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COMMITTEE ON NEW SENSOR TECHNOLOGIES: MATERIALS AND APPLICATIONS
NICHOLAS G. EROR, Chair,
University of Pittsburgh
SUSAN N. COPPERSMITH,
AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey
PETER D. DEAN,
Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Palo Alto, California
ROYCE W. MURRAY,
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
PAUL S. PEERCY,
Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque, New Mexico
CRAIG A. ROGERS,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
DONALD R. SADOWAY,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
JOHN R. THOME,
Motorola Corporation, Schaumburg, Illinois
JAMES W. WAGNER,
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Wright Laboratories, Dayton, Ohio
Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque, New Mexico
National Materials Advisory Board Staff
ROBERT SCHAFRIK, Director
JILL WILSON, Staff Officer until January 1994
Sensors have become pervasive and essential in the modern industrial world. Applications range from sophisticated industrial processes to common consumer products. In many respects, the manufacturing industry has led the use of advanced sensors in monitoring and controlling its industrial processes. In most cases, these sensors are based on well-established technologies that sense external factors, such as process temperature, and basic product characteristics, such as imperfections, thickness, and weight. The application envelope of advanced sensor technologies is being extended. Today, on-line sensing of material properties, combined with real-time control, is making the goal of self-directed, intelligent processing a reality.
During the 1980s, many National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB) reports identified sensor technology as a critical area that would spur advancements in materials processing. These reports covered a range of topics, notably bioprocessing (NRC, 1986a), heat treatment (NRC, 1989a), integrated processing systems (NRC, 1992), metals processing (NRC, 1989b), nondestructive evaluation (NRC, 1986c), refining (NRC, 1986b), and welding (NRC, 1987). This report originated from a desire to synthesize the requirements described in previous NMAB reports and to develop a generalized research and development approach through which important sensor material needs could be satisfied.
Many efforts are under way to advance the state of the art of sensor technology and to apply what is already known to solve current problems. Most of this work is stimulated by the expectation of significant end results. It is often highly desirable that these sensors be mounted at the location of concern, placed in a remote location, or embedded as a component of a structural element. Simultaneously, the materials development community is investigating a wide assortment of novel materials that can lead to desired solutions to very difficult sensing requirements. Advances in materials technologies and the ability to precisely "engineer" material properties and behavior offer a wide possibility for developing new sensor materials. This work requires close collaboration with other technical disciplines, such as solid state physics and electrochemistry.
The Committee on New Sensor Technologies: Materials and Applications was comprised of 9 specialists with expertise in chemical sensor technology, engineering applications of sensor technology, materials science and engineering, microelectronic and photonic technology, and nondestructive evaluation. The committee also added two technical advisors with expertise in intelligent manufacturing and in the detection
of hazardous chemicals. The committee met seven times between March 1992 and May 1993. Invited presentations by experts from industry and government provided relevant information regarding applications for advanced sensor technology and sensor development issues.
The objectives of this study by the committee were threefold:
review the state of the art of sensor technologies;
identify novel sensor materials that could benefit the manufacture and operation of advanced systems for the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and
identify research and developments efforts that could accelerate the development and incorporation of these emerging sensors in particular applications with potentially high payoff.
A comprehensive review of the state of the art of sensor technologies would be an enormous undertaking. The committee chose to provide a bibliography of recent publications that present the state of the art of sensor technologies. Since there is no commonly accepted taxonomy of sensor technologies, the bibliography contains some overlaps between the different sensor areas. The committee identified a crucial barrier that has impeded development of advanced sensor materials: the communication mismatch between the sensor application community and the research and development community. The committee determined that the attributes of an "ideal" sensor material can only be considered within the context of an application area that establishes the material's requirements. Hence, there can be no absolutes for an "ideal" sensor material. This conclusion results in the definition of significant issues for the materials developer concerned with novel sensor materials: What are the appropriate applications to address? What are the critical needs for sensor materials? And where are the fundamental understandings that provide foundations for development?
