10] is available with a reduced delay. UTCr is published weekly at one day intervals. Access to UTC is provided in the form of differences [UTC – UTC(k)], thus at the same time making the local approximations UTC(k) traceable to UTC. The values of the frequency corrections to TAI, and their intervals of validity, are regularly reported. This information is needed for the laboratories to steer the frequency of their UTC(k) to UTC. Circular T provides wide access to the best realisation of the second through the estimation of the fractional deviation d of the scale interval of TAI with respect to its theoretical value based on the SI second, calculated as explained above. The values of d for the individual contributions of the PFS are also published, giving access to the second as realized by each of the primary standards. Each monthly issue of Circular T provides information on the time links used for that particular computation, together with their respective uncertainties, and the technique used in the characterization of the time transfer equipment or link.

[1] G. Panfilo and E. F. Arias, “Algorithms for international atomic time,” IEEE Trans. Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Freq. Control, vol. 57, no 1, pp. 140-150, 2010. [2] G. Panfilo, A. Harmegnies and L. Tisserand, “A new prediction algorithm for the generation of international atomic time,” Metrologia, vol. 49, no 1, pp. 49-56, 2012. [3] G. Panfilo and A. Harmegnies, “A new weighting procedure for UTC,” Metrologia, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 285-292, 2014. [4] B. Guinot, “Some properties of algorithms for atomic time scales,” Metrologia, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 195-198, 1987. [5] G. Petit, “A new realization of terrestrial time,” in Proc. 35th Precise Time and Time Interval (PTTI) Meeting, pp. 307-316, 2004. [6] E. F. Arias, G. Panfilo, and G. Petit, “Timescales at the BIPM,” Metrologia, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 145-153, 2011. [7] “Circular T,” International Bureau of Weights and Measures, [Online]. Available: [8] J. Levine, “Introduction to time and frequency metrology,” Rev.

In Circular T, the uncertainties of the differences between UTC and UTC(k) are also published [11] – [12]. They are affected by three major elements: clock variations, the means of comparisons of remote clocks (time transfer) and the time-scale algorithm. The uncertainties of time transfer reported in Section 5 of Circular T influence the uncertainty of [UTC − UTC(k)]. The predictions and the weights are fixed by appropriate algorithms based on past clock behavior, and in (3), they can be considered as time-varying deterministic parameters. The measures xi,j in (3) are thus the only contributors to the uncertainties in xj (3). The uncertainties of the links between laboratories are the only source of the uncertainty of [UTC − UTC(k)]. The uncertainty in xj(t) can be found using the law of the propagation of uncertainty:


where the first term corresponds to the effect of the uncertainties on the input quantities xi, and the second term accounts for the correlation between them. Correlations, analysed in [12], will always occur in situations wherein the same receiver or system is used to link

June 2016



Uncertainties on [UTC−UTC (k)]

between two different external laboratories. The analysis of these effects requires more details than are readily available about correlation of the links. For the moment, the noise affecting different links is assumed to be uncorrelated, but a revision of the algorithm is in progress to take in to account the correlations.

Sci. Instruments, vol. 70, no. 6, pp. 2567-2596, 1999. [9] G. Panfilo and P. Tavella, “Atomic clock prediction based on stochastic differential equations,” Metrologia, vol. 45, no 6, pp. S108-S116, 2008. [10] G. Petit, F. Arias, A. Harmegnies, G. Panfilo and L. Tisserand, “UTCr: a rapid realization of UTC,” Metrologia, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 33-39, 2013. [11] W. Lewandowski, D. Matsakis, G. Panfilo and P. Tavella, “The evaluation of uncertainties in [UTC-UTC(k)],” Metrologia, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 278-286, 2006. [12] W. Lewandowski, D. Matsakis, G. Panfilo, and P. Tavella, “Analysis of correlations, and link and equipment noise in the uncertainties of [UTC − UTC(k)],” IEEE Trans. Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Freq. Control, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 750-760, 2008.

Gianna Panfilo ( received the master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” Rome, Italy and the Ph.D. degree in Metrology from the Politecnico of Turin, Italy in 2006. She is a physicist in the BIPM Time Department, where she is responsible for the algorithm used for the calculation of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). She is Secretary of the CIPM Consultative Committee for Time and Frequency (CCTF) Working Groups on Time Scale Algorithms (WG-ALGO) and the CIPM MRA (WGMRA). She is also Executive Secretary of the Consultative Committee for Acoustics, Ultrasounds, and Vibration. (CCAUV).

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 33

A Human Visual “No-Reference” Image Quality Measure Karen Panetta, Long Bao, and Sos Agaian


ow do we evaluate the quality of an image and determine which variation of an image a human observer would find most visually pleasing without using a human in the loop? The answer lies in utilizing image quality measures. These measures have an abundance of uses in instrumentation and measurement applications [1], [2] and can be categorized into three groups: full-reference [3], reduced-reference, and no-reference [4]. The full-reference and reduced-reference are not suitable for real applications, since an optimal original reference image does not always exist [5]. For instance, consider taking a picture with your cell phone in poor lighting or bright sunshine. These are examples of resulting images that are considered to suffer from distortions. The distorted image is the only image available for processing, and thus, we have no-reference of what a good distortion free image should look like. Hence, using a no-reference image quality measure is desirable. Here, we introduce the reader to a no-reference image quality measure. In the structure of this measure, a color pixel difference is utilized to combine the colorfulness and luminance information in a straightforward and efficient manner. Based on this difference measure, a difference maximum filter is used to process the input image and calculate the final quality index. Experimental results and the measure’s performance are compared to two existing measures: Color Root Mean Enhancement (CRME) [3] and Blind/Referenceless Image Spatial Quality Evaluator (BRISQUE) [5], and we show how the no-reference measure highly correlates with human vision from the Tampere Image Database 2013 (TID-2013).

measure is about contrast, and how to distinguish two neighboring pixels in an image. According to different color pixel difference methods, the traditional color image quality measure can be divided into two groups: the extended grayscale image quality measure and the color image quality measure. The first type transforms the color image into a grayscale image and uses the intensity difference of the pixels to compute the measure. Unfortunately, these methods suffer from the same drawback, where the resulting image loses information during the color to grayscale transformation process. As shown in Fig. 1, the color image with the concentric circles becomes a plain image without any content after the transformation. For an image quality measure, the loss of content information is unacceptable. The second type uses a multiple color information difference measure, such as Transform Domain Measure of Enhancement for Color images (TDMEC), separating the color image information into its luminance and colorfulness information [6]. Then, the quality index is calculated based on using the combination of the luminance difference and the colorfulness difference as two variables. However, for the human visual system, it is difficult to weigh the importance between colorfulness and luminance. Hence, the weight of the combination of these two parameters is decided upon by experience, which is certainly not accurate. One setting of the weights in the measure may work perfectly for some types of image contents but may not agree with a human’s judgments for other images. This makes these measures unsuitable for real time applications.

Existing Color Pixel Difference Measures

A New Color Pixel Difference Measure

For human visual systems, the contrast property is deemed as one of the key components in judging the quality of an image. Oftentimes, an image with higher contrast is considered clearer and more pleasing to the human visual system. When images suffer from poor quality, much of this can be attributed to the presence of different distortions that alter the contrast property. Hence, the core and basis of an image quality 34

To use one index that calculates the color pixel difference that considers both the luminance and colorfulness information together, attention should be turned to the 3D RGB color space. As shown in Fig. 2, the positions of two color pixels in the color space show a close relationship to the difference assessment. The visual difference between D and A is much larger than the difference between A and B, while the visual difference between A and B is similar to the distance between A and C. From

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

June 2016

Fig. 1. Example of information loss during a transformation from (a) a color image of concentric circles to (b) a grayscale image.

these observations, a simple conclusion can be derived that the distance between the two positions in the color space has more importance in determining the difference between two pixels, rather than the direction between these two positions. Based on the previous observation, we designed a new color pixel difference measure as shown in (1). Since the human visual system has different sensitivity to each color component, we introduce the weights = [ r,  g,  b]. Thus,


, “.*” is the point-towhere point matrix multiplication, and r = 0.229, g = 0.587, b = 0.114 are different weights for the red, green, and blue components. Using this color difference measure, we calculate the difference between each pixel and the central pixel in Fig. 1. All of these difference values are plotted in Fig. 3. Since the central circle in Fig. 3 has the same color as the central point, it shows as total black, meaning no difference. For other colors in Fig. 3, we can see the different intensities, meaning different color differences. From this difference image, we can see the original color content information, where in Fig.1b, no discernable

Fig. 3. Difference image resulting from the proposed color difference equation shown in (1) for the original image shown in Fig. 1a.

color information was retained. This demonstrates the intrinsic importance of the color difference measure, namely preserving content information.

New Color Quality Measure Using this new color pixel difference measure, we designed a new no-reference image quality measure (DIQM). As the scheme in Fig. 4 shows, this new DIQM consists of three components: a maximum distance filter (MDF), a row variance process, and a column variance process, and the measure then outputs the final quality index Q. The MDF is similar to the traditional maximum filter. However, it differs from the traditional maximum filter. In the traditional filter, the central pixel value is set as the largest value in the filter window, and in this new MDF, the central pixel value is set as the largest difference between the central pixel and its surrounding pixels in the filter window:


where, P(i,j) is the pixel in position (i, j) in the input image and Pw(i,j) indicates each surrounding pixel in the filter window. If the window size (w = 1) is equal to 3 × 3, then,

(3) After the MDF, we can calculate the variance for each row in the D image from (2). The calculation can be described as in (4),

Fig. 2. 3D RGB color space. June 2016

Fig. 4. Scheme of DIQM.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 35


where, Function E(x) is to calculate the mean value of this sequence x with length of N.


After obtaining this row variance vector (S), we calculate its variance as the final output-image quality index Q based on the following:


This new color quality measure (6) is a straightforward method to evaluate the color image quality. A larger quality index Q indicates better image quality, which can be demonstrated by the experimental results.

Experimental Results Since the goal of an image quality measure is to autonomously evaluate the image quality instead of using human evaluators, there should be a high correlation between the measure and a human’s judgment. Here, the TID-2013 database [7], which is the largest available image quality database, is utilized to test DQIM against a variety of images and distortions. This database consists of 25 different types of images and 24 different distortions for each image. Each distortion for each image has five levels of distortion. Meanwhile, the database contains the subjective Mean Opinion Score (MOS) obtained from people’s judgments from evaluating the comparison. As an example, we show five images from the TID-2013 database in Fig. 5. Each image has a different level of chromatic aberrations distortion. For the humans’ judgment, we use the subjective MOS as the standard. A larger MOS value means the image is deemed to possess better image quality from a human’s visual system. The decreasing MOS value in Fig. 5f tells us that image 1 is the best image and image 5 has the worst quality. We tested two existing objective methods (CRME [3] and BRISQUE [5]) and our DQIM to obtain the quality value for each of these five images, shown in Fig. 5f. From the curve, all three existing methods show the same agreement of image quality ranking with the subjective MOS value. Among these objective methods, notice that the DQIM has higher agreement with MOS, demonstrated by the close agreement of the quality values of each image. Consider another example: evaluating images containing high frequency noise. Five images are corrupted with different levels of high frequency noise. The evaluation results using one subjective MOS and three objective measures are plotted in Fig. 6f. From the results, only the DIQM follows the same trend with MOS, while the other two subjective methods produce different evaluation results. The previous analysis illustrates only two examples. In our work, we processed all of the experiments using the entire 36

database, including 25 different images and 24 different distortions. Next, we used the MOS included in the TID-2013 database as the standard response of the human visual system. To calculate the similarity between each image quality measure’s results compared with MOS, we introduced the Spearman’s rank order correlation (SROCC). This SROCC shares the rule that a larger value means a higher correlation, meaning higher agreement with the human’s opinion. The maximum SROCC value is one, meaning extremely similar. All of the SROCC values for each type of distortion for each method are listed in Table 1. Here, we set a threshold that the image quality measure is defined to pass or have a good performance in each type of distortion only if its SROCC is larger than 0.9. From the number of experiments that pass in Table 1, the DIQM outperforms the other two existing methods.

Application Discussion The DIQM image quality measure has tremendous potential in real-time applications, such as robotic applications and in image processing. Robotic systems often have the problem of limited storage and power to support information transmission. When robotic systems use the camera to capture the image information, it is typically unpractical to store or transmit all of the image or video information, since some image information may have low quality content from noise corruption or other distortion problems. Hence, automatically choosing the image with good quality to store or transmit would be a beneficial feature for the system. In image processing, much research is dedicated to image deblurring, image repairing, image reconstruction [8], and image denoising. The performance of such methods is evaluated by measuring the similarity between the output image and the optimal original image. Because in most real applications, the optimal original images are non-existent, for many existing image processing algorithms, their parameters or the iteration number are decided by experience. The experience will not always yield the best parameter setting [9]. Hence, using the proposed image quality measure, we can evaluate the output images with different parameter settings to produce the best visual quality results. This will make a huge difference for these image processing algorithms that require parameters to be established a priori in real applications.

Conclusion In this paper, we demonstrated our color pixel difference measure. We showed how closely it matches the human observer’s evaluation in the TID2013 database, which contains distorted test images along with their human evaluator scores. Unlike existing intensity pixel difference and multiple color information difference measures, the color pixel difference measure has the advantage of utilizing a straightforward approach that considers both the colorfulness and luminance simultaneously. Based on this difference measure, the DIQM no-reference image quality measure was developed. The experimental results show that the DIQM has excellent performance for ten different distortions that are in high accordance

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Fig. 5. Using Image Quality measures to evaluate images with chromatic aberrations distortions: images (a)-(e) with increasing distortions respectively. (f) evaluation results using DQIM, CRME and BRISQUE compared to the subjective Humanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s evaluation measure, MOS, where a score of one indicates best quality. DQIM best matches the human evaluation.

Fig. 6. Experiemental results of images containing high frequency noise distortions: images (a)-(e) contain increasing distortion levels respectively, (f) evaluation results showing only the DQIM quality measure matches the human assessment.

June 2016

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 37

Table 1 – SROCC values of image quality assessment for each distortion type in TID2013 (Pass: SROCC ≥0.9). Distortion type

CRME [3]



Additive white Gaussian noise




Additive white Gaussian noise in color components




Additive Gaussian spatially correlated noise




Masked noise




High frequency noise




Impulse noise




Quantization noise




Gaussian blur




Image denoising


0 .867


JPEG lossy compression




JPEG2000 lossy compression




JPEG transmission errors




JPEG2000 transmission errors




Non-eccentricity pattern noise




Local block-wise distortions of different intensity










Change of color saturation




Multiplicative Gaussian noise







Lossy compression of noisy images,




Image color quantization with dither




Chromatic aberrations




Sparse sampling and reconstruction




Number of Passes



Mean shift Contrast change

Comfort noise

with human opinion evaluations (MOS) and outperforms the existing CRME and BRISQUE methods.


[6] A. Samani, K. Panetta, and S. Agaian, “TDMEC, a new measure for evaluating the image quality of color images acquired in vision systems,” in Proc. 2015 IEEE Int. Conf. Technologies for


Practical Robot Applicat. (TePRA), pp. 1-5, 2015.

[1] E. Chalom, E. Asa, and E. Biton, “Measuring image similarity: an

[7] N. Ponomarenko, O. Ieremeiev, V. Lukin, K. Egiazarian, L. Jin, J.

overview of some useful applications,” IEEE Instrum. Meas. Mag.,

Astola, B. Vozel, K. Chehdi, M. Carli, F. Battisti, and C.-C.J. Kuo,

vol. 16, pp. 24-28, 2013.

“Color image database TID2013: peculiarities and preliminary

[2] F. Russo, “Recent advances in fuzzy techniques for image enhancement,” IEEE Instrum. Meas. Mag., vol. 1, pp. 29-31, 35, 1998.

results,” in Proc. 4th European Workshop Visual Inform. Process. (EUVIP), pp. 106-111, 2013. [8] S. Prabhakar, A. Ivanisov, and A. Jain, “Biometric recognition:

[3] K. Panetta, C. Gao, and S. Agaian, “No reference color image contrast and quality measures,” IEEE Trans. Consum. Electron., vol. 59, no. 3, pp. 643–651, 2013. 

sensor characteristics and image quality,” IEEE Instrum. Meas. Mag., vol. 14, pp. 10-16, 2011. [9] Z. Xiang and P. Milanfar, “Automatic parameter selection for

[4] L. Bao, K. Panetta, and S. Agaian, “A no reference image quality measure using a distance doubling variance,” in Proc. 2015 IEEE

denoising algorithms using a no-reference measure of image content,” IEEE Trans. Image Process., vol. 19, pp. 3116-3132, 2010.

