Sensors for Mars.

02/07/2020
International collaboration takes Vaisala and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) to Mars onboard NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. The rover is scheduled for launch on July 30, 2020. Vaisala’s sensor technology combined with FMI’s measurement instrumentation will be used to obtain accurate and reliable pressure and humidity data from the surface of the red planet.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is among the scientific partners providing measurement equipment for the new Perseverance rover, expected to launch in July and land on Mars in February 2021. The pressure and humidity measurement devices developed by the FMI are based on Vaisala’s world known sensor technology and are similar but more advanced to the ones sent to Mars on the first Curiosity rover in 2012.

Is there anybody out there?
Join this live webcast to hear more!
Welcome to learn about space-proof technology, how it works, what it does, why it’s important, and why measurements play a key role in space research. You’ll hear examples and stories by our experts, and by a special guest speaker, who will be sharing his own experiences and insights of space.
• Date: July 20, 2020
•Time: 15.30-16.30 EEST – 14.30-15.30 CEST – 08.30-09.30 EDT

Place: Virtual event – Sign up here
The event is organized by Vaisala and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It will be held in English and it is free of charge. Live subtitles in Finnish will be available.
Learn more about space-proof technology before the event here and follow the discussion on social media using #spacetechFI.

The new mission equipment complements the Curiosity rover. While working on Mars, the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers will form a small-scale observation network. The network is only the first step, anticipating the extensive observation network planned on Mars in the future.

International and scientific collaboration aims to gather knowledge of the Martian atmosphere and other environmental conditions
The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. In order to obtain data from the surface from the Red Planet, NASA selected trusted partners to provide measurement instruments for installation on the Mars rover. A Spanish-led European consortium provides the rover with Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA); a set of sensors that provides measurements of temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity, and the amount and size of dust particles.

As part of the consortium, FMI delivers instrumentation to MEDA for humidity and pressure measurements based on Vaisala’s top quality sensors.

“Mars, as well as Venus, the other sister planet of Earth, is a particularly important area of atmospheric investigations due to its similarities to Earth. Studying Mars helps us also better understand the behavior of Earth’s atmosphere”, comments Maria Genzer, Head of Planetary Research and Space Technology group at FMI.

The harsh and demanding conditions of Mars require the most reliable sensor technology that provides accurate and reliable data without maintenance or repair.

“We are honored that Vaisala’s core sensor technologies have been selected to provide accurate and reliable measurement data on Mars. In line with our mission to enable observations for a better world, we are excited to be part of this collaboration. Hopefully the measurement technology will provide tools for finding answers to the most pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change,” says Liisa Åström, Vice President, Products and Systems of Vaisala.

Same technology, different planet – utilizing Vaisala core technologies for accuracy and long-term stability
In the extreme conditions of the Martian atmosphere, NASA will be able to obtain accurate readings of pressure and humidity levels with Vaisala’s HUMICAP® and BAROCAP® sensors. The sensors’ long-term stability and accuracy, as well as their ability to tolerate dust, chemicals, and harsh environmental conditions, make them suitable for very demanding measurement needs, also in space. The same technology is used in numerous industrial and environmental applications such as weather stations, radiosondes, greenhouses and datacenters.

Barocap Wafer

The humidity measurement device MEDA HS, developed by FMI for Perseverance, utilizes standard Vaisala HUMICAP® humidity sensors. HUMICAP® is a capacitive thin-film polymer sensor consisting of a substrate on which a thin film of polymer is deposited between two conductive electrodes. The humidity sensor onboard is a new generation sensor, with superior performance also in the low pressure conditions expected on the red planet.

In addition to humidity measurements, FMI has developed a device for pressure measurement, MEDA PS, which uses customized Vaisala BAROCAP® pressure sensors, optimized to operate in the Martian climate. BAROCAP® is a silicon-based micromechanical pressure sensor that offers reliable performance in a wide variety of applications, from meteorology to pressure sensitive industrial equipment in semiconductor industry and laboratory pressure standard measurements. Combining two powerful technologies – single-crystal silicon material and capacitive measurement – BAROCAP® sensors feature low hysteresis combined with excellent accuracy and long-term stability, both essential for measurements in space.