In order to provide a tool to address these crucial issues, the committee developed a strategy that exploits a common framework for describing both sensing system applications and sensor technologies. The uses and research needs for novel sensor materials arise from matching available and potential technologies with the applications. The committee has provided examples of applying this framework to selected sensor materials and application areas. These examples are not meant to be an inclusive list but rather are representative of the process of identifying the state of the art in an application area, examining the role and need for sensors, and describing opportunities for materials development. The committee also developed overall conclusions and recommendations concerning future directions for sensor materials research efforts through generalizing the experiences in the application areas examined.
The committee considered several titles for this report. Expanding the Vision of Sensor Materials was selected because it captures the essential message of this report: there is a need for multidisciplinary efforts to identify and prioritize sensor needs, so that materials developments can be targeted towards requirements.
Any comments or sugestions that readers of this report wish to make can be sent via Internet electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to the NMAB at (202) 334-3718.
Nicholas Eror, Chair
Committee on New Sensor Technologies: Materials and Applications
NRC (National Research Council). 1986a. Bioprocessing for the Energy-Efficient Production of Chemicals. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
NRC (National Research Council). 1986b. New Horizons in Electrochemical Science and Technology. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
NRC (National Research Council). 1986c. Automated Nondestructive Characterization and Evaluation in Metal and Ceramic Powder Production. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
NRC (National Research Council). 1987. Control of Welding Processes. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
NRC (National Research Council). 1989a. On-Line Control of Metals Processing. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
NRC (National Research Council). 1989b. Intelligent Process Control Systems for Materials Heat Treatment. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
NRC (National Research Council). 1992. Opportunities in Attaining Fully-Integrated Processing Systems. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Presentations and written materials relating to sensor applications and materials were provided by a number of individuals to whom the Committee on New Sensor Technologies: Materials and Applications wishes to express its gratitude:
Mr. William Barker, Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Science Office: overview of sensor needs in manufacturing applications
Dr. F. Bedard, National Security Agency: superconducting sensor technology to detect low-frequency radio signals
Dr. Leonard Buckley, Naval Research Laboratory: sensor materials and applications
Mr. Bill Davies and S. Irfan Khalid, Pratt and Whitney Co.: jet engine monitoring and control
Dr. Walt Griffith, Air Force Wright Laboratory, Materials Directorate: sensor-related programs within the Air Force's manufacturing science research program
Dr. John Herbst (NAE), Control International, Inc.: sensor applications for mineral and metals processing
Dr. Barry Levine and Dr. Marc Vigdor, AT&T Bell Laboratories: multiple-quantum-well infrared focal plane arrays
Dr. John Maguire, Staff Scientist, Materials Engineering Department, Southwest Research Institute: intelligent processing of composites
Dr. Robert E. Newnham (NAE), The Pennsylvania State University: piezoelectric sensors and actuators
Dr. Mel Ohmer, Air Force Wright Laboratory, Materials Directorate: electro-optical sensor materials
Dr. Larry Otto, Jr., Staff Officer, Manufacturing Studies Board of the National Research Council: unit manufacturing processes
Mr. Robert Rogawski, NASA-Langley: health monitoring of air vehicles
Dr. John Vig, U.S. Army Research Laboratory: quartz crystal resonators, oscillators and sensors
Dr. H. Thomas Yolken, National Institute for Standards and Technology: intelligent processing of materials
Dr. Ted Zellers, University of Michigan, School of Public Health: key issues in environmental sensing.
The committee extends special appreciation to its technical advisors, Dr. Steve LeClair and Dr. Bob Hughes, for their interest and support throughout the study and for their active
and enthusiastic involvement in developing the case studies in sensors for intelligent manufacturing applications and in chemical sensors, respectively. The committee is grateful to the government liaison representatives for their participation in committee meetings and for providing supporting documentation.
The chair acknowledges the enthusiasm and dedication of the committee members throughout the study. Particular thanks go to the committee members who served as chapter or section coordinators and integrated the various parts of the report.
The committee thanks Dr. Robert E. Schafrik, Director of the National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB), and Dr. Jill Wilson, NMAB program officer, for their assistance during the committee's deliberations and report writing, as well as Ms. Janice Prisco, Ms. Marlene Crowell, and Ms. Catherine Summers for their administrative support over the course of the study.
Finally, the committee is indebted to Dr. Zaffir A. Chaudhry, research scientist at the Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Ms. Jacqueline Macia of Infotech Pro for their expert assistance in compiling bibliographies from the current literature.