Int. Conf. Technologies for Practical Robot Applicat. (TePRA), pp.1-6, May 2015. [5] A. Mittal, A. K. Moorthy, and A. C. Bovik, “No-reference image quality assessment in the spatial domain,” IEEE Trans. Image Process., vol. 21, pp. 4695-4708, 2012. 38

Karen Panetta (S’84–M’85–SM’95–F’08) received the B.S. degree in computer engineering from Boston University, Boston, MA, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Dr. Panetta continued on page 50

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

basicmetrology Basic Metrology

Bryan Kibble Bryan Kibble Don’t Use Your Imagination!

Don’t Use Your Imagination! For this issue, I am temporarily deserting my set subject of basic metrology for basic mathematics to talk

about complex numbers. My excuse for doing so is that this branch of mathematics is essential, not only for basic electrical metrologists but also for the much wider community of electrical engineers, some of whom read this magazine. New students of complex numbers often have subconscious worries about its logic, and particularly what

 1

‘means.’ This is unsatisfactory and here is my attempt to help.

Let’s start with a literally down-to-earth approach and think about a fruit farmer who needs to give instructions as to where trees are to be planted in the new orchard. He could well instruct the planters to go a meters in a North-South direction from his front door, then go b meters in an East-West direction, and then plant the tree. He needs to specify two independent quantities of the same kind (length) and might well say “plant the tree at  a,b  ,” which I will call a two-component complex quantity C1 for short. I have used different colors, blue and red, respectively to emphasize that the blue and red length quantities have an independent existence. The value of one does not at all affect the value of the other, and both are necessary to constitute the two-component quantity C1 which stands for  a,b  and which I have colored green. The next thing to take careful note of is that the statement a + b is nonsense. The components a and b cannot be added together in the usual meaning of addition, for which 5  3  8 , to yield a single-component answer. This immediately differentiates the two-component algebra that we are going to develop from the equally useful mathematical construction of vector algebra in which the vectors l and m can be added to give a single vector n . The constituent components of two complete two-component quantities can, however, be added to yield another two-component quantity, to fulfil our farmer’s instruction to plant another tree at  c,d  from the first one (as illustrated in the diagram in Fig. 1): C2  a , b    c , d   a  c , b  d 


Our mathematically minded farmer could have specified instead for his first tree “go out a distance r from my front door at an angle  to the East-West direction and plant a tree there.” Our farmer has created a different complex quantity C3   rcos , rsin  . So the algebra of complex quantities can be applied to any twocomponent independent entities, and not just to length ones. To accommodate this idea, we can now introduce the more common notation for a general complex quantity z =  x, y  . June 2016

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 39 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

basicmetrology continued

Fig 1.

 

 

Subtraction is just the inverse of addition: z = x1, y1 ,  x 2 , y2 x1  x 2 , y1  y2 , but the definition of multiplication in complex algebra looks a little strange,

z =  x1 , y1  x  x 2 , y2 

 x1x 2  y1y2 , y1x 2  x1y2  .


Notice that the color of the two original red components has changed to blue in the product y1y 2 and the original blue components have changed to red in the products x1x 2 and y1y 2 . For example, combinations of the two independent quantities describing either current, voltage, or

impedance in AC circuit theory can be calculated by complex algebra. When a single AC voltage Vp , 0 of

angular frequency ω drives a complex current I p , I q

 through a complex impedance  R,ωL of a resistance

R in series with an inductance L , the generalised Ohm’s Law equation is:

 V ,0 =  I ,I  x  R,ωL p




applies where I p  p stands for in-phase  is a component of the total current which is in step with the applied voltage, and I q  q stands for quadrature  , the other independent component, is a quarter-cycle out of step with

V . People who work with AC circuits commonly visualize these two currents circulating independently around their networks if these only consist of linear components whence, 40

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

 

I p ,I q = Vp , 0 /  R,ωL  .

June 2016

applies where I p  p stands for in-phase  is a component of the total current which is in step with the applied voltage, and I q  q stands for quadrature  , the other independent component, is a quarter-cycle out of step with

V . People who work with AC circuits commonly visualize these two currents circulating independently around their networks if these only consist of linear components whence,

 I ,I  =  V , 0 /  R,ωL . p



In order to define division of one complex number by another, we first create the complex conjugate of C , * 2 2 * which is defined as C =  a, -b  . From (2), C x C = a +b  , i.e., it is a single-component quantity. Then, using (2),

C3 =C1 /C2 =C1C2 /  C2C2  =  a1a 2 –b1b2 , -a1b2 +a 2 b1  / a 2 +b2  .


 I ,I  =  V R/ R + ω L  ,-V ωL/ R + ω L 






Applying this to (3),

p q



2 2



2 2

and by separately equating the independent components,

I p =Vp R/  R 2 + ω2 L2 ]; Iq = -VpωL/  R 2 + ω2 L2 ].


This is exactly what is derived from back-to-basics circuit analysis. Having laid the foundations of complex algebra, we can go on to ever greater complexity (no pun intended!) by introducing complex numbers into other branches of mathematics such as simple algebra, infinite series, differential and integral calculus, etc. The line integral of a complex quantity around a closed path is of special interest to electronic engineers because by using it, one can calculate whether a high-gain feedback amplifier will be stable or will burst into oscillation at one or more discrete frequencies. I can testify that composing equations having quantities in different colors is extremely tedious, so before you lay in amounts of green, red, and blue ink, it is sufficient to agree that C =  a, b  need only be written in black ink C =  a, b  provided the blue quantity always come first and the red quantity always comes second. But, even this was too much for early mathematicians who clearly had a phobia about brackets and commas, and so Gauss hit on the expedient of labelling the quantities we have printed in red by preceding them with the

label i . (I know that electrical engineers prefer j in order not to cause confusion with a quantity of current, but for the purpose of this article only, I will pretend to be a mathematician). Nowadays, mathematicians are quite used to manipulating multi-component quantities such as matrices and tensors for which the labelling of their independent components would be very clumsy, so were complex numbers to be invented now, the labelling idea would probably not happen. Then, Gauss wrote  a,b  symbolically as a + ib , even though we have noted that this doesn’t directly make sense. By doing this he was able to show that two-component complex components could be manipulated simply using the rules of ordinary everyday single-component algebra, provided that a double label  i.i  was to be2016 replaced June

by a minus    sign IEEE whenever it occurred. Alas, this elegant simple alternative has come to Instrumentation & Measurement Magazineand 41

have some most unfortunate consequences.

their independent components would be very clumsy, so were complex numbers to be invented now, the labelling idea would probably not happen. Then, Gauss wrote  a,b  symbolically as a + ib , even though we have noted that this doesn’t directly make

basicmetrology sense. By doing this he was able to show  continued that two-component complex components could be manipulated simply using the rules of ordinary everyday single-component algebra, provided that a double label  i.i  was to be replaced by a minus    sign whenever it occurred. Alas, this elegant and simple alternative has come to have some most unfortunate consequences. First, the labelled quantity b came to be called ‘imaginary’. Anyone who has encountered an AC current flowing through their body via a small-valued capacitor or large-valued inductor will agree that the experienced shock is not at all imaginary. Second, mathematicians got lazy, in that whenever i1 occurred, they wrote just i . Third, this led to i , instead of being merely a label, acquiring the status of a quantity itself, as for example,

a + ib x c + id  = ac + i2 bd, ibc + iad  . 2

Fourth, and most regrettable, i then was identified with -1 , whence the Alice-in-Wonderland consequence


 -1.

As a simple example, suppose we ask whether there are any two-component complex numbers such that their product with themselves, according to the definitions of complex algebra (specifically, Equation 2) is

 0,1 ? There are two perfectly logical answers, namely  1,1 /  2 . (We should notice here that even if one component of a complex number happens to be zero, it nevertheless cannot be ignored.) But if, equivalently, in the “i” formalism we note that  0,1 is i , we seem to be asking what the square root of i is, that is, the square root of

-1 , and we would have to tell our farmer that

 1  =  1 


2 . He/she would then

probably need to go and lie down in a darkened room! We have to admit that it is far too late now to change all this nonsense, and the use of the label i nevertheless leads to correct results. All I would suggest is that those tasked with introducing new students to the subject take an approach similar to the above, so that students do not feel uneasy about the logic of the subject. The expression

-1 should not worry them, being only the square root of a label and therefore

meaningless. Like the Cheshire cat, it simply does not exist!

I am indebted to Simona Salicone for her many suggestions for improving this article. Naturally, the responsibility for mistakes and the opinion expressed remains with me. You may contact Dr. Kibble at His bio is available at


IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

MIMO OTA Test for a Mobile Station Performance Evaluation Ya Jing, Hongwei Kong, and Moray Rumney


he antenna is one of the most important components of mobile stations, since antenna design has a significant effect on mobile station performance and the end user’s experience. The industry therefore needs effective test methods to evaluate the mobile station’s overall radiated end-to-end performance. Traditional receiver testing used cabled signals which bypass the antennas, but over the air (OTA) testing evaluates the device’s overall radiated performance, including the impact of the antennas. Conformance tests for single antenna devices have been in existence since 2001. These tests measure the total radiated sensitivity (TRS) of the receiver and the total radiated power (TRP) of the transmitter. TRS is also known as total isotropic sensitivity (TIS). With multiple input multiple output (MIMO) technology being adopted by the wireless communication standards LTE and UMTS, there is a need for the introduction of MIMO OTA performance requirements and test methods. A study item [1] for MIMO OTA for HSPA+ and LTE was started in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in March 2009. Since then, MIMO OTA research has attracted wide interest from both industry and academia. Parallel work is underway in COST2100 [2], COST IC1004 [3], CTIA [4], and 3GPP RAN WG4 [5]. Unlike single input single output (SISO) systems where multipath fading is something to be overcome, MIMO takes advantage of the spatial diversity in fading channels to enable simultaneous transmission of multiple streams of data in the same time and frequency. A consequence of this is that the fading channel characteristics are an integral part of the test conditions and directly influence the measured MIMO OTA performance. The major test challenge for MIMO OTA is how to create a repeatable test environment which accurately reflects the desired realistic wireless propagation environment. Several different methods for performing MIMO OTA test have been proposed to 3GPP RAN WG4, COST2100, and CTIA. These methods can be described by the following three major categories [6]: the multi-probe anechoic chamber (MPAC) method, the radiated two-stage (RTS) method, and the reverberation chamber-based methods with or without a channel emulator (RC and RC + CE). The study of these three June 2016

main methods is still ongoing in 3GPP RAN WG4 and CTIA, with the work expected to conclude in 2016. In this paper, we will give an overview of these three methods with a specific focus on the RTS method.

MIMO Channel Overview The major challenge for MIMO OTA test is to create a realistic wireless propagation environment. This requires emulation of multipath fading with known spatial correlation and cross polarization ratio (XPR). A signal propagating through a wireless channel arrives at the destination along a number of different paths, referred to as multipath. These paths arise from scattering, reflection and diffraction of the radiated energy by objects in the environment or refraction in the medium. Multipath propagation also results in the spreading of the signal over time, and these time delays or delay spread cause frequency selective fading. Multipath fading is characterized by the channel impulse (time) response and is modeled using a tapped delay line. Each tap experiences fast or Rayleigh amplitude fading that results from the constructive and destructive combination of multipath signals. The tap variability is further characterized by variations in frequency described by the Doppler frequency spectrum. In addition to delay spread and Doppler spread, angle spread is another important characteristic of the wireless channel. Angle spread at the receiver refers to the spread in Angles of Arrival (AoA) of the multipath components at the receive antenna array. Similarly, angle spread at the transmitter refers to the spread in Angles of Departure (AoD) for those multipath signals that finally reach the receiver. Fig. 1 gives one example to show the angle spread effect for two clusters. Angle spread causes spatial selective fading, which means that signal amplitude depends on the spatial location of the transmit and receive antennas. When multiple antennas are applied to a wireless communication system, the various transmit-receive antenna pairs may have different channel impulse responses due to the spatial effects caused by angle spread, the antenna radiation pattern, and the surrounding environment. As MIMO operation requires low channel-to-channel correlation,

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 43 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

Fig. 1. Multipath propagation and angular spread in a MIMO Channel.

it is important to understand how these spatial characteristics may influence system performance. XPR describes the channel propagation characteristics related to scattered/reflected power on one polarization (for example vertical polarization) when there is incident power on another polarization (for example horizontal polarization). Ideally if no scatterer or reflector exists, the signal radiated from the vertical polarization direction can only be fully received by an antenna on the same vertical polarization, but with scattering and reflection in the wireless environment, the signal can also be received on antennas of different polarization but with some power loss.

Overview of MIMO OTA Test Methods The principle behind the proposed MIMO OTA test methods described in [6] is to create a known and repeatable wireless propagation environment in which to evaluate device receiver performance. Fig. 2 shows the basic setup for each method for dual stream MIMO OTA test. The channel model emulation ability comparison for these methods can be found in [6] (3GPP TR 37.977, Table 12.-4-1).

the antennas are in a circle around the DUT with uniform spacing (e.g., 45° with 16 elements arranged in 8 positions, where each position contains a vertically and horizontally polarized antenna pair). The number of antenna positions limits the maximum allowed distance between the phase centers of the DUT antenna. Current assumptions (CTIA MIMO OTA Test Plan) are that an 8x2 setup can test devices with antenna spacing of up to 1 lambda. A 16x2 setup extends this range to around 2.25 lambda. The setup in Fig. 2a can emulate a two-dimensional (2D) channel model, i.e., in the azimuth plane. More complex 3D channel models would require further antennas at different elevation planes. In the MPAC method, the angular spread for the transmit side and the desired XPR are generated in the channel emulator, while the angular spread for the receive side is emulated by sending the signals for a cluster to several antennas located on the 2D circle. By controlling the power for each antenna, the system can emulate the multipath spatial distribution around the DUT.

Radiated Two-Stage Method Multiple-Probe Anechoic Chamber Method The MPAC method utilizes a large anechoic chamber equipped with a ring of probe antennas, each connected to a channel emulator output port. The required number of antennas depends on three main aspects: the channel model, DUT size, and polarization. The simplest configuration using eight antenna positions is depicted in Fig. 2a. The DUT is at the center, and 44

The RTS method utilizes a traditional SISO anechoic chamber but divides the MIMO OTA test into two stages [7]. In the first stage, the device antenna pattern is measured. In the second stage, a channel emulator is used to convolve the measured antenna pattern with the desired channel model to provide the stimulus for a conducted or radiated throughput test on the DUT. An assumption of the RTS method is that the antenna

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Fig. 2. (a) MPAC MIMO OTA test setup. (b) RTS MIMO OTA test setup. (c) RC + CE MIMO OTA test setup.

June 2016

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 45

patterns of the DUT, measured in the far field, can fully capture the mutual coupling of the antennas and be used to measure radiated performance. To accurately measure the antenna patterns of the device, it is necessary for the DUT to support amplitude and relative phase measurements of the antennas. Other methods for measuring the antennas are intrusive, requiring physical device modification and use of cables, and are not considered suitable for conformance testing although they have uses in device development. In the RTS method multipath fading, the angular spread for the transmit and receive sides and the XPR are all generated in the channel emulator, enabling a simple two-probe SISO anechoic chamber to emulate arbitrarily complex 2D or 3D channels. Further details of the RTS method will be provided later in this paper.

Reverberation Chamber Methods Fig. 2c shows a typical RC + CE setup. Unlike the anechoic chamber methods which create Line Of Sight (LOS) propagation environments, the reverberation chamber methods utilize mechanical stirrers to emulate a statistically isotropic multi­ path environment. The reverberation chamber by itself has a limited range of channel modeling capabilities. For example, the power delay profile is limited to a continuous exponential decay, the Doppler spectrum and the relatively slow motion of the stirrers’ limits maximum Doppler speed, and the specific correlation cannot be controlled. However, a reverberation chamber with a MIMO channel emulator can overcome these limitations to some extent. The channel emulator can configure the desired PDP, Doppler, and correlation properties. The resulting overall channel property is the convolution of the channel emulator with that of the reverberation chamber. The significant difference between the reverberation methods and the anechoic MPAC and RTS methods is that the angular spread in the reverberation chamber is not controllable and can only produce statistically isotropic 3D distribution. The reverberation chamber also cannot control signal polarization. These limitations mean that the emulated channel in the reverberation chamber cannot exactly match the spatial channel models [8] in the anechoic methods. The extent to which this impacts DUT performance measurements is a major topic of study in CTIA and 3GPP. Another difference between methods is that the RC, RC + CE, and RTS methods are not currently suitable for use with devices that have receive antennas that can adapt their patterns according to the instantaneous channel conditions.