“Our sensor technologies are used widely in demanding everyday measurement environments here on Earth. And why not – if they work on Mars, they will work anywhere,” Åström concludes.

@VaisalaGroup @FMIspace @NASAPersevere #Metrology #Finland


Gas detection equipment benefits from international co-operation.

08/04/2020

Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc. (CETCI) was founded by Frank and Shirley Britton in 1995. Since that time, the company has expanded considerably and now employs around 35 people; developing and manufacturing gas detection equipment for global markets. One of the keys to the company’s success has been the relationship that it has built with sensor supplier Alphasense.

Frank’s career in gas detection stretches back to 1982, and when he was first visited by a sales person from Alphasense in 2003, he was immediately impressed with the representative’s technical knowledge. “It was clear that he understood the issues that manufacturers face, and had a good knowledge of the challenging applications in which our equipment is commonly deployed. This was important, because it helped to build trust.”

Following that initial meeting, it was agreed that CETCI would trial some of Alphasense’s electrochemical gas detection sensors, and Frank was pleased to see how well they performed. “It was also very encouraging to note the high level of service that we enjoyed,” he adds. “Even though there were 5,000 miles between us and 8 hours in time difference, we have always received very prompt and useful responses to our service requests.

“In fact, I would go so far as to say that Alphasense has delivered superb levels of service from day one, and as a consequence is one of our best suppliers. It is also very useful that Arthur Burnley from Alphasense visits us every year to review progress and explore new ways for us to work together in the future.”

YesAir portable

As the relationship with Alphasense has grown the range of sensor technologies employed has expanded to include electrochemical, catalytic, optical, metal oxide and PID. For example, some of these sensors are deployed in portable indoor air quality instruments such as the YESAIR range. Available in two models (pump or diffusion) and battery powered with onboard datalogging, the YESAIR instruments have been designed for intermittent or continuous indoor air quality monitoring of temperature, RH, particulates and up to 5 gases. Each can be configured with parameter selection from more than 30 different plug and play gas sensors, as well as a particulate sensor.

CETCI also manufactures fixed gas detection systems, controllers and transmitters that are deployed to monitor hazardous gases; protecting health and safety in confined spaces and indoor environments. Customers are able to select from a range of target gases including Ammonia, Carbon monoxide, Chlorine dioxide, Chlorine, Ethylene, Ethylene oxide, Fluorine, Formaldehyde, Hydrogen, Hydrogen sulphide, Hydrogen chloride, Hydrogen cyanide, Hydrogen fluoride, Nitric oxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Oxygen, Ozone, Phosphine, Silane, Sulfur dioxide, Methane, Propane, Hydrogen, TVOCs and Refrigerants. The company’s products are employed in commercial, institutional, municipal and light industrial markets, and in a wide variety of applications. These include refrigeration plants, indoor swimming pools, water treatment plants, ice arenas, wineries and breweries, airports, hotels, fish farms, battery charging rooms, HVAC systems, food processing plants, vehicle exhausts and many more.

One of the main reasons for CETCI’s success is its ability to develop gas detectors that meet the precise requirements for specific markets. “We are large enough to employ talented people with the skills and experience to develop products that meet the latest requirements,” Frank explains. “But we are not so large that we are uninterested in niche applications – in fact we relish the challenge when a customer asks us to do something new, and this is where our relationship with Alphasense, and the technical support that they can provide, comes into its own.”

The market for gas detection equipment is constantly changing as new safety and environmental regulations are created around the world, and as new markets emerge. Again, the close relationship with Alphasense is vitally important; as new sensors are being developed, CETCI is moving into new markets that are able to utilise these technologies.

New market example – cannabis cultivation
Following the legalisation of marijuana in Canada and some other North American regions, greenhouses and other plant growth rooms have proliferated. These facilities can present a variety of potential hazards to human health. Gas powered equipment may be a source of carbon monoxide; carbon dioxide enrichment systems may be utilised; air conditioning systems can potentially leak refrigerants, and propane or natural gas furnaces may be employed for heating purposes. All of these pose a potential risk, so an appropriate detection and alarm system is necessary.

Responding to market demand, CETCI developed monitoring systems that met the requirements of the market. This included appropriate gas detectors connected to a controller with logging capability and a live display of gas levels. In the event of a leak or high gas concentration, the system can provide an audible or visual alarm, and relays can be configured to control equipment such as the ventilation system or a furnace.

