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Browse Category: Sensors & Instrumentation > Physical Measurement


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A New and Cost-Effective Technology to Produce Hybrid-Glass/Optical Bubble Probes

The ability to accurately quantify gas volumes in liquid flows has important applications in environmental science and industry. For example, environmental processes that significantly contribute to changes in earth’s climate, such as methane seeps from the sea floor and the exchange of gases between the ocean and atmosphere at the sea surface, demand precise sensors that are small and sensitive enough to measure the ratio of liquids and gases in these bubbly mixtures. These measurements also play a critical role in the operational efficiency of a wide variety of different engineering processes. Applications include, the monitoring the optimal amount of bubbled oxygen in the treatment of waste water and sewage, and the oil and gas industry, especially in undersea oil pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico alone, have spent billions of dollars annually on added refinement techniques to remove seawater that could be preventable if sensors were able to measure the ratio of crude oil, seawater and gas as the mixture is pumped through pipelines. These challenges exist in both research and industry because the current manufacturing process for making the needed gas/liquid probes have significant cost constraints. Clearly, there is a need for a new and cost-effective technology to produce these probes.

Novel Sensor to Transduce and Digitalize Temperature Utilizing Near-Zero-Power Levels

Temperature sensors are routinely found in devices used to monitor the environment, the human body, industrial equipment, and beyond. In many such applications, the energy available from batteries or the power available from energy harvesters is extremely limited, thus the power consumption of sensing should be minimized in order to maximize operational lifetime.

Mechanical Process For Creating Particles Using Two Plates

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & Physics and Astronomy have developed a novel method to lithograph two polished solid surfaces by using a simple mechanical alignment jig with piezoelectric control and a method of pressing them together and solidifying a material.

Digital Droplet Microflowmetry Enabled By Interfacial Instability

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a non-thermal, digital microfluidic flowmeter with the ability to measure ultralow flow rates.

Microchambers With Solid-State Phosphorescent Sensor For Measuring Single Mitochondrial Respiration

The invention is a miniaturized device that assays the respiration of a single mitochondrion. Through a novel approach for measuring oxygen consumption rate, the device provides information on cell and tissue mitochondrial functional. This data is relevant for understanding human conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.

A Multiferroic Transducer For Audio Applications

Researchers in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCLA have developed a novel transducer for audio applications based on a multiferroic material.

New Method For Determination Of Molecular Orientation At Interfaces

Sum frequency generation spectroscopy (SFG) is a technique used to analyze surfaces and interfaces. This nonlinear laser spectroscopy method can deduce the composition, orientation distributions, and some structural information of molecules at gas–solid, gas–liquid and liquid–solid interfaces. In a typical SFG setup, two laser beams mix at a surface and generate an output beam with a frequency equal to the sum of the two input frequencies. SFG has advantages in its ability to be monolayer surface sensitive, ability to be performed in situ (for example aqueous surfaces and in gases), and not causing much damage to the sample surface. SFG is comparable to second harmonic generation in Infrared and Raman spectroscopy. It is a challenge to measure orientation heterogeneity. For decades, surface-specific vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy (referred to as 1D VSFG hereafter) has been used to determine the mean tilt angle, under the assumption of a narrow orientational distribution. However, in this case, the knowledge of orientational distribution is lost, and the measured mean tilt angle can deviate from the real mean tilt angle when the orientational distribution is large, which is the well-known “magic angle” challenge.

Determining Oil Well Connectivity Using Nanoparticles

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Department of Math, and California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) have designed methods and systems for monitoring and testing underground wells using sampled nanowires.

Method and apparatus for three-dimensional imaging of molecular bonds

Researchers at UCI have developed a 3D imaging technique with sub-nanometer resolution, which allows for imaging of individual bonds within molecules. Visualization and measurements taken at this resolution provide new and profound information about the fundamental aspects of atomic structures and their consequences on chemical activity.

Customized Rheometer Tools By Three Dimensional Printing

Professor Mason and colleagues from UCLA’s Departments of Physics and Chemistry have developed a fast and inexpensive method of fabricating customized tools for rheological analysis.

All Microwave Stabilization Of Chip-Scale Frequency Combs

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed an optical frequency comb technology using small, cheap components for high precision time, frequency, distance, and energy measurements.