RTS MIMO OTA Test Description and Implementation First Stage: Antenna Pattern Measurement This section will describe in more detail the RTS MIMO OTA test method defined in sub-clause of [6]. The first stage is to acquire the DUT’s antenna pattern. This may be done, depending on the test context, by simulation, design, or measurement of the actual DUT antenna pattern. For evaluation of real devices, 46

it is possible to measure the antenna patterns in an anechoic chamber of sufficient size using network analysis techniques. Although conceptually simple, such techniques have the drawback that they require access to the device antenna where it connects into the device receiver. Making a connection at this point is problematic since the integrity of the device is altered due to the presence of the connecting cables and changes in the impedance seen by the antennas. To overcome these shortcomings, the two-stage method employs, in its first stage, a novel non-intrusive antenna measurement method which does not require the connection of cables and consequential changes to the antenna patterns and impedance that would otherwise alter the measured antenna performance [9]. This non-intrusive antenna measurement approach uses the ability of the receiver in the DUT to measure the amplitude and relative phase of known signals incident at the DUT antennas. This capability is implemented as part of a test mode in the device. By rotating the DUT relative to the known incident signal, it is possible from the DUT amplitude measurements and relative phase measurements between the antennas to construct the 3D antenna patterns and phase responses. To fully characterize the antennas, measurements are made at two orthogonal probe antenna orientations, typically vertical and horizontal. This can be done by switching between two separate antennas or by rotating a single antenna. On a practical level, there are two main ways to collect the DUT measurements. The first method is to store the results locally on the DUT for later download and post processing by correlating with the DUT orientation used for specific measurements. The second method is to transmit the results over the uplink air interface, which is active during the pattern measurements. This may take the form of an IP data connection with associated client application or by using layer 3 signaling, as defined in 3GPP TR 36.978 [10].

Second Stage: Throughput Measurement In the second stage, the desired antenna pattern obtained either from simulation, design or actual DUT measurement is loaded into a channel emulator and convolved with the spatial channel model being used to evaluate the DUT performance. This process generates the signals at the DUT receiver that would have been received had the DUT been placed in the same 2D or 3D spatial field. The advantage of this two stage approach is that radio conditions representing arbitrarily complex 2D or 3D spatial channels can be emulated using a simple anechoic chamber with just two probe antennas. During the second stage, it is not necessary (or meaningful) to alter the device orientation relative to the probe antennas since the rotation of the DUT relative to the chosen channel model is performed electrically (and hence without error) within the channel emulator [9]. There are two options for connecting the signal generated by the channel emulator to the device. The simplest is to use cables connected to the device’s temporary antenna connectors should they be available. This is usually not a problem for base stations but is becoming increasingly more

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Fig. 3. Radiated second stage implementation process.

difficult on mobile devices where space is at a premium. The conducted second stage does not require the use of an anechoic chamber for the throughput measurements, although some form of RF shielding is desirable to prevent any ambient interference from affecting the results. A consequence, however, of using the cabled connection is that any radiated interference generated by the device which would otherwise have desensitized the receiver through its own antenna is no longer measured. When the device is operating at low transmit powers this is not an issue, but at high power there may be differences in performance compared to radiated throughput measurements.

This channel matrix is composed of the probe antenna patterns, the signal propagation path in the anechoic chamber, and the DUT receive antenna patterns. Following the process described in [11], the inverse of the radiated channel matrix is defined as:


After applying the inverse of the radiated channel matrix to f(x1) and f(x2), the signal received at the device antennas is the same as in the cable-conducted method, being:


Radiated Second Stage The alternative to a conducted second stage connection is to use a radiated â&#x20AC;&#x153;cable replacementâ&#x20AC;? connection [11]. The fully radiated two-stage method setup is shown in Fig. 2b. This approach requires the use of an anechoic chamber for throughput measurements but has the benefit that any radiated interference generated by the device is fully taken into account in the measurements. The purpose of the radiated connection is to enable the signals generated by the channel emulator, which are already conditioned to include the effect of the device antennas, to be directly connected to the device receiver. However, this can only be done by calibrating and removing the impact of the signal propagation in the anechoic chamber and the impact of the device antenna. To achieve this calibration, it is necessary to measure the propagation conditions inside the anechoic chamber and modify the transmitted signals in such a way that the received signals look like the original unmodified signals. The process to achieve this is very similar to the precoding used to optimize signal reception for spatial multiplexing (MIMO) gain. Assume x1 and x2 are the transmitted signals from the base station emulator. After applying the desired multipath fading channel and convolving with the complex antenna pattern, we get f(x1) and f(x2). Assume the radiated channel matrix between the probe antennas and the device antennas is:


Involving DUT Antenna Pattern Spatial channel models can be described using either a geometric (sum of sinusoids) approach or using a correlationbased approach. DUT antenna patterns can be convolved with these two descriptions using different approaches [12]. Geometry-based descriptions do not explicitly specify the locations of the scatterers but rather the directions of the rays. Geometry-based modeling of the radio channel enables separation of propagation parameters and antennas. The time variant impulse response matrix of the U x S MIMO channel is given in [12] as:


where t is time, Ď&#x201E; is delay, N is the number of paths, and n is path index. The impulse response matrix is composed of the antenna array response matrices Ftx and Frx for the transmitter (Tx) and the receiver (Rx), respectively, and the channel from the Tx antenna element s to Rx element u for cluster n is expressed as:

(5) June 2016

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 47

Fig. 4. RTS one box test solution based on Keysight UXM.

where Frx,u,V and Frx,u,H are the antenna element u field patterns for vertical and horizontal polarizations, respectively; αn,m,VV and αn,m,VH are the complex gains of vertical-to-vertical and horizontal-to-vertical polarizations of ray n,m, respectively; λ0 is the wave length of the carrier frequency; is the AoD unit is the AoA unit vector; and are the location vector; vectors of element s and u , respectively; and υn,m is the Doppler frequency component of ray n,m. For the RTS method, Frx,u,V and Frx,u,H are the measured UE receiver antenna patterns from the first stage, and Ftx,s,V and Ftx,s,,H are the predefined patterns for the base station. In the second-stage throughput test, the channel emulator rotates the antenna pattern data in (5) against the channel model, which is the same as physically rotating the device against the fixed probes in the MPAC method. For a correlation-based approach, the MIMO channel correlation and power imbalance property are introduced by explicitly multiplexing the corresponding covariance matrix on the independent MIMO channel coefficients. This covariance matrix can be discomposed to the correlation matrix and power imbalance matrix, which is determined by the Tx, Rx antenna patterns and the specified channel model. The work in [13] shows how to derive the covariance matrix for arbitrary antenna patterns under multipath channel conditions. In [6], [12], it has been shown through simulation and measurement that these two models have the same spatial correlation property. 48

One Box RTS Test Solution The key functions required for a MIMO OTA test system are the base station emulator and channel emulator. Normally the base station emulator and channel emulator are the separated test instruments, while UXM from Keysight is the advanced base station emulator with embedded channel emulator, which has the capability to setup one box RTS test solution. The embedded channel emulator in UXM supports both geometry-based and correlation-based channel model. This one box solution has several advantages: low cost, easy to integrate with chamber, accurate calibration and good repeatability.

Test Results Theoretical analysis shows that ideal implementations of the MPAC and RTS methods should emulate identical test environments, so test results should also be aligned. In the latest 3GPP MIMO OTA test method in the harmonization campaign held in year 2015, close alignment between MPAC and RTS was observed. The RTS test in this campaign is performed based on the setup shown in Fig. 4. For the UMi channel model, the maximum difference between methods when averaging DUT performance over eight orientations was 0.55 dB across four devices, and for the Uma channel model, the maximum difference was 0.88 dB for four devices [14]. Looking more closely, Fig. 5 shows the test results for one device orientation at 12 azimuth angles. Fig. 5 plots the required received power to reach 70%, 90%, and 95% of full throughout measured under

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Fig. 5. Multi-probe and two-stage test results comparison on each rotation angle.

two methods, where the curves with the circle legend are measured results for MPAC, while the cross symbols are measured results for RTS. It can be seen that both methods show the same 3 dB variation by azimuth and are closely aligned. Although absolute validation techniques are still being developed, given the large differences between the MPAC and RTS methodologies, this result is strong evidence that both methods are providing the correct result.

[6] “Verification of radiated multi-antenna reception performance of User Equipment (UE),” 3GPP TR.37.977, 3GPP, A Global Initiative, [Online]. Available: DynaReport/37977.htm. [7] Y. Jing, X. Zhao, H. Kong, S. Duffy, and M. Rumney, “Twostage over-the-air (OTA) test method for LTE MIMO device performance evaluation,” Int. J. Antennas and Propagation, 2012.  [8] “Spatial channel model for MIMO simulations,” 3GPP TR 25.996, 3GPP, A Global Initiative, [Online]. Available: http://www.3gpp.



This paper gives an overview of MIMO OTA test methods and introduces the details behind the two-stage MIMO OTA method. Recent results show that the MPAC and RTS test methods can produce nearly identical results despite the large differences in their methods.

[9] M. Rumney, H. Kong, and Y. Jing, “Practical active antenna evaluation using the two-stage MIMO OTA measurement method,” in Proc. 8th European Conf. on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2014), 2014. [10] “Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA) User Equipment (UE) antenna test function definition for two-stage


Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) Over The Air (OTA) test

[1] “Study item proposal for MIMO OTA,” 3GPP RAN4 R4090903, Vodafone, A Global Initiative, [Online]. Available: Documents/.

method,” 3GPP TR 36.978, 3GPP, A Global Initiative, [Online]. Available: [11] “Incorporating self-interference into the two-stage method,” Agilent Technologies, Tri-L Solutions, 3GPP RAN4 R4-

[2] “Figures of merit for MIMO OTA testing,” COST2100 TD(10)11063, Agilent, [Online]. Available: http://www.cost2100. org.

66AH-0012, 3GPP, A Global Initiative, [Online]. Available: TSGR4_66-AH-MIMO-OTA/Docs/.

[3] “Cooperative Radio Communications for Green Smart

[12] “Applying measured MIMO antenna patterns to MIMO channel

Environments,” IC1004, [Online]. Available: http://www.ic1004.

models for OTA analysis,” Agilent Technologies, 3GPP RAN4


R4-091949, 3GPP, A Global Initiative, [Online]. Available:

[4] “Everything Wireless,” CTIA, [Online]. Available: http://www.


[5] “The Mobile Broadband Standard,” 3GPP, A Global Initiative, [Online]. Available: June 2016 [13] M.T. Dao, V.A. Nguyen, Y.T. Im, S.O. Park, and G. Yoon, “3D polarized channel modeling and performance comparison of

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 49

MIMO antenna configurations with different polarizations,” IEEE Trans. Antenna and Propagation, vol. 59, no. 7, pp. 2672-2682, Jul. 2011. [14] “Further analysis of the harmonization campaign results,” 3GPP RAN4 R4-156526, 3GPP, A Global Initiative, Keysight Technologies, [Online]. Available:

MIMO OTA test; power amplifier measurement; modeling and linearization technologies like digital pre-distortion; transient signal analysis; and 5G test and measurement research. He joined Agilent Labs in 2003, and the company became Keysight Labs in 2014.


Ya Jing ( received a Ph.D. degree in communications and information systems from the Electrical Engineering Department of Southeast University in 2006 and the B.E. degree and M.S. degrees from ChongQing University, Post and Telecommunication, in 1999 and 2002, respectively. She joined the Agilent Measurement Research Lab in 2006, and her work mainly focuses on the context of wireless communication, including MIMO channel models, MIMO channel emulation, and MIMO OTA research. She recently was the primary technical contributor to invent the two-stage MIMO OTA test method. Hongwei Kong received a B.S.E.E. degree from the Electronic Engineering department of Tsinghua University in 1998 and the Ph.D. degree from the same department in 2003. He is the Lab Manager of Keysight Labs China and is leading the wireless test and measurement research in areas that include:

Moray Rumney joined Hewlett-Packard in 1984 after completing a B.Sc. in Electronics from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University. The HP electronic test and measurement business was split off to Agilent Technologies in 1999 and most recently in August 2014 to Keysight Technologies. Moray’s main work has been the development and system design of base station emulators used in the development and testing of cellular phones. Moray joined ETSI in 1991 and 3GPP in 1999, where he was a significant contributor to the development of type approval tests for GSM and UMTS. He currently represents Agilent at 3GPP RAN WG4, where the air interface for HSPA+ and LTE Advanced is being developed. Moray’s current focus is in MIMO OTA test methods and the emerging 5G standards. Moray has published many technical articles in the field of cellular communications and is a regular speaker at industry conferences. He was editor and the major contributing author to Agilent’s book LTE and the Evolution to 4G Wireless whose second edition was published in 2013.

continued from page 38 is currently an Associate Dean of Graduate Engineering Education and a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Tufts University, Medford, MA, and Director of the Panetta Vision and Sensing System Laboratory. Her research focuses on developing efficient algorithms for simulation, modeling, signal, and image processing for biomedical and security applications. Long Bao (Corresponding author: received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Hunan University, Changsha, China in 2011 and 2014, respectively. He is currently working on his Ph.D. at Tufts University in Medford, MA, USA. His research interests are image quality


assessment, image denoising, image coloring, and multimedia security. Sos Agaian (M’98–SM’00) is a Peter T. Flawn Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas, San Antonio, TX. He received the M.S. degree in mathematics and mechanics from Yerevan University, the Ph.D. degree in math and physics from the Steklov Institute of Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Doctor of Engineering Sciences degree from the Institute of the Control System, Russian Academy of Sciences. His research interests are multimedia processing, imaging systems, computer vision, 3D imaging sensors, signals, and biomedical and health informatics.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

The IEEE IMS Faculty Award Recipient The Automatic Measurement Systems Course at the University of Cagliari

Sara Sulis


his paper is a description of the course on Automatic Measurement Systems (SAM), which is mandatory for the students pursuing the master’s degree in electronic engineering, known in Italy as Laurea Magistrale. The University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy has offered SAM once a year since 2011. We highlight and discuss the course proposal and objectives and the enhancement of the course provided by the IEEE IMS Faculty Award.

Course Proposal and Objectives SAM is composed of theoretical lessons and laboratory sessions (60 hours of teaching overall). The main aim of the course is to provide comprehensive knowledge on the hardware and software tools useful to design, implement, and use automatic measurement systems for industrial applications.

Examination Guidelines At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to address challenges in instrumentation and measurement (I&M) system design. For this reason, from the earliest lessons, we ask students to work on a project with a specific topic, with precise specifications, to develop by means of virtual instrumentation. The project includes designing an automatic measurement system in the LabVIEW environment (LAMS). Either an individual or a group can carry out the project. A detailed report on this activity is required. The first part of the final examination includes verification of the LAMS project, starting from the reading of the report. Then, a discussion on the project and on the topics covered during the theoretical lessons fulfills the oral examination. Commonly, the aim of the LAMS is to perform specific measurements with assigned requirements in terms of accuracy. The choice for this course has been to avoid short quizzes and midterm examinations. We present the final examination to the students as a test of their working skills. Students have to prove their problem solving skills by means of both a proper design and a clear report. They have to outline the measurement issues, the assumptions, and the choices made to address such issues, and the tests done to verify the validity June 2016

of the LAMS design. In addition, it is important that an engineer who aspires to a professional career should know how to write properly. Therefore, readability, good presentation quality, and proper language are also required.