Developing market example – car parking facilities

Car park installation

In recent years, the effects of vehicular air pollution on human health have become better understood, and received greater political and media attention. As a result, the owners and operators of parking facilities have become more aware of the ways in which they can protect their customers and staff.

Carbon monoxide is a major component of vehicle exhaust, and nitrogen dioxide levels are high in the emissions of diesel powered engines. In more modern facilities, hydrogen may accumulate as a result of electric car charging stations. CETCI has therefore developed hazardousgas detection systems to protect air quality in parking locations. This equipment includes output relays which can minimise energy costs by controlling the operation of ventilation systems.

Summarising the secrets to a long and successful partnership in gas detection, Frank says: “One of the most important issues is of course the quality of the products, and we have always been impressed with the fact that Alphasense differentiates itself from other sensor manufacturers by testing every sensor.

“The next important issue is the quality of service; we need sensors to be delivered on time and in perfect condition, and when we have a technical query we have become accustomed to a very prompt response.

“We also value highly the opportunity to develop our businesses together – through regular conversations with Arthur and his colleagues we are able to plan our future product development and marketing strategies, so that we can meet the ever changing needs of the market. This has worked extremely well for the last 17 years and we foresee it doing so for many years to come.”

 

#Environment #Alphasense @cetci @_Enviro_News


Unique data acquisition system.

01/11/2019

The modular design of the new KiDAQ from Kistler Instruments makes unlimited channels and distributed systems a reality whatever the application; industrial, laboratory, permanent installations and mobile. Engineers now have everything needed to complete any measuring task: a single integrated system that can be flexibly expanded at any time with additional measurement modules and units.

The new data acquisition system can be configured to suit any application with a choice of portable and 19 inch rack housings that can accommodate up to 13 measurement modules each, and DIN Rail modules for industrial installations with any number of measurement modules and other components of a system. This flexibility allows users to configure a data acquisition system that best meets to their current needs. Using components from Kistler’s hardware, software and sensor portfolios means that, as needs change, the original system can be adapted and extended by reconfiguring the existing modules and adding others as needed. Nothing is made redundant ensuring a low cost of ownership without compromising system performance and capability.

Reliable information about the measurement uncertainty
A key characteristic of the new KiDAQ data acquisition system is KiXact technology, which automatically calculates the measurement uncertainty. With know-how across the entire measuring chain, a reliable statement of measurement uncertainty is now possible with this technology. This eliminates the time and effort needed to manually calculate the measurement uncertainty of the whole system.

KiDAQ provides data transparency across the entire measuring chain. As Kistler qualifies the measuring components and calibrates them for each application, the exact specifications of their properties are available. The engineer is provided with precise details about their measurements and reliable information about measuring accuracy.

KiConnect technology: Nerve centre of the KiDAQ system
Drawing on smart KiConnect technology, users can put together various Kistler measuring components and, if necessary, add selected third-party devices to the system. The integrated Precision Time Protocol (PTP) ensures exact time synchronization between the devices in the local network. Based on standard protocols (TCP/IP) the measurements can be configured and performed anywhere.

KiStudio Lab software: The entire measuring task at a glance
The web-based KiStudio Lab software enables measuring tasks and projects to be easily processed and managed. The user interface is developed according to the latest usability criteria and designed so that it can be intuitively and efficiently operated by both occasional and experienced users. Via the software, engineers can access all measuring data and results at any time from current and older projects. The raw data are easily and securely stored in a central repository and can be exported in various formats and analysed offline. The stored measurement setup can be called up at any time in the case of further measurement tasks. This saves users the time required for complex test setup and measurements can be performed immediately the next time.

Kistler KiDAQ – The total solution
KiDAQ is an innovative, modular data acquisition system which enables the user to create a test setup, perform measurements and achieve reliable results almost instantly. Kistler’s expertise and experience covers the entire measuring chain, from the sensor, to signal conditioning, and on to the software. A KiDAQ data acquisition system can be expanded at any time with measurement modules and measurement units. Third-party sensors can also be integrated into the system. The unique software provides step-by-step guidance throughout the system setup and provides valuable insight into the entire measuring chain.

#Kistler #PAuto #TandM