Development and Revision of the Course SAM was designed to provide second year (last year) Laurea Magistrale students with thorough learning of measurement areas, with specific attention to advanced measurement technologies including methodologies and signal processing techniques that concern electrical quantities. In the first edition of the course, teaching was mostly based on theoretical lessons and computer simulation, due to the lack of devices representing the industrial environment. Currently, we schedule the course for the first-year Laurea Magistrale students. This change, along with the opening of the new inter-faculty laboratories, has led to the reorganization of the course. We achieved this by slightly modifying the course contents, but above all by enriching SAM with experimental activity. In addition, the IEEE IMS Faculty Award helped further enhance the experimental activity, enabling the laboratory to obtain new equipment and industrial measurement devices. We aim the teaching approach at developing the student’s ability to: ◗◗ Confirm and consolidate prior knowledge; ◗◗ Learn independently: the student is encouraged to apply autonomously procedures and methodologies in conducting exercises to be carried out beyond lesson time; ◗◗ Apply knowledge and understanding: theoretical training combined with examples and applications encourage the active participation of the student; and ◗◗ Evaluate the results: the student is encouraged to select relevant information and approximations that are appropriate for the design and implementation of the measurement system of interest. Prior knowledge from previous courses can significantly influence students’ achievement. Commonly, SAM students are supposed to have a B.S. degree in electrical and electronic engineering or similar area. For instance, the University of

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 51 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

Fig. 1. Measurement chain.

Cagliari offers such B.S. degrees with a curriculum in electronic engineering that includes the Electrical and Electronic Measurements course. This course aims at providing, in ninety hours of lessons, basic knowledge in the field of electrical and electronic measurements and introduces measurement signal processing and modern instruments. Consequently, students are required to have solid knowledge in the field of I&M and signal processing. We outline the basis we used to develop the SAM course as: ◗◗ fundamental measuring methods and uncertainty evaluation and propagation; ◗◗ fundamentals in signal processing (as an example, Fourier transform and digital filtering); and ◗◗ using conventional instrumentation for electrical quantities. However, it is worth noting that the number of the attending students and their background knowledge (former graduation) can differ significantly from one year to another. Students with different curricula and/or Bachelor’s degrees can enroll. Consequently, in the SAM course, to make the students’ background knowledge uniform and to present the basic measurements topics, we review the principal concepts required for an effective participation of the students.

Course Curriculum We explain the whole measurement chain of a generic measurement system by using Fig. 1 and it is the starting point to present all the contents outlined in Table 1. A sequence of blocks illustrates the measurement process in Fig. 1. Starting from the signals to the data processing, each has different features and performance depending on the given application. This permits students’ attention to focus on the main assumptions regarding each block in the measurement chain, and on how such assumptions affect the downstream blocks. In the following, we briefly discuss some topics presented during the course.

Processes and Transducers We give examples of industrial processes of varying complexity. Students need to be aware that, with the proper devices, they should be able to acquire and measure any type of signal. We review the role of transducers and, in particular, we present an in-depth analysis of the most widespread temperature transducers. 52

We use temperature to represent quantities that are slowly changing but have wide possible ranges of variations. In this case, we point out that an engineer has to be able to choose the proper transducer for the specific temperatures to measure. Then, the same engineer has to be able to address the data acquisition issues related to the chosen transducer. In fact, depending on the temperature transducers, output characteristics can be strongly non-linear, the output signals can be very low, and so on. Temperature is an excellent example of quantities with interesting challenges from the measurement point of view. In addition, it is always interesting to demonstrate the use of the reference tables of thermoelectric voltages.

Signals and Signal Conditioning As an example of a measurand, the low and medium voltage at a network user’s supply terminals in public electricity distribution networks is considered. We present the Standard EN 50160:2011–05 [1], which describes the voltage characteristics under normal operating conditions. We present and debate some parts of this standard. In this way, students can gain familiarity with an international standard. In particular, the range of possible variations in the nominal values of amplitude and frequency is the object of in-depth analysis. In addition, we discuss the total harmonic distortion factor (THD). The fact that the rms value of each individual harmonic voltage shall be less than or equal to a given threshold value but, globally, the limit for the THD corresponds to different limit values for such harmonic voltages, is also highlighted. Such in-depth analysis allows this signal, with its own harmonics, to be required as one of the signals available to test the LAMS performance. At the end of the course, a comprehensive test signals library will be simulated by suitable virtual instrumentation.

Data Acquisition Systems Rack-and-stack devices and modular systems are presented and discussed. In the first edition of the course in 2011, this part of the course (devices and architectures) was mainly illustrated using slides and pictures. In the following year, the University opened the Engineering and Architecture Inter-faculty Laboratories for Teaching (LIDIA) and new laboratory equipment became available for the students. Now, LIDIA offers the opportunity to have an up-close and personal glimpse into the world of real devices. In particular, the Multifunctional Laboratory (Fig. 2) is equipped with thirty-one work

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

TABLE 1 – Outline of the contents Introduction • Course presentation: reference materials, expected skills, examination guidelines • Automatic measurement systems: components and performance Microprocessor based measurement systems • Input state: noise and other interference signals • Data acquisition systems (analog and digital I/O) • Rack-based and modular instrumentation • Systems for real-time measurement Industrial measurements • Differential, instrumentation, and isolation amplifiers • Industrial sensors and transducers: working principles • Temperature sensors and corresponding conditioning systems • Automatic test equipment (ATE) and built-in test equipment (BITE) Remote control of measurement devices • Distributed measurement systems and large-scale architectures • Communication systems, serial and parallel buses • Main standards for interfacing measurement instrumentation • Synchronization problems Digital processing • Digital processing of measured signals • Outline of theory and applications of Fourier Analysis • Aliasing and leakage reduction techniques. Smoothing windows • Outline of the methods of time-frequency analysis Laboratory – Hardware devices and Virtual Instrumentation • The LabVIEW environment • Development of Virtual Instruments (VIs) and SubVIs for signal processing • Testing and calibration of VIs • Laboratory experience: LabVIEW project of a given automatic measurement system Lectures • Ph.D. students’ and industry people’s lectures: In particular, Ph.D. students present their research activities, commonly concerning distributed measurement systems and synchronization topics.

desks, for sixty student seats, each equipped with a PC. In addition, several signals generators, oscilloscopes and multimeters, and data acquisition devices (such as NI USB-6211 and NI myDAQ) are available. We used the entire grant obtained through the IEEE IMS Faculty Award to acquire advanced industrial equipment. We chose a cRIO modular system and advanced general-purpose hardware, which is easily usable in different possible measurement cases. In particular, the selected system includes: June 2016

◗◗ cRIO-9113 4-slot Reconfigurable Chassis, ◗◗ cRIO-9024 Real-Time PowerPC Controller, ◗◗ NI 9215 16-Bit Simultaneous Analog Input Module, ◗◗ NI 9467 GPS Time Synchronization Module, and ◗◗ GPS Antenna. The comparison between the peculiarities of this equipment with the performance of a PXI, which is already available in the Measurements Group Laboratory, significantly enhanced this part of the course.

Signal Processing Since the first edition of the course, some students have not easily been able to put into practice their signal processing background. Such students had difficulty transferring their theoretical knowledge into practice. In particular, the most evident example of the distance between theoretical concepts and everyday practical usage is the Fourier Transform (FT). For this reason, currently, we provide specific lessons on the application of the FT. In this case, the availability of the LabVIEW environment, with its easy way to display results, helped in enhancing students’ understanding on this topic. We started from a portion of a signal in the form of a vector with a known number of elements obtained with a suitable sampling rate, and showed that it is possible to apply the basic LabVIEW FFT library and to practice with frequency resolution, number of calculated frequencies, number of significant frequencies, and the other important elements. It is worth noting that we provided fundamentals of LabVIEW programming during the first lessons of SAM. The students can use the LabVIEW Student Edition Software Suite that is totally free to practice programming and to develop their projects on their own PCs. This allows them to work on the project not only during class hours but also in the times and places of their choice. In addition, students can enrich their knowledge during the LabVIEW Laboratory, offered at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (DIEE) of the University of Cagliari. The DIEE is an educational institution recognized as a LabVIEW Academy and permits the achievement of the CLAD certification (Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer) of National Instruments.

Fig. 2. Multifunctional Laboratory of the Engineering and Architecture Interfaculty Laboratories for teaching (LIDIA).

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 53

Laboratory Experience To apply the signal processing techniques suitable for electrical signals that are explained during the lessons, the laboratory activity described in the following was chosen. We implemented a Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) for synchrophasor, frequency and rate of change of frequency (ROCOF) measurements on the modular system, for the 2014-2015 edition of the course. The PMU is judged to be an interesting case study for the application of the theoretical concepts of signal acquisition, signal processing, and synchronization in automatic measurement procedures. During the theoretical lessons, we present and discuss the PMU basic algorithms and architecture in detail. This gives the students the basis for autonomous understanding and development of an automatic measurement system implementing this type of measurement device. In particular, we present the reference P-class algorithm suitable for a PMU that is compliant with the Standard IEEE C37.118.1 – 2011 for Synchrophasor Measurements [2] (together with its amendment C37.118.1a-2014 [3]) and introduce the Annex C of the Standard [2]. Such algorithm is designed in particular for protection applications, with the accuracy requirements described by the Standard [2]. We chose the P-class algorithm because it is simple and directly related to signal acquisition and processing concepts that the students should be able to apply, such as synchronous sampling, filtering, amplitude compensation, frequency tracking and frequency domain computations. The presentation performed during the lessons has also shown the students the typical indices for the accuracy evaluation of the PMU measurements, such as total vector error, frequency error, and ROCOF error. We guided the students through the reading of the IEEE standards concerning such devices, with the aim of understanding what limits and what testing conditions a measurement device such as the PMU can be subject to. We presented both steady state and dynamic operating conditions. Then, we presented the architectures to design the Pclass algorithm for a PMU on a modular system. We showed the students the different modules and how the different requirements, for instance of the synchronization, acquisition or computation systems, impact the choice of each individual board and the design of the software modules. It was also useful to illustrate advantages and drawbacks of the different computation modules that are available for the acquired modular system. In fact, we illustrated basic concepts on Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) programming and algorithms implementation, along with the real-time functions that can be used profitably in the PMU implementation. After the proper presentation, we assigned the P-class algorithm for a PMU compliant with [2] to the students as the LAMS project. We requested that the students implement and verify their own P-class algorithm. The main aim was to increase students’ awareness of the role of all of the different elements in the measurement chain. We presented the project as the first step in a full PMU design and implementation process. 54

Fig. 3. Measurement Group Laboratory: PMU Set up.

Almost at the end of the Laboratory activities, when students have had the opportunity to become familiar with the new topics, we showed and thoroughly discussed the comparison of phasor and frequency measured by two PMUs. In particular, we installed the first PMU in a modular system that was available in the Measurement Group Laboratory and used for research purposes (Fig.3). We installed the second PMU in the new modular system purchased thanks to the Faculty Award. This laboratory experience has involved the measurements of physical quantities. For the sake of simplicity, the same signals generated by a power generator, the Omicron CMC 256plus, were acquired simultaneously by both the PMUs, to present the impact of different test conditions into the PMU performance, depending on the PMU algorithms and settings, in a controlled environment. Obviously, we suitably highlighted this important simplification of the measurement scenario of a PMU, to give a hint of possible complex conditions the real measurement devices should face in the field when installed. At the end of the course, it was possible to observe a significant increase in the students’ understanding of the presented application by the opportunity to observe a real measurement system with advanced hardware, acquiring signals and running the algorithms shown during theoretical lessons. They were also able to correlate the efforts they had to tackle during the laboratory project with the measurement issues concerning the device. In this way, the students get a better understanding of parameters that must be turned to obtain a PMU useful also in a different context. In the last laboratory experience, we presented the prototype of a PMU, designed by the measurement research group and based on [4], to the students along with its test set-up (Fig. 4). The laboratory experience has strongly enriched students’ learning and reinforced their understanding of the steps that lead from the theoretical concepts they met during the course to a working device. At the end of the course, the students were able to understand the features and the performance of such a prototype. The opportunity to gain experience with real industrial grade measurement devices allows students to develop a better acquaintance with industrial environments and to feel more ready to face the labor market.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Fig. 4. Measurement Group Laboratory: PMU Test Set up.

The SAM course is mandatory for students of the Master’s degree and, normally, the majority of students attends classes and works on the project on a regular basis. This is one of the factors leading to a pass rate of virtually 100%. The level of student satisfaction with the supplementary activities (tutorials, laboratory, etc.) is rising. In the student feedback of the 2013-2014 A.Y., student satisfaction was 62.5%, and in the 2014 to 2015 A.Y., the percentage increased to 75%. The advanced industrial equipment obtained with the grant of the IEEE IMS Faculty Award has surely contributed to this success. Furthermore, it is also worth noting that the informal interviews, after the final examination, allowed students to report their great appreciation for the course activities they completed. This course was considered to be useful both for other courses and for the thesis activity, because students have understood that SAM provides the ability to design measurement systems in any application field, from communication to automatic control.

References [1] Voltage Characteristics of Electricity Supplied by Public Distribution Networks, Standard EN 50160 (2011-05).

June 2016

[2] IEEE Standard for Synchrophasor Measurements for Power Systems, IEEE Std. C37.118.1–2011; Revis. IEEE Std C37.118–2005, pp. 1–61, Dec. 2011. [3] IEEE Standard for Synchrophasor Measurements for Power Systems– Amendment 1: Modification of Selected Performance Requirements, IEEE Std C37.118.1a–2014 Amend. IEEE Std C37.118.1-2011, pp. 1–25, Apr. 2014. [4] P. Castello, J. Liu, C. Muscas, P. A. Pegoraro, F. Ponci, and A. Monti, “A fast and accurate PMU algorithm for P+M class measurement of synchrophasor and frequency,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 63, no.12, pp. 2837-2845, Dec. 2014.

Sara Sulis ( is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Electronic Measurements. She received the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and, in 2006, the Ph.D. Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Cagliari, Italy. During 2013, she obtained the Habilitation to the position of Associate Professor. She is author and co-author of more than sixty scientific papers. Her current research activity mostly concerns distributed measurement systems designed to perform both state estimation and harmonic sources estimation of distribution networks.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 55

Nonintrusive Appliance Load Monitoring for Smart Homes: Recent Advances and Future Issues Liu Yu, Haibin Li, Xiaowei Feng, and Jizhong Duan


n recent years, as Cloud Computing and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies develop rapidly, smart home technology has entered a new stage: smart electric power usage, which will break the traditional extensive management situation for electric power loads, particularly under the background of an energy crisis. People will gradually gravitate towards the demands for more energy-related and intelligent services in smart home systems such as energy saving, improved understanding of electrical consumption and electrical safety of appliances. When the power consumption is considered by a smart grid, detailed electrical information of power loads will be perceived for demand management and optimization. To address these issues, measuring and monitoring the power of residential individual appliances are highly demanded by many applications. Appliance load monitoring (ALM) has become a key application in modern society for a better understanding of the usage and consumption of appliances, and it can be used to develop an energy-aware operation and detect abnormal operations of appliances for electrical safety. Moreover, ALM can also be applied to indoor personnel monitoring and positioning, since the operating states of appliances (such as what appliance is running or what kind of state the appliance is working in) can reflect users’ lifestyles. Fig. 1 shows the basis of an ALM system that can be used for the complete control and management of the ALM in a smart home. Two approaches exist for ALM: intrusive appliance load monitoring (IALM) and nonintrusive appliance load monitoring (NIALM). In IALM, traditional appliances are modified with necessary interaction and control methods in their internal electrical installation. In contrast, NIALM addresses the “sensor problem” for electrical load monitoring by extracting information about individual loads from a few measurements at an easy-to-access centralized location [1]. Compared with IALM, NIALM has advantages such as lower cost, easier installation and maintenance for residential systems. Accordingly, NIALM is more promising for future smart home applications.

In this paper, the recent advance of NIALM methods and techniques of appliance recognition are discussed and analyzed, some existing problems are summarized and feasible solutions are proposed. Finally, future developments and extensive applications of NIALM are suggested.

Nonintrusive Appliance Load Monitoring Systems Nonintrusive appliance load monitoring (NIALM) focuses on how to monitor residential appliances, especially their operating states, by observing the whole load current and voltage at the power entry point of the household. Fig. 2 shows the concept of the NIALM system. The bottom layer indicates data measurement of appliances at the power entry point according to a smart meter or other instruments. Almost all of them use a microcontroller and/or DSP based hardware [2], which are incorporated with Wi-Fi, ZigBee or PLC (Power Line Communication) to transmit data to the gateway of the house. The gateway layer provides communication protocols that enable the communication between the smart device and the server. In the server layer, the data of appliances are processed and recognized. The top layer explores potential applications and adds new services for users. In this scheme, the main issue is

Fig. 1. Appliance recognition and possible associated applications in ALM system.

This work was supported in part by the NSFC of China under Grant 61373102. 56

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

June 2016

instantaneous jump of the current amplitude when an appliance is turning on. Fig. 3 presents an example for the current data of three different appliances in the ON/OFF switching state. As shown in Fig. 3, the working status of appliances can easily be distinguished by the current data. For example, the humidifier has an instantaneous jump of the current amplitude when it is starting, and the LCD monitor has a sudden downward current change in the steady-working state. Since harmonics higher than the 11th harmonic are not usually used in appliances, the minimum sampling frequency of measurement sensors is about 1-2 KHZ (using Nyquist sampling for 50 Hz commercial power). The selection of sampling frequency should concern two issues: Low sampling frequency probably leads to omitting some important frequency components which may be the key functional characteristics of the appliances; and High sampling frequency results in a more detailed description of electrical changes of appliances at runtime that is beneficial to the classification and recognition. However, high sampling frequency increases the difficulties of data transmission and the cost of measurement sensors. As the voltage remains nearly the same in any operation of an appliance, the power load can be reflected by the current data. In NIALM systems, the current data of all the appliances is measured as an overall metric. Thus, how to extract the features of an individual appliance is a critical issue for appliance recognition.

Fig. 2. NIALM system architecture.

how to distinguish individual appliances and recognize their operating states from a composite signal measured at the power entry point, so the appliance state recognition is very important for NIALM systems. Recently, many NIALM methods have been proposed. Though different techniques are used in these methods, they have some common components: data acquisition, feature extraction and appliance recognition. The following sections review the methods in light of these three components.

Feature Extraction Power load is the intrinsic feature for each individual electrical appliance. Optimal features are representative for the appliance, which can be easily extracted from the composite signal at the measurement point. Moreover, good features can optimize the feature space, so as to reduce the complexity of storage and calculation in the process of appliance recognition.

Data Acquisition Acquiring appliance data at the measurement point is the foundation of appliance recognition and it has an important impact on the final result. To the best of our knowledge, the main metrics include current, voltage and power. Among them, the current waveform in the time domain provides one of the most complete sets of information to describe load behavior, such as the June 2016

Fig. 3. The current data of three appliances in the ON/OFF switching state.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 57

Therefore, extracting effective features is the most critical step for nonintrusive appliance loads recognition. Feature extraction of appliance data is a problem of one-dimensional signal processing and analyzing, so there are two types of features to choose: time-based features and frequencybased features for appliance recognition. Time-based features: In NIALM, common temporal features are extracted, such as the active power P, reactive power Q and current I, the waveforms of which are represented as measured time series, i.e., points of measured current values [3]. Among them, P and Q can be computed by:

Nevertheless, FFT is not suitable for non-periodic and nonstationary signals, since FFT is unable to provide the temporal or spatial characteristics of these signals. In these cases, the problem may be solved by STFT (Short-Time Fourier Transformation), which decomposes the time domain into countless small processes by way of adding a fixed window to make every small process approximately stationary. Thus, the moment when the frequency component appears can be confirmed. STFT can be expressed as:



where w(m) is the window function. However, STFT is not suitable for time-varying non-stationary signals, because the width of the window in STFT cannot be changed; the time and frequency resolution cannot be ensured simultaneously for this kind of signal. Since wavelet analysis allows the use of long time intervals for more precise low-frequency information and short regions for high-frequency information, the discrete wavelet transform (DWT), which allows simultaneous time and frequency localization, is quite suitable for NIALM systems where the signals are non-stationary [8].

Here, n is the harmonic order; V0 and I0 are average voltage and average current; Vn and In are the nth harmonic components of the voltage and current; and θn is the nth harmonic components of the phase difference between the voltage and current. Some appliances can be easily distinguished in the P-Q space depending on their resistive, capacitive and inductive characteristics [4]. However, they may not be recognized when they operate under the similar P and Q, since ambiguities on the changes in P and Q may exist. Generally, most research uses features of I and P to characterize the appliances, for instance, the root mean square, peak values, form factor, and crest factor of the current or power waveforms. Other features like the components of electromagnetic interface (EMI) noises in a residential power line are analyzed in [5]. Some are based on counting the number of occurrences of events in a period of time, such as the number of transition between power intervals in [6] and the number of threshold crossing in [7]. Such features have been proved to be very effective in the recognition tasks. Frequency-based features: Discrete Fourier Transformation plays a crucial role in analyzing frequency-based features for appliance recognition and can be described by:


. (4)

Here, x(n) is the discrete digital signal sequence which derives from sampling with sampling frequency fS; N is the number of frequency points, and it is generally equal to the length of the sequence; and WN is the rotation factor. In practice, Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) based features are commonly used in appliance recognition, especially the harmonic features. Appliance harmonics as complementary features can alleviate the problem that appliances operate in similar P, Q or I. That is, features with harmonics analysis make the appliance load recognition more robust. Detailed analyses of harmonics using high sampling frequency are reported in [5]. 58


Appliance Recognition The real challenge, with respect to the appliance load monitoring for a smart home, is the appliance recognition according to the appliance features extracted from the composite loads at the power entry point. As shown in Table 1, appliance recognition is a classification issue since the operating state of different appliances or different states of one appliance can be deemed as disparate classes, and each class contains its own unique profile or features. However, the features are merged together at the power entry point when more than one appliance is running, so it is necessary to decompose the total features down to the individual appliance level. Most research adopts the solution of appliance event detection for load decomposition, because appliances are operated one by one (users will not manipulate multiple appliances at the same time). Fig. 4 shows the structure of appliance event detection based load decomposition. The event detection module will detect the change of operating state when there is an actual appliance being operated, and the event recorder will record the time. Using the appliance-feature database after feature extraction, what appliance is being operated and what kind of state the appliance is in will be recognized according to recognition algorithms. Based on the tracking results, the operation pattern and energy consumption of each appliance can also be estimated. Before recognition, a feature database should be established. Database creation is a very important part of the data mining process. An efficient database can greatly enhance the usability of a recognition system. At present, some public databases are available. Dedicated to appliance recognition, the Tracebase database contains more than a thousand electrical appliance features, recorded from 122 appliances spread into

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Table 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Classification of the state of five appliances Class



Recirculation Fan



































31 categories; the ACS-F1 database in [9] contains 200 appliances consumption features recorded from 100 appliances of different brands and models spread into 10 categories. Several methods may be applied to complete the recognition, including Euclidean distance, correlation analysis and machine earning. Euclidean distance: Euclidean distance is a supervised based approach. When an unknown appliance is running, its features can be extracted and used to compute the Euclidean distance with each pre-stored feature vector in the feature database. Then it can be determined to which class it belongs, according to the nearest distance. Euclidean distance is the most elementary part of distance measurement, as well as the basis of implementing multiple distance algorithms. If there are two finite data sets in a p-dimensional (p is the dimension of the features vector) Euclidean space, and


. (7) The equation of the Euclidean distance is defined as:


As the Euclidean distance does not involve the time axis, the displacement and noise will result in errors in system recognition, so it is inapplicable to accurate appliance recognition. Correlation analysis: Correlation analysis is also supervised which is a waveform recognition approach. Here, the waveform is the unique identifier or feature of each appliance. When an unknown appliance is running, its waveform can be obtained at the measurement point and sent for correlation analysis. Then, the class with the largest correlation is selected. The correlation can be computed by:

Recent Advances and Future Issues The first works on NIALM were reported by Hart in [8], who proposed a five-step load recognition method applied on a 2-D feature plane. The method had been tested in different fields with excellent results in the early research. In [10], an NIALM system that combines conventional Particle-swarm-optimization (PSO) with well-known back propagation ANNs (BP-ANNs) to identify load operation combinations of electric appliances was developed. Signatures P and Q are the input variables of the BP-ANNs, and it is assumed that P and Q of appliances are different. The study conducted electromagnetic transient program (EMTP) simulations and on-site load measurements to verify the performance regarding the training accuracy and generalization capability of the NILM system. In this proposal, the PSO works well to optimize the weight coefficients of the BP-ANNs, so that the performance of the BP-ANNs is improved.


where Ď&#x201E; is the time difference of x, y signal and the value of Rxy(Ď&#x201E;) is the correlation coefficient. Machine learning: Machine learning can generate classifiers automatically which can be directly used to classify the June 2016

extracted features in the appliance recognition system. Thus, there is no need to do any comparison with the feature database. In the classifier training stage, the feature database is divided into training and testing sets for the classifier. The classifier will be trained by the training data via several machine learning algorithms, and the test data will be discriminated by the classifier in various target clusters. Since the choice of features has a major influence on the pattern separating in the feature space, the features have a significant impact on the performance of classifiers. In this section, we provide more details on the structure of the NIALM system and conclude the methods to realize nonintrusive appliance load monitoring from three aspects. As aforementioned, appliance load monitoring can be ascribed to appliance state recognition. Therefore, the performance of an NIALM system depends on the accuracy of recognition, that is to say, the higher the accuracy rate, the better the performance.

Fig. 4. Structure of load decomposition based on event detection.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 59

The monitoring system was implemented in real houses and it successfully classified SMPS appliances with accuracy from 92.6% to 99.2% for individual appliances and 88.0% to 95.0% for multiple appliances.

Challenges and Possible Solutions

Fig. 5. The state combination of five appliances.

Wang, et al. created a database mechanism, an appliance recognition classification, and a waveform recognition method to solve the large data volume problem in a current appliance recognition system [11]. The experiment in the research is different from the research environment of other appliance recognition systems because it considered parallel multi-appliances recognition and the general userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s habit of using power. For the appliance recognition process, as shown in Fig. 5, Wang, et al. proposed a current information combination mechanism. By implementing this mechanism, and providing that one type of electric appliance is learned in the learning process, the mechanism can automatically determine all combinations. Therefore, the appliance features of all states can be rapidly obtained in a short time. However, the NIALM system proposed in [11] needs to learn all of the possible on/off operation combinations among the appliances. When the number of appliances increases, the combinations of on/off states increase exponentially. As a result, the training patterns also increase exponentially. Lin, et al. proposed an improved time-frequency analysis-based NIALM method [12]. The method incorporated a multi-resolution S-transform-based feature extraction scheme with a modified 0-1 multidimensional knapsack algorithmbased load recognition approach to recognize individual household appliances that may either be energized simultaneously or be recognized under similar real power consumption. For the appliance load recognition process, an ant colony optimization algorithm was employed to perform combinatorial searches that are formulated as a modified 0-1 multidimensional knapsack problem. As a result, the improved NIALM strategy was confirmed to be feasible. In [8], an automatic monitoring system for home appliances using infrastructure-mediated sensing technology was presented, and a practical solution for recognizing the operating states of electrical appliances and determining the consumption of each appliance in a household was proposed. Components of electromagnetic interference (EMI) noises in a residential power line were analyzed, and then the basic theory of switched mode power supplies (SMPS) was discussed. Finally, a set of practical approaches were proposed to detect and classify the electrical events, including a time-frequency transformation algorithm, power spectrum vector chasing, Gaussian function fitting and supervised pattern recognition. 60

The research on NIALM has made great progress in recent years with the maturity of each technology of this area. However, NIALM still faces numerous challenges, including appliance sets, feature availability, malfunction recognition, real-time processing, and computational complexity. Appliance sets: The proposed methods are not applicable to the cases in which some appliances belong to the same type. For example, there is one lamp in the bedroom and another in the adjoining washroom. If a lamp-turning on event is detected at the power entry, it will be difficult to recognize which lamp is turning on. Furthermore, this kind of problem will affect the application of indoor personnel behavior recognition and indoor personnel positioning. Feature availability: Until now, a complete set of robust and widely accepted appliance features has not been established. The available features do not provide unambiguous appliance detection and classification. It is not known whether there exist such features that the variability of these features is small whereas the interclass difference is large. If the target features do not exist, the recognition algorithms will require excessive training for each particular appliance of interest, which decreases the efficiency of an NIALM system. Malfunction recognition: The present algorithms can achieve type recognition and state recognition of appliances in an NILAM, but the malfunction state recognition and diagnosis have not been proposed. The primary reason is that it lacks all kinds of faulted appliances; thus, there is no way to perceive the features of appliances under malfunction states. Real-time processing: Higher sampling frequency of appliances data leads to better classification results as mentioned previously. Nevertheless, it is associated with high costs of sampling equipment and great pressure on the data transmission and storage for an NIALM system. This problem can be solved by local computation; hence, the present study is limited to offline experiments on the algorithm validation, which basically ignore the real-time requirements of appliance state monitoring. Computation complexity: For the appliances with multimodes, all of the appliance operation scenarios need to be considered and trained by an NIALM system in advance. Learning all of the appliance operation scenarios burdens the NIALM system with heavy commutating load when the number of appliances is very large. Additionally, with the improvement of system function, the program of the NIALM will become complicated, which will also aggravate the computation burden of the NIALM system. For the first two challenges, much more effort should be made on massive experiments of appliance and data analysis. For malfunction recognition, a public malfunction database of appliances like the Tracebase and ACS-F1 database is

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

expected for the research of malfunction recognition. For other challenges, the emergence of cloud computing brings opportunities to solve these problems. Cloud computing can provide a virtual infrastructure to process and integrate the monitoring equipment, storage equipment, analysis tools, and visualization platform within a smart home. As a kind of Internet based calculation mode with public participation, it is a new IT service architecture developing with the rapid growth of the needs for low cost data storage and parallel computing over the Internet. Cloud computing and Big Data principles are beginning to be used in instrumentation and measurement systems [13], in which a program does not run on a local computing device but on one or more remote servers. The servers process the data obtained from several measurement devices through wireless communication in parallel and provide relevant services to the client. So, applying cloud computing to the electrical appliance state monitoring, and establishing a cloud-computing-based monitoring system will provide a platform which has the ability for great capacity data storage and high-speed data processing. It will also provide an efficient storage method for a large amount of time-domain dynamic data. Besides, the construction of public data on the cloud platform lays a good foundation for the research of evaluating the platform for NIALM methods. In the future, data mining on the cloud platform will enhance the level of intelligent analysis and decision support. A good appliance state monitoring system not only needs an efficient recognition algorithm and a strong data support platform, but also needs reasonable data analysis methods to meet the required applications.

Future Developments and Applications of NIALM Until now, techniques using nonintrusive appliance load monitoring still do not result in meaningful practical implementation. In the future, the research aiming at appliance load monitoring will be more specifically observed in the interest of customers of the utilities. With the development of smart home systems, users will expect more energy-related, safety-related and more intelligent services. Combining the current popular techniques with daily life, the future applications in NIALM can benefit smart home users in significant ways. Home energy consumption understanding: An important application will allow a better understanding of the monthly electricity bill for users to develop habits of power saving. The principle is to compute the relative contribution of each appliance to the global consumption measured at the entry point by algorithms of the NIALM. Malfunction prediction and diagnosis: With the augmentation of the function for household appliances and the complexity of the electrical system, the incidence of malfunction increases. Traditional breakdown maintenance and regular maintenance are costly and waste a great deal of manpower and material resources. In malfunction prediction and diagnosis, state monitoring is the core of this technology, which can be realized via the corresponding malfunction features extracted at the power entry and malfunction recognition. June 2016

Cloud monitoring platform of appliance states: The setup of a cloud monitoring platform makes the appliance enterprise know more about the usage of the appliances, and it also can provide data support for product improvement and active marketing for the appliance enterprise. In addition, the cloud monitoring platform brings possibilities of remote malfunction prediction, diagnosis and maintenance. Maintenance will be developed from traditional posterior maintenance services to on-state maintenance services. Maintenance specialists can analyze the state data of appliances on the cloud monitoring platform, and then they can estimate the cause of malfunction and provide door-to-door service. Human activity recognition and positioning: The activity recognition is currently an area of growing research, particularly within a smart home, because we seek to provide a form of autonomy for individuals who require increased daily monitoring. Data and elements of daily living of the inhabitant can be collected to establish a daily activity database. In some cases, when the activity recognition is considered with the time and space, it can be used to locate the position of the inhabitant and even detect an abnormal situation according to the database of the NIALM system. Additionally, the appliance load monitoring system can also be applied to the health care of the elderly, which can provide reference information for the social endowment service.

Final Considerations of NIALM Nonintrusive appliance load monitoring has a great significance for developing smart homes. We expect a novel home network system which integrates information and power networks, and the systems will induce various artificial intelligence that ensures the appliances monitoring. The smart grid and accompanying home automation networks have the potential to become main energy management tools to reduce residential energy consumption. Further, Cloud computing and a smart grid may be integrated to manage the electronic distribution and make an energy consumption schedule for any given areas.

References [1] S. R. Shaw, S. B. Leeb, L. K. Norford, and R. W. Cox, “Nonintrusive load monitoring and diagnostics in power systems,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 57, no. 7, pp. 1445-1454, 2008. [2] T. Atalik, I. Cadirci, T. Demirci, et al., “Multipurpose platform for power system monitoring and analysis with sample grid applications,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 566582, 2013. [3] M. Sira and V.N. Zachovalova, “System for calibration of nonintrusive load meters with load identification ability,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 64, no. 6, pp. 1350-1354, 2015. [4] J. Liang, S. K. K. Ng, G. Kendall, and J. Cheng, “Load signature study—part I: basic concept, structure, and methodology,” IEEE Trans. Power Delivery, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 551-560, 2010. [5] Q. Zhou, Y. Chen, and Z. You, “Infrastructure-mediated sensing based home appliances monitoring system using the EMI characteristics,” Chinese J. Electronics, vol. 23, pp. 586-590, 2014.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 61

[6] F. Paradiso, F. Pagnelli, A. Luchetta, D. Giuli, and P.

[10] H.-H. Chang, L.-S. Lin, N. Chen, and W.-J. Lee, “Particle-swarm-

Castrogiovanni, “ANN-based appliance recognition from low-

optimization-based nonintrusive demand monitoring and load

frequency energy monitoring data,” in Proc. IEEE 14th Int. Symp.

identification in smart meters,” IEEE Trans. Industry Applications,

World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks (WoWMoM), pp. 1-6, 2013.

vol. 49, no. 5, pp. 1-8, 2013. [11] L.-C. Wang, W.-T. Cho, Y.-S. Chiu, and C.-F. Lai, “A parallel multi-

[7] A. Reinhardt, P. Baumann, D. Burgstahler, M. Hollick, H. Chonov,

appliance recognition for smart meter,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on

M. Werner, and R. Steinmetz, “On the accuracy of appliance

Dependable, Autonomic and Secure Computing (DASC), pp. 475-480,

identification based on distributed load metering data,” in Proc.


Sustainable Internet and ICT for Sustainability (SustainIT), pp. 1-9, 2012.

[12] Y. H. Lin and M.S. Tsai, “Development of an improved time–

[8] Y. Jimenez, C. Duarte, J. Petit, and G. Carrillo, “Feature extraction

frequency analysis-based nonintrusive load monitor for load

for nonintrusive load monitoring based on S-Transform,” in Proc. IEEE Power Systems Conference (PSC), Clemson University, pp. 1-5, Mar. 2014.

demand identification,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 63, pp. 1470-1483, 2014. [13] T. Cooklev, J. Darabi, C. McIntosh, and M. Mosaheb, “A cloud-

[9] C. Gisler, A. Ridi, D. Zufferey, O. A. Khaled, and J. Hennebert, “Appliance consumption signature database and recognition

based approach to spectrum monitoring,” IEEE Instrum. Meas. Mag., vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 33-37, 2015.

test protocols,” in Proc. IEEE 8th Int. Workshop on Systems, Signal Processing and their Applications (WoSSPA), pp. 336-341, 2013.

The author bios were not available.

junecalendar For more information about the meetings, please go to the I&M Society Web site at CIVEMSA 2016 / June 27-29, 2016 IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Virtual Environments for Measurement Systems and Applications Budapest, Hungary ISPCS 2016 / September 4-9, 2016 International IEEE Symposium on Precision Clock Synchronization for Measurement, Control, and Communication Stockholm, Sweden


AUTOTESTCON 2016 / September 12-15, 2016 IEEE AUTOTESTCON Anaheim, CA, USA AMPS 2016 / September 28-30, 2016 International Workshop on Applied Measurements for Power Systems Submission deadline: May 30, 2016 Aachen, Germany IST 2016 / October 4-6, 2016 IEEE International Conference on Imaging Systems & Techniques Chania, Crete, Greece

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

memberspatents IMS


Keith D. Strassner

The Value of Ideas—Intellectual Property


ear I&M Society Members: In the February 2016 issue of the Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine, we announced a new initiative related to recognizing and celebrating our members’ technical achievements and contributions in patents, which generate intellectual property (IP). As we progress towards establishing and promoting this initiative, this article will shine some light on the importance of and the value of ideas and IP, particularly those generated at academic institutions. As we get this exciting initiative off the ground, we will regularly celebrate our members’ accomplishments. Cheers Reza Zoughi As the world economy continues the transition from a manufacturing to a knowledge base, the value of intellectual assets to nations, companies, and universities continues to increase. A recent study by the intellectual property firm Ocean Tomo LLC reported that 84% of the market valuation of the S&P 500 is derived from intangible assets [1]. According to the Federal Reserve Bank beginning in the mid-1990s, a majority of U.S. business invested in intangible assets rather than classic physical assets such as equipment and real estate. Recently, however, investments in plants and equipment have been more balanced when compared to investments in intangible assets. Intangible assets include traditional intellectual property (IP): patents and copyrights, as well as research and development investments. For universities, research hospitals, and non-profit research foundations, the investments in protecting, marketing, and commercializing intellectual assets are important components of the economic development mission of these intuitions. The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) reported in their 2014 annual survey a 12% increase in university-based start-ups, a 27% increase in new product sales, and an all-time record of 6,363 new U.S. patents issued to universities [2]. June 2016

It is against this backdrop of the ever-increasing importance of intellectual assets and property that we offer a review of IP types, methods of protection, and recent issues. This column will focus on patents, copyrights, and trade secrets.

Patents In the United States, there are three distinct types of patents [3]: ◗◗ Utility patents are issued for any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement; ◗◗ Design patents are issued for a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and ◗◗ Plant Variety patents are issued to anyone who invents or discovers, and asexually reproduces, any distinct and new variety of plant. It is important to note that a patent is a property right to the inventor. Patents have a finite life – typically twenty years from the date of application. U.S. patents are effective only within the United States. Patents are available in over 190 countries, and those rights must be secured individually in each country [4]. An often confusing aspect of patents is that they are a negative right that is conferred by the patent grant, “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States [4]. It is not the right to make, and use the patented invention. For researchers, it is important to understand that in the corporate world, intellectual property protection is often well entrenched in the overall product research and development processes and procedures. Typically, the IP department is part of the overall team and will direct the IP protection process from the earliest stages. In universities, however, the pressure to publish research results as soon as possible can often run counter to the desire of the institution (and researchers) to obtain protection. Publication and patenting need not be mutually exclusive outcomes. A well-managed and functioning technology transfer office (TTO), working with the researcher team, can ensure that timely publications can occur and that effective IP protection can be obtained. Another benefit of working closely with the IP office or TTO is that these professionals can continually educate the

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 63 1094-6969/16/$25.00©2016IEEE

memberspatents continued IMS

researcher on the changing legal landscape of IP protection. For example, in recent years, courts including the U.S. Supreme Court have begun to slowly rewrite the definition of patentable subject matter in two important areas: ◗◗ the business method (software) patents and ◗◗ the definition of naturally derived materials. In 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled in Alice Corp. V. CLS Bank International case (573 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2347 - 2014) [5] that a computer-implemented electronic escrow service was essentially an abstract idea and not patentable subject matter. This case, plus the 2010 Bilski case, Bilski v. Kappos, 561 US 593 (Docket No. 08-964) [6] while not directed at software per se, are widely considered to set the tone for the ineligibility of patent applications based to a large degree on computer implemented algorithmic claims [5]. Of equal importance is the Assn. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., (106 U.S.P.Q.2d 1972 (U.S. 2013)) [7], case in which the Supreme Court unanimously determined that a piece of isolated oligomer of chemical nucleotides was unpatentable as it was naturally occurring. This case involved a patent claiming the use of an isolated fragment of DNA in a breast cancer detection test [7]. The key point here is that while basic issues around patent law are well established, the “devil is in the details.” And these details are constantly evolving. The partnership between the researcher and the IP office is a relationship in both developing and protecting the ideas and inventions of the research team.

Copyrights Copyrights protect original creative works such as writing, paintings, music, movies, dance, photos, and software [8]. Copyright owners have the exclusive rights to reproduce, display, perform, and distribute the copyrighted work subject to the fair use doctrine, which allows use of a copyright-protected work by another for purposes of criticism, new reporting teaching, scholarship, or research. These uses are not considered copyright infringement. Copyright protection exists in “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” It is important to note that copyright protection does not extend to patent eligible subject matter such as a procedure, process, or system. As an example, if a journal article describes a new process in non-destructive testing, copyright protection only extends to the author’s description of the NDE system; the copyright does not protect the system, since this would require patent protection. Registration of a copyright is voluntary and may take place at any time during the term of protection, however, a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement may not be filed until 64

the copyright has been formally registered with the Copyright Office.

Trade Secrets Trade secret law provides an organization with an additional form of Intellectual Property protection, while useful and often critical to the success of a business, trade secrets find little use in an open academic environment where the sharing of knowledge and ideas is encouraged. As federal research dollars shrink and university researchers are more frequently drawn to corporate research dollars to fund projects, the inherent conflict between trade secrets and open exchange becomes more apparent. By definition, a trade secret must be kept secret, in addition under most trade secret laws the secret must provide an economic advantage to the business. Under the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual-Property Rights (TRIPS), the United States is obligated to provide trade secret protection [9]. The definition is in this agreement: it is secret, commercially valuable because it is secret, and subject to reasonable steps to keep it secret. Trade secret protection can be considered as an alternative to patent protection. The risk, of course, is that trade secret law does not protect against independent creation. For example, should a researcher working independently discover the “secret formula of an original owner,” the original owner of the formula would have little legal recourse to stop the newly discovered product from entering the market. Industrial espionage and security concerns have added additional protection to trade secrets beyond state trade secret laws in the form of The Economic Espionage Act of 1996. The first conviction under this act involved an engineer of The Boeing Company who had, for a period of thirty years, stolen over 350,000 trade secret documents related to Boeing’s space program and provided them to China. At age 74, he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison [10].

Impact and Action Intellectual property is an important economic driver today and into the fore-seeable future. Researchers in industry and academia must understand this value to contribute to the betterment of society. As reported by ATUM in 2014, US$28 billion of product sales resulted from university innovations and total license income back to these universities and research hospitals in 2014 was US$2,729 million. In the period from 1996 to 2013, US$518 billion of gross domestic product was linked to university-developed innovations [2]. It is important for researchers and IP professionals to work collaboratively to advance research and provide their organizations with the opportunity for economic return on the research investment through appropriate intellectual property protection.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Buried in all of these numbers are stories of great research that translated into products and services that have influenced the world broadly and, in some cases, in a very personal way. To learn more about these stories visit [11], AUTM’s The Better World Project. A few examples will illustrate the impact.

Clean Eating After decades of food trends and practices have made the American diet less nutritious and overly dependent on processed foods, a refreshing new movement is afoot: clean eating. Consumers are increasingly looking for ways to eat clean by incorporating fresher, more natural foods into their diet and eliminating highly processed foods laden with additives and preservatives. Start-up company 915 Labs of Colorado is hoping to play a major role in the clean eating movement by harnessing a new and healthier way to process and package foods developed at Washington State University (WSU) [12]. The new sterilization method called microwaveassisted thermal sterilization (MATS) is drastically different from conventional food processing (a process that has remained virtually unchanged for more than 100 years). Historically, food was vacuum packed in a can or pouch and then placed in a pressurized cooker at 250 degrees, or above, for up to one hour. “Conventional thermal processing was invented for all the right reasons, so that pathogens would be removed from our food,” says Michael Locatis, CEO of 915 Labs. “[But] it also causes significant damage to the flavor, texture, color, and nutritional content of food, which forces food companies to use additives to mask that damage. There are more than 3,000 FDA-approved food additives to compensate for flavor and texture lost during processing.” In contrast, the MATS technology invented by WSU’s Juming Tang, Ph.D. eliminates food pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in just 5 to 8 minutes by immersing packaged food in pressurized hot water and simultaneously heating it with microwaves at a frequency of 915 megahertz (MHz). A procedure and frequency that penetrates food more thoroughly than the 2450 MHz used in home microwave ovens. “When you shorten cooking time, you retain more nutritional value,” says Tang. “You produce a product that is more appealing to the consumer.” Mr. Locatis adds, “MATS has a light touch on the food product. It gives the culinary experts a chance to pull the junk out.” (© AUTM, used with permission, from [12]).

The introduction of antimicrobial drugs in the early twentieth century was a major milestone in the practice of modern medicine. Penicillin and other antibiotics conquered countless bacterial enemies, including pneumonia and tuberculosis, which dramatically reduced the death toll from infectious diseases. However, the overuse or misuse of antimicrobials has enabled bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites to adapt and become antimicrobial-resistant. As a result, diseases and infections once eradicated with antibiotics are becoming difficult or impossible to treat, posing a worldwide threat to both animal and human health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the twenty-first century may bring a post-antibiotic era in which common infections and minor injuries can kill. Scientists, including Paul Savage at BYU, have been feverishly studying the mechanisms of bacterial growth and resistance, looking for new ways to combat AMR. After taking graduate-level classes in microbiology and biotech training at the National Institutes of Health as a Ph.D. student in organic chemistry, Savage became interested in the immune system’s first line of defense — antimicrobial peptides or AMPs. Savage is now a professor of chemistry and biochemistry and says, “I was exposed to bacterial processes that I began to understand at a chemical level.” (© AUTM, used with permission, from [13]).

Unique Microbe Killer Thanks to an unlikely pairing of horse breeders and chemists at Brigham Young University (BYU), a new antimicrobial therapy is delivering dramatic results to animals plagued by persistent bacterial infections [13]. The therapy, which is also being tested for human pharmaceutical and medical applications, may be an answer to the growing problem of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) infections.

References [1] “Annual study of intangible asset market value from Ocean Tomo, LLC,” Ocean Tomo, Mar. 2015. [Online]. Available: http:// [2] “The technology management industry continues to produce results,” Association of University Technology Managers, 2014. [Online]. Available: files/documents/FY2014%20Highlights.pdf. [3] “General Information Concerning Patents,” United States Patent and Trademark Office, Oct. 2014. [Online]. Available: http://

June 2016

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 65

memberspatents continued IMS

Managers, (AUTM). [Online]. Available: http://www.

[4] “WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services,

[13] “Mimics of skin antimicrobial peptides,” Brigham Young

policy, information, and cooperation,” World Intellectual

University, The Better World Project, Association of University

Property Organization. [Online]. Available: http://www.wipo.

Technology Managers (AUTM). [Online]. Available: http://


[5] “Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International,” 573 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014). [6] “Bilski v. Kappos,” 561 US 593 (Docket No. 08-964). [7] “Assn. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.,” (106 U.S.P.Q.2d 1972 (U.S. 2013). [8] “Code of Federal Regulations,” United States Copyright Office. [Online]. Available: [9] “Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights,” World Trade Organization. [Online]. Available: https:// Accessed February 22, 2016. [10] “Former Boeing Engineer Convicted of Economic Espionage in Theft of Space Shuttle Secrets for China” Dept. of Justice, Office of Public Affairs. [Online]. Available: opa/pr/former-boeing-engineer-convicted-economic-espionagetheft-space-shuttle-secrets-china. Accessed February 22, 2016. [11] “The Better World Project, advancing discoveries for a better world,” Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). [Online]. Available: www.betterworldproject. org. [12] “Clean eating a possibility with new food sterilization system,” Washington State University Office of Commercialization, The Better World Project, Association of University Technology


Keith D. Strassner ( holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (1979) and an M.A. degree in Marketing from Webster University (1988). He currently serves as Director of the Office of Technology and Economic Development at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T). He represents the University as a board member of the Rolla Regional Economic Commission (RREC), Tech44® an economic development program to attract technology enabled companies to the Interstate 44 corridor in Missouri. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Missouri Enterprise, a NIST Manufacturing Extension Partner. He worked for twenty-six years in a variety of roles in the private sector, principally in the chemical and material industries. He served as the Assistant Director for Alliances and Government Relations at Brewer Science, Inc. responsible for the identification and development of strategic alliances and partnerships. Prior to joining Brewer Science, he spent sixteen years with Petrolite Corporation (now BakerHughes Corp.), a specialty chemical company holding a variety of technical, business development and marketing positions including Manager of New Business Development and Director of Research and Development.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

societynews Melanie Po-Leen Ooi

Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year Award 2014


irst, I want to say that it was a great honour for me to be named the IEEE I&M Society (IMS) Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year Award for 2014. As I tell you about my experiences, you will see how it has changed my life. I am an Asian female-engineer living and working in the fast evolving, challenging and yet often traditional socio-economic environment of Malaysia. I received my B.Eng. (Hons), M.Eng.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electronics and Computing from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, which is among the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top educational institutions by major international rankings. I am currently an Associate Professor at the Heriot-Watt University, UK, in its Malaysia campus in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences. I teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses and research in several subject fields including measurement uncertainty with applications to design and manufacturing. For over ten years, I have been a Member of the IMS and its Technical Committee 32 on Fault-Tolerant Measurement Systems. I am also a UK Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. I am happily married and have two beautiful young daughters, ages five and two. On a less serious side, I enjoy playing Candy Crush when I am bored or tired, and I am a proud owner of an exceptionally large collection of LEGOs.

Commitment to IMS I first joined the IEEE in 2005 as a Student Member. My very first experience at an international conference was the 2005 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Conference (I2MTC) held in Ottawa, Canada. I was extremely nervous, having practiced and practiced my presentation many times during the seventeen-hour flight and even on the morning of my session. It was a daunting experience to present my work for the first time to the very same people whose work I had been reading and referencing. Yet, despite all my initial fears, the experience was a pleasant one â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Conference was filled with very welcoming academics, research experts, and engineers who encouraged my efforts and provided me with recommendations on how to improve my work. In 2007, I was elected the Secretary of the IMS Malaysia Chapter. Following that appointment, I attended the Annual IMS Chapter meeting in May 2007 in Warsaw, Poland during June 2016

Reza Zoughi, President of the IMS, presented the Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year Award 2014 to Melanie Ooi at the IEEE I2MTC 2015

I2MTC. My involvement with the IMS and its Malaysia Chapter grew from then on. I helped to expand the membership and activities in Malaysia while holding several offices in the Chapter, including the Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Executive Committee member. Due to growing family commitments, I stepped down from the Chapter responsibilities for two years between 2013 and 2014. I re-joined IMS activities in 2014 as the Secretary and Member of the Technical Committee-32 (TC-32) on Fault Tolerant Measurement Systems and since then have worked on improving measurement tools and techniques. (Please refer to our new on-line tools on the Committee website:

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 67

societynewsâ&#x20AC;&#x192;continued What the Award Means to Me I live and work in Malaysia. It is a fast developing country and hi-tech manufacturing hub with plenty of opportunities for applied researchers and practicing engineers. Yet, there are also several challenges that I have faced in my work. For example, the overall state resources available to support fundamental research activities are relatively limited while the local currency exchange rate is not particularly favourable. As a result, the research funds are not many and they are often of comparatively small sizes. This restricts the type of research projects that can be proposed and developed to somewhat smaller size problems. Unfortunately, in Malaysia, we do not have any real access to significant international research grant schemes; the industry support is often limited to the projects associated with immediate problems and needs. There still exists elements of rudimentary lower acceptance within the traditional Asian society of engineering and research/technical leadership as a career profession path for females, thus sometimes gender inequality issues occur. The progress in this area in the recent decades has been significant and evident. Yet, it is still quite a long way to go before such inequality will be finally eliminated for good. There have been a number of other objective and subjective obstacles on my professional way. However, the aim of this article is not about listing them and complaining about the hardships â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they are mentioned just to illustrate that they have actually motivated me to work harder, and that has been the main recipe of success. I divide my work time roughly equally between research and education, as both are absolutely vital and complementary in my work as an academic and engineer. I believe that the engineering education in Asia needs to be industry-driven to produce engineers who can compete on a global scale. By focusing my efforts on improving the quality of engineering education in Malaysia, I hope to contribute towards producing more highly skilled graduates who will technologically transform my country further.


As I mentioned earlier, I have been a part of IMS for a decade and have always been in awe of the amount of talent, enthusiasm, professional institution activities, productivity in research, and engineering applications in the Society. Therefore, it was a huge honour to even be considered for the IEEE IMS Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year Award. When I was first told that I would be named the Outstanding Young Engineer for 2014, I was astounded. It took quite a while for the news to sink in. When the news of the award was publicized in my workplace, I received many messages from female engineers and academics congratulating me and asking for an advice on whether they should put themselves forward for consideration for recognition in their respective fields. Possibly, their hesitation in doing so before had a lot to do with cultural norms in past years, whereby young females could be labelled as arrogant if we were to put ourselves forward. I was also interviewed by a major national newspaper that did a two-page spread on my career as a female engineer in Malaysia. It could be right to say that receiving the IEEE IMS Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year Award has positioned me as a kind of a role-model for women in technical fields in Malaysia, thus making me a part of the gender equality development. I am exceedingly grateful to the Society for such recognition, and I will certainly work even harder from here on to do it justice. The IEEE Malaysia Section and I&M Chapter in the country have always been very active. Bringing such a reputable award home to Malaysia gives an additional shot of confidence to the members of IEEE and the I &M Society, while also encouraging their greater participation in the professional activities. Having a belief in our ability to compete and succeed on an international level is half the battle won. I am confident that we will be able to attract many more members into the Malaysia IMS Chapter and to increase its contributions to the Society in the years to come.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

societynewsreport meeting

Max Cortner

2016 Strategic Planning Meeting


he 2016 Instrumentation and Measurement Society’s (IMS) annual Strategic Planning Meeting, in which the Society officers and the Editors-in-Chief (EICs) participated, was held in Atlanta, GA during February 18-20. The opening remarks by Ruth Dyer, President, emphasized the importance of Vision, Mission and Goals as the IMS seeks to identify initiatives to pursue that will benefit our members. Our plans must stay aligned with our overall goals so that we make the most effective use of our resources. Our financial resources are important, but one most crucial resource that we have is the invaluable time voluntarily given by the IMS Officers, AdCom members, and active general members, all of whom work diligently to advance our Society goals. Ruth reminded the group of the upcoming comprehensive publications and Society review by the IEEE, which will take place in 2017. She challenged us to continue analyzing the recent IEEE membership survey results for ideas which would improve the value of our services to our members. Ruth’s message focused on both the initiatives being undertaken by IEEE and those by the IMS AdCom. She encouraged us to continue our efforts to improve our already highly and effective Society. Max Cortner, Executive VP, led a review of the Vision and Mission of the Society. A strong connection to that vision pervaded the discussion in all areas. Our vision is to be the premier international professional Society in the Instrumentation and Measurement fields. From this statement, we recognized the challenge of defining our field expansively. Instrumentation and measurement (I&M) pervades every technology, and yet it is a distinct field in and of itself. The leaders of the IMS feel the need to be more proactive in clarifying what work is an advancement of the science of I&M and what work is primarily an application of I&M techniques. Clearly defining our field is not a move toward isolation but rather is a strategy that will highlight the unique contributions of the science of I&M. The officers of the IMS explored numerous initiatives to attract more engineers and more strongly engage and provide services to our members throughout the world. Dario Petri, VP Finance, and Juan Manuel Ramirez-Cortes, Treasurer, reviewed the IEEE budgeting process and provided an overview of the IMS budget for 2016. Our budget is sound and continues a multi-year history of meeting the IEEE

June 2016

Moving across from left to right (one row): Zheng Liu, Alessandro Ferrero, Ruqiang Yan, Mark Yeary, Reza Zoughi, Judy Scharmann, Kristen Donnell, Ruth Dyer, Salvatore Baglio, Jorge Fernandez Daher, Dario Petri, Max Cortner, and Juan Manuel Ramirez Cortes.

requirements for effective budget management. With four years of positive budgets, the emphasis is on wise spending for initiatives which provide enhanced benefit to our members. Kristen Donnell, filling in for Shervin Shirmohammadi, the VP of Membership, reviewed the success of a wave of chapter formations spurred by our actions and supported by our strong Distinguished Lecturer Program (DLP). The Membership Committee plans to continue successful ongoing activities such as the Chapter Summit, chapter support and chapter funding programs, which encourage new chapters and engage existing ones. Continuing support for programs such as our Women In Engineering (WIE) initiative and the Region 10 Initiative encourages diversity in our membership. As part of our WIE program, this issue of the Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine focuses on the contributions of women engineers to the I&M field, and a future IEEE WIE Magazine issue will feature the IMS activities. In response to the IEEE Africa initiative, the Membership Committee is exploring the formation of possible chapters in Africa as the next global extension of our Society. The Young Professionals program and the Industrial Relations initiative will further increase diversity in our membership. Salvatore Baglio, VP of the Education Committee, proposed identifying “hot topics” in the I&M field that we would update periodically. The topics on this list would guide the decisions of the Education Committee as to what educational

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 69

societynewsreport continued meeting

content will be of high interest to our members. These topics would influence the subject matter of existing programs such as the DLP, Tutorials, and Video Tutorials. Initiatives such as the proposed “Meet the Instrumentation and Measurement Society Days” would explore these topics through presentations by the Society DLs or tutorial speakers. These events would be held at selected universities, in conjunction with support from local chapters. The intent is to deliver relevant and cutting-edge content to our members employed by industry, at a convenient local event. Mark Yeary, our VP of Conferences, led a discussion of how we might partner successfully, both technically and financially, with conferences of other organizations. Within conferences such as the I2MTC, we discussed cooperation with industry and regional organizations to engage members of these groups in our Society. An Industry Special Session is being organized at the I2MTC 2016 in Taipei as the next step of our continued effort to encourage engagement by members employed in industry. Mark also shared a plan to administer the IEEE-required charges for technically co-sponsored conferences. Zheng Liu, VP of Publications, began with a reminder of the various ways in which we publish information for our members. The usual emphasis is on the Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement (TIM) and the Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine (IAMM), but Zheng reminded us of the opportunities to increase the use of our Newsletter, our web list of I&M Books and our Video Tutorials to increase bandwidth and diversity of our communication to members. Zheng challenged the team to use continued care in controlling the costs of publications. The IMS depends financially on publications as well as conferences to fund our services and benefits to members. The Publications Committee is focused on efficiency as well as effectiveness of communication. Alessandro Ferrero, TIM’s EIC, focused on two strategic challenges to further improvements in the premier technical publication of our Society, the Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement. First, the increasing number of out-of-scope papers received is presenting a great challenge to the TIM EIC and associate editors as they try to provide authors with timely review of their submissions. It is also a reflection of the challenge our Society faces in helping prospective authors better understand exactly what the I&M field is and to focus their submitted papers on how their research is advancing the state of the art in the I&M field. Alessandro asked for the help of all the other committees of the AdCom in addressing this issue. The Education, Conferences, Membership, and Technical Committees can all work together to promote a clearer understanding of the I&M culture and, consequently, the scope of the I&M field. These efforts can thereby reduce the number of authors who inadvertently submit papers that are not


appropriately within the scope of the TIM. The second issue relates to challenges associated with the increase in the number of Open Access (OA) papers accepted. Access fees to our published papers via Xplore are a significant portion of the Society’s income. However, the OA fees are not expected to generate the same income. In view of this potential impact on the Society’s revenue, Alessandro asked the group to consider additional ideas that could provide revenue to support the activities of the Society. For the IAMM, Wendy Van Moer, EIC, reviewed the publications plan for 2016 and 2017. Editions have focused on subjects that support the Society strategy, including a Region 10 focused issue and this Women in I&M issue. Actions for the editorial staff this year will focus on reducing costs while maintaining the quality of our magazine. Ruqiang Yan, Technical and Standards Activity Committee VP, presented a positive program to support and encourage our 18 Technical Committees as Centers of Excellence in our Society. Plans include organizing an annual TC Chairs meeting and providing greater visibility to their work through special conference sessions and newsletter articles. Regular assessment of Technical Committees will identify those that can benefit from funding and those whose excellence deserves the Best TC Award to be given annually. The overall program is intended to encourage participation of members in TCs and encourage TC participation in other Society activities. Senior Past President Jorge Daher reported that the Awards Committee is focused on better communication of the callfor-nominations to increase the number of candidates and maintain the standards of recognition. Visibility of award winners who represent the ideals of the IMS professionalism will help us define the field at its best. Reza Zoughi, Junior Past President, described the goal of the Nominations and Appointments Committee to seek the best candidates for the AdCom from a very diverse pool of potential candidates. Establishing and maintaining a solid succession plan for existing officers will improve continuity and assure that for the benefit of our members, our Society is managed well. Identifying a slate of candidates who are willing to become active leaders ensures a long term future for the Society. The meeting was concluded with a discussion of Society Management including recommended revisions to our Strategic Plan, a reminder of the upcoming Society Review tasks and a review of action items from the meeting. In accordance with IMS’ governing documents, changes to our plan will be recommended to the AdCom and acted upon at the upcoming May AdCom meeting in Taipei. Respectfully Submitted, Max Cortner, Executive VP

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

newproducts Robert Goldberg

Please send all “New Products” information to: Robert M. Goldberg 1360 Clifton Ave. PMB 336 Clifton, NJ 07012 USA e-mail:

PXIe® Vector Network Analyzer Options Keysight Technologies introduces a series of hardware and software options for the M9485A high-performance PXIe® multiport vector network analyzer (VNA). These options further enhance the modular nature of the M9485A VNA by adding a range of new capabilities in support of applications such as base transceiver station (BTS) component test and active multiport module test. During production test, engineers face a number of challenges. For those testing handset front-end modules with active components and tuning BTS high-rejection filters/duplexers, the challenge involves utilizing instrumentation with the right mix of measurement performance and configuration flexibility. Also critical is the ability to measure active components. The M9485A’s fast measurement speed and high-power handling capability, coupled with its new hardware and software options, make it well suited to address these challenges. The Configurable Test Set option allows users to create their own combination of VNA receivers and adjust receiver performance as needed, to fit the needs of their specific application. 2-/4-/6-/8-/10-/12-port option is available. The Direct Receiver Access (DRA) option allows engineers to configure mixed receiver systems by either using the DRA module in the M9485A system as one receiver, or with a coupler module to make a configurable test set port. 2-/4-/6/8-/10-/12-port option is available. These hardware options provide superior yield for the test of wireless components and modules with high-power handling or high-rejection performance via a tailored multiport June 2016

network analysis system. As an added benefit, the easy upgrade process associated with the M9485A, whereby different type of receivers are combined modularly in one system, helps engineers better prepare for future device-under-test trends and updates. The M9485A also features two new software options: a basic RF Pulse Measurements option and a Gain Compression Analysis option, each designed to help engineers evaluate active components. The Pulse Measurement option performs point-in-pulse and pulse profile measurements down to a pulse width on the order of one microsecond, while the Gain Compression Analysis option quickly and easily performs measurements to search for the gain compression point over frequency. Keysight’s M9485A PXIe multiport VNA supports a frequency offset mode, time domain analysis, basic RF pulse, gain compression and N-port calibrated measurements based on the same measurement science and calibration science as the PNA/ENA network analyzers. More information on the M9485A PXIe VNA is available at

Spectrum Analyzer Features Digital IF Technology Siglent Technologies announces the introduction of a new line of digital spectrum analyzers. The SSA3000X Series includes two new models with frequency ranges from 9 kHz to 2.1 GHz and 9 kHz to 3.2 GHz. These new spectrum analyzers incorporate all-digital Intermediate Frequency (IF) technology for higher measurement accuracy and frequency resolution. With IF technology the frequency conversion and filtering is accomplished with digital signal processing earlier in the signal path for more accurate and stable values. This new family of SSA3000X spectrum analyzers include a 10.1 inch, 1024x600 resolution, WVGA display that is bright and easy to read. The minimum resolution bandwidth (RBW) is 10 Hz, average noise level displayed is -161 dBm/Hz, offset phase noise is -98 dBc/Hz @10 kHz, and total amplitude accuracy is < 0.7 dB. Initial calibration accuracy is < 0.2 ppm. These new spectrum analyzers are lightweight, compact, and have a user-friendly interface. Options include a tracking generator, advanced measurement package, EMI

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 71

newproducts continued measurement function with quasi-peak detection, and reflection (VSWR) measurement kit. For more information, please visit www.siglentamerica. com.

New PC Scope Software Delivers Improved Waveform Analysis and Functionality Pico Technology has introduced Release 6.11.7 of the PicoScope® software. This version of PicoScope provides significant new capabilities for engineers, scientists, technicians and researchers who are working on the latest generation of electrical and electronic technologies. The new version of PicoScope addresses many challenges with the addition of new mathematical waveform processing tools, decoding of popular serial protocols, and improvements to FFT frequency domain plotting. For users with touchscreens, Pico has introduced pinch and zoom support to enable easy panning and positioning of captured waveforms. Advanced waveform mathematics now includes user-configurable filters: High Pass, Low Pass, Band Pass and Band Stop. The filters can be used to model missing circuit elements on live waveforms, and to do “what-if” analysis using different design parameters. Frequency and duty cycle versus time plotting is a new feature that enables analysis of “Big Waveform Data” at a glance. With those plots it is possible to measure clock jitter and wander, modulation depth and characteristics of FM signals on a cycle-by-cycle basis. Serial buses are commonplace in embedded systems, with new standards frequently being introduced. PicoScope has support for a total of sixteen common protocols. For more information, please visit Current users can download the latest software version at:

Family of Compact, Standalone DC Electronic Loads Tektronix, Inc. introduces the Keithley Series 2380 family of compact, standalone DC Electronic Loads as a complement to the company’s complete set of power test and measurement solutions. Available in 200 W, 250 W and 750 W models, the new DC Electronic Loads offer excellent 72

performance and versatility to handle a wide range of applications including performance verification, stress test and environmental test of DC power sources, power components and batteries in power electronics, battery research and alternative energy. Electronics engineers or test engineers developing or testing DC power supplies or batteries use DC Electronic Loads to quickly and easily simulate real-world loads in order to validate the performance of their devices under a range of conditions. The new Series 2380 DC Electronic Loads feature multiple operation modes and diverse auto test modes with up to 25 kHz dynamic load cycling mode, superior voltage/ current resolution and read back accuracy and multiple interface choices. Using any of the Series 2380 models, engineers can test their device under multiple working modes using the same instrument. The operation modes include constant current (CC), constant voltage (CV), constant resistance (CR), and constant power (CP). The new instruments build confidence in measurement accuracy with 0.1 mV/0.01mA voltage/current read back resolution and 0.025%/0.05% voltage/current read back accuracy. Other features include: ◗◗ A built-in CR-LED test that can simulate real LED lamps or LED strings ◗◗ Integrated facilities for easily measuring the voltage rise/ fall time of DC power sources ◗◗ An I-Monitor function that simplifies testing/monitoring of current drawn from the DUT ◗◗ List mode making it easier to create a wide range of load current changes ◗◗ Battery test function that simplifies battery life and capacity testing. For more information, go to

EMC Test and Measurement Equipment Rohde & Schwarz demonstrates its expertise in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) measurements by introducing its family of instruments. The company’s portfolio includes EMI compliance and pre-compliance test receivers, highly sophisticated, harmonized system solutions, associated analysis software and broadband amplifiers. R&S claims their EMI test receiver has the greatest dynamic range and level accuracy on the market. Rohde & Schwarz developed the EMI test receiver specifically for demanding certification and R&D measurements.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

The test receivers of the R&S ESR series support frequency ranges from 9 kHz to 3.6 GHz/7 GHz/26.5 GHz, which are ideal for performing disturbance measurements in just a few seconds for standard compliant EMC certifications. The standardized R&S CEMS100 test platform is a flexible, reliable off-the-shelf solution for radiated EMS measurements in line with IEC / EN 61000-4-3. The R&S AdVISE (automated video inspection system for EMC) is a video based system for monitoring DUT reactions in automated EMC test environments. R&S AdVISE can complement an R&S EMC32 software based EMS system or operate as a standalone solution. Also in the portfolio are the R&S BBL200 and R&S BBA150 from its broadband amplifier family. These instruments cover power levels from 15 W to 10 kW in the frequency range from 9 kHz to 6 GHz. When portability is desired, the R&S Spectrum Rider is a new handheld spectrum analyzer offering light weight and long battery life. This user friendly solution offers solid RF performance and good accuracy for measurements in the field and lab. Depending on requirements, a key code can extend its frequency range from the standard 5 kHz to 2 GHz up to 4 GHz. Find more information at

New Generation of Motion Sensors Bosch Sensortec announces new generations of intelligent accelerometers and high performance gyroscopes. The new devices cover a wide range of req u i re m e n t s , f ro m l o w power consumption for always-on applications such as step counting, to high performance optical image stabilization (OIS). To meet these challenges, the new sensors from Bosch Sensortec integrate embedded intelligence functionality into standalone accelerometers. Adding intelligent features to an accelerometer enables innovative applications, while minimizing power consumption by eliminating the need to wake up an application processor or an additional discrete sensor hub. Power consumption of the new accelerometers is kept very low to extend battery life time and the integrated Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” features minimize programming effort for users. Each device delivers outstanding accelerometer performance, most importantly, low offset, low temperature coefficient offset (TCO) and low noise levels. Two new accelerometers are being launched. The BMA422 “all-rounder” is ideally suited for standard applications, the BMA455 provides high performance for areas such as June 2016

immersive activity-tracking. In addition, the high level of performance enables the most demanding applications covering augmented reality, virtual reality and other applications. Mobile devices require gyroscopes for many applications. To provide the necessary performance, Bosch Sensortec’s new gyroscopes combine the most important parameters in a single device: low noise, low TCO and high bias stability. Two three-axis gyroscopes are being introduced. The BMG250 provides low noise, low TCO and high bias stability, while the BMG280 delivers ultra-low noise optimized for OIS and includes a secondary interface for OIS, making it fit for use in camera modules. The new devices are all provided in small packages. The BMA422 measures 2.0 x 2.0 x 0.95 mm, while the BMA455 is 2.0 x 2.0 x 0.65 mm. The BMG250 and BMG280 gyroscopes both measure 3.0 x 2.5 x 0.83 mm. Find more information at

Enhanced Version of VirtualBench All-in-One Instrument NI announces a new, highperformance model of VirtualBench. The software-based VirtualBench all-in-one instrument combines a mixed-signal oscilloscope, function generator, digital multimeter, programmable DC power supply and digital I/O. With 350 MHz of bandwidth, four analog channels and Ethernet connectivity, the new version of VirtualBench offers increased functionality for engineers characterizing and debugging new designs or automated test systems. Users still interact with VirtualBench through free upgradable software applications that run on PCs or iPads for an easy, unified software experience for all five instruments. Engineers and scientists interact with their instruments using multitouch displays, multicore processors, wireless connectivity and intuitive interfaces for increased productivity. Simplification and increased capability through software leads to more efficient circuit debugging and validation. The key benefits of VirtualBench include: ◗◗ Enhanced mixed-signal oscilloscope with protocol analysis delivers 350 MHz of bandwidth and four analog channels for higher performance interactive test ◗◗ Higher wattage programmable DC power supply with up to 3 A for the 6 V output channel and up to 1 A for the 25 V and -25 V channels for higher current applications ◗◗ Convenient, unified view of all five instruments, visualization on larger displays and quick functionality to save data and screenshots ◗◗ Ethernet connectivity in addition to USB and WiFi compatibility for distributed measurements

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 73

newproducts continued ◗◗ Integrates seamlessly with LabVIEW system design software. To learn more about VirtualBench, visit virtualbench.

Compact Series of Handheld Meters OMEGA presents the HHC200 Series of portable rugged environmental meters for temperature, pressure, RPM/light intensity, air flow, humidity, dew point, and wet bulb measurement. This series of 7 meters offers fast and accurate readings for your environmental field monitoring needs, measuring outdoor or laboratory created conditions such as wind chill, humidity, dew point, illumination, and more. The HHC201 and HHC210 digital thermometers are offered in two different models: infrared thermometer with laser sighting and dual thermocouple thermometer. The HHC230 and HHC250 light meter and optical RPM meter measure light intensity and non-contact optical RPM with accuracy and reliability. HHC261 hygro-anemometer for air flow and humidity measurement offers high accuracy with ambient measurement, wind chill indicator and integrated wet bulb flow vane. The HHC280 and HHC281 manometers are offered in two different models: absolute pressure and precision differential. All models include a protective bumper and hard cover shell for field use, plus auto power-off features, and CE approval. Find more information at

645 MHz Real-time Analysis Bandwidth for Radiated Emissions Compliance Testing Measurements of radiated emissions in the frequency range up to 1 GHz are performed in a semi-anechoic chamber or on open area test sites (OATS). Such measurements are very time consuming. According to CISPR and FCC Standards, the measurements have to be performed at several antenna heights and all angular positions of the device under test. In the past the total test time was reduced by performing prescans with peak detector and short dwell times and final maximization carried out at individual frequenc i e s o n l y. D u r i n g t h e pre-scan procedure overview measurements are performed to search for the 74

frequencies with maximum emissions. A list of suspicious frequencies (peak list) is generated. Then, the final measurement is performed at these frequencies in single frequency mode with longer dwell times. Using the TDEMI X of GAUSS INSTRUMENTS with a real-time analysis bandwidth of 645 MHz and fully gapless evaluation and visualizing (Option QCDSP-UG, 645M-UG) the final maximization can be performed at all frequencies simultaneously. The unique feature of the fully gapless real-time spectrogram mode combines all advantages of the single frequency mode of a traditional receiver with the possibility to carry out the measurement at all frequencies simultaneously. Two detectors are applied simultaneously, thus CISPR-Average and Quasi-peak detectors can be measured simultaneously in real-time and stored and visualized in real-time. By applying the real-time analysis bandwidth of 645 MHz, the measurement is carried out first in the frequency range of 30 MHz to 645 MHz using Quasi-peak and CISPR-Average detectors including maximization at all angular positions and heights. After characterization in the range from 30 MHz to 645 MHz, the second full maximization is performed in the range 645 MHz – 1 GHz. Both measurements are combined to the final test report. By this method, e.g., all operation modes of a device under test can be easily measured in a very short total test time. For more information, please visit www.gauss-instruments. com/.

Multimode Laser Diode with 20 Watt Peak Power @ 808 Nm Eagleyard’s new 808 nm broad area semiconductor laser diode delivers 20 Watt peak power under pulsed operation from a single emitter. Its high pulse energy and fast rise time makes this laser diode ideally suited for high resolution sensing applications in extreme harsh environments. The diode features: ◗◗ 10 μs pulse width @ 25 kHz repetition rate, ◗◗ Temperature Range: -40 °C to +80 °C, ◗◗ available in a hermetically sealed 9 mm TO-housing, ◗◗ upon request, also available with fast axis collimation (FAC). The multimode laser diodes operate spatially and longitudinally multimode. In this product family it supports wavelengths between 650 and 1120 nm. The output power range is between 1 and 18 Watt in continuous mode. In pulse mode, it is up to 100 Watt. Stripe widths from 60 μm

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

to 400 μm are available to optimize beam structure and power for various applications. These laser diodes are used for sensing in space and defense applications, material processing, medical applications, LIDAR, or solid-state laser pumping. For a datasheet, please visit fileadmin/downloads/data_sheets/EYP-BAL-0808-000201540-SOT23-0016.pdf.

Industrial Wireless Controller for Internet of Things Applications Banner Engineering introduces the Sure Cross® DXM100 industrial wireless controller, designed to facilitate communications for Ethernet connectivity or Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. Available with an internal Sure Cross DX80 Wireless Gateway or a MultiHop Data Radio, this powerful Modbus communications device reliably connects local wireless networks with the Internet and/ or host systems. To satisfy multiple application requirements, the DXM100 controller offers several wired and wireless connectivity options to easily share data between local and remote equipment. The cellular modem option eliminates the need for IT infrastructures to connect remote equipment, while the integrated Sure Cross wireless radio option enables Modbus connectivity to equipment. Banner’s DXM100 wireless controller includes a logic controller with easy programming options for simple operation and guaranteed control. It can be programmed using action rules and ScriptBasic, allowing freedom when creating custom sensing and control sequences. The DXM100 also allows for secure email and text messaging for alarms, alerts and data log files. The DXM100 incorporates several automation protocols into its system, including Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP and EtherNet/IP. The controller also features on-board universal and programmable I/O ports for simple connection to local sensors, indicators and control equipment. Designed with an interactive, programmable user interface consisting of an LCD screen and four LED indicators, operators can quickly access system status and setup, view selected events or data and perform site surveys. To learn more about Banner’s Sure Cross DXM100 wireless controller, visit June 2016

Near-Infrared Detectors Opto Diode Corporation introduces the NXIR family of photodiodes, designed specifically for back-facet laser-monitoring applications that require improved performance in the nearinfrared (NIR) spectrum from 700 nm to 1100 nm. The new NXIR product line expands the company’s high performance SXUV and UVG photodiode series designed to maximize measurement repeatability and reliability in high-powered UV laser-monitoring systems with affordable products optimized for near-infrared wavebands. The NXIR-RF36 and NXIR-RF70 near-IR/red-enhanced models offer reduced footprints and are ideally suited for integration with semiconductor lasers, notably Fabry-Perot (FP), distributed feedback (DFB), and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). The new devices have high responsivity of 0.65 A/W @ 850 nm, low capacitance of 5 pico-farads (pF) at 0 volts, and high shunt resistance, greater than 200 MΩ. The NXIR-RF36 has an active area of 0.36 mm2; the NXIR-RF70 has an active area of 0.70 mm2. The detectors are available in either waffle pack or dicing tape for high-volume shipments. Opto Diode’s third device in the series, the NXIR-5W, is optimal for high-power-laser monitoring that requires higher responsivity in the NIR spectrum. It can be utilized with YAG lasers used in medical equipment, fluid dynamics, manufacturing, and military applications. The NXIR-5W has high responsivity at 1064 nm with low reverse bias voltage of 10 V. Other features include high responsivity of 0.45 A/W at 1064 nm, low dark current of 1 nA, and low capacitance of 10 pF. The NXIR-5W is available in a hermetically-sealed, standard two-lead TO-5 package. For more information on the NXIR series of photodetectors or for volume pricing quotes, please visit or contact Robert Goldberg ( has over 35 years’ experience with over 25 years in management of the design and development of hardware and software for a broad range of military electronic products involving digital, RF/Microwave, electro-optical and electromechanical systems. He is retired from ITT Aerospace Communications Division in Clifton, NJ, where he was responsible for Sensor Communication programs utilizing the application of sensor radios developed by ITT as a result of work with DARPA on the Small Unit Operations Situation Awareness System (SUOSAS). Prior to joining ITT, he held positions in systems test and systems engineering with Northrop Grumman in programs related to RF and IR electronic warfare systems. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and is currently chairman of the Fellows Evaluation Committee of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society.

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 75

comingin August 2016


AUTOTESTCON 2015 Presented jointly by the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement and IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Societies Reach over 7,600 readers in the August 2016 issue of the IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

The Advertisers Index contained in this issue is compiled as a service to our readers and advertisers; the publisher is not liable for errors or omissions, although every effort is made to ensure its accuracy. Be sure to let our advertisers know you found them through IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine. Advertiser Page URL ATI Pickering



1 408 749 7000


1 541 471 0700

Virginia Panel


1 540 932 3300

Zurich Instruments Ltd


+41 44 5150410

For advertising rates for IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine, contact Onkar Sandal, Allen Press, 1-800-627-0932 x 218, or

The 2016 IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Society 2016 Officers President - Ruth A. Dyer, Executive Vice President - Max Cortner, Vice President of Conferences - Mark Yeary, Vice President of Education - Salvatore Baglio, Vice President of Finance - Dario Petri, Vice President of Membership - Shervin Shirmohammadi, Vice President of Publications - Zheng Liu, Vice President of Technical Committees and Standards - Ruqiang Yan, Treasurer - Juan Manuel Ramirez Cortes, Junior Past President - Reza Zoughi, Senior Past President - Jorge F. Daher,

Administrative Committee (AdCom) 2013–2016 Alessandra Flammini, Richard Hochberg, Mark Yeary, Mihaela Albu,

2015–2018 Salvatore Baglio, Zheng Liu, Dario Petri, Juan Manuel Ramirez Cortés,

2014–2017 Lee Barford, Max Cortner, Ferdinanda Ponci, Shervin Shirmohammadi,

2016–2019 Octavia A. Dobre, Kristen M. Donnell, Christophe Dubois, Chi Hung Hwang,

Other AdCom Members EIC for IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement – Alessandro Ferrero, EIC for IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine – Wendy Van Moer, AEIC for IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine - Simona Salicone, Graduate Student Representative, Mohamed Khalil, Undergraduate Student Representative, Katelyn Brinker, IEEE Young Professionals Program Representative, Erik Timpson, I&M Society Executive Assistant, Judy Scharmann, Region 10 Liaison, Ruqiang Yan, Chapter Chairs Liaison, Sergio Rapuano,


IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine

June 2016

Ieee im magazine june 2016  

Women in I&M

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you