Axi-Symmetric Small-Footprint Gyroscope With Interchangeable Whole-Angle And Rate Operation

The invention is a compact, degenerate mode gyroscope capable of achieving high Q-factor in both whole-angle and rate operation modes.

Methods of Self-Calibration for Coriolis Vibratory Gyroscopes

The levels of long-term instabilities in bias and scale factor are key characteristics for the utilization of gyroscopes in many practical applications in navigation, positioning, and targeting systems. The inventors at UCI have developed two methods for gyroscope calibration: 1) Utilizing the mechanical quadrature error and 2) Utilizing the voltages of amplitude gain control (AGC) of the drive-mode. The new methods have been combined with feedback signals from a third technique, Side-Band Ratio (SBR) detection, to produce bias stability of 0.1 deg/hr after 300 seconds that is maintained for over 3 hours.

Method of simultaneously and directly generating an angular position and angular velocity measurement in a micromachined gyroscope

The invention is in the field of MEMS gyroscopes capable of simultaneous measurement of angular position and angular rate. A sensor is fabricated with micron feature sizes capable of simultaneously measuring absolute angles of rotation and angular rotational rates. The measurements are made directly from the position and velocity of the device without the need for electronic integration or differentiation. The device measures angle directly, avoiding the integration of electronic errors and allowing for higher performance in attitude measurement. These performance improvements and flexibility in usage allow for long term attitude sensing applications such as implantable prosthetics, micro-vehicle navigation, structural health monitoring, and long range smart munitions. Through the fabrication of the device using lithographic methods, the device can be made small and in large qualities, resulting in low costs and low power consumption.

Robust Six Degree-Of-Freedom Micromachined Gyroscope With Anti-Phase Drive Scheme

The invention relates to the field of micromachined gyroscopes and accelerometers, and in particular to designs for anti-phase devices to compensate for fabrication and environmental variations. A method of operating an anti-phase six degree-of-freedom tuning fork gyroscope system comprises the steps of driving a first three degree-of-freedom gyroscope subsystem, and driving a second three degree-of freedom gyroscope subsystem in an anti-phase mode with the first gyroscope subsystem at an anti-phase resonant frequency. Acceleration or an angular rate of motion is sensed by the first and second three degree-of-freedom gyroscope subsystems operating in a flat frequency response range where the anti-phase resonant frequency is designed. Response gain and phase are stable and environmental and fabrication perturbations are avoided by such operation. A anti-phase six degree-of-freedom tuning fork gyroscope system which operates as described is also characterized.

Micromachined Gyroscopes with Two Degrees of Freedom Sense-Mode Oscillator

The invention relates to the field of micromachined gyroscopes, and in particular to inertial micromachined transducers for measurement of angular rotation rate of an object. A three-degrees of freedom (DOF) MEMS inertial micromachined gyroscope with nonresonant actuation with a drive direction, sense direction and a direction perpendicular to the drive and sense directions comprises a planar substrate, a 2-DOF sense-mode oscillator coupled to the substrate operated at a flattened wide-bandwidth frequency region, and a 1-DOF drive mode oscillator coupled operated at resonance in the flattened wide-bandwidth frequency region to achieve large drive-mode amplitudes.

Micro-Glassblown 3-D Coriolis Vibratory MEMS Gyroscope

Micro-glassblowing batch fabrication process for 3-D MEMS gyroscope

Highly Wrinkled Metal Thin Films Using Lift-Off Layers

Wearable electronics are becoming a popular way of integrating personal healthcare with continuous, remote health monitoring, yet current devices are bulky and exhibit poor electronic performance. Wrinkled metal thin films can be utilized for their thin, flexible profiles, which conform well to the skin. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel method using specialized materials that results in wrinkled metal thin films that have enhanced mechanical and electrical performance.

Energy Efficient Trigger Word Detection via Accelerometer Data

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an energy-efficient voice monitoring technique for smart devices, such as smartphones and wearables, based on accelerometer data.

A Low-Profile Flow Shear Sensing Unit

UCLA researchers have developed an accurate low-profile shear sensing unit that is viable for both gas and liquid flows.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance System for Determining Oil and Water Compositions in Drilling Mud

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) system and method for determining oil and water compositions in drilling mud.

Nanoscale Optical Voltage Sensors

UCLA researchers have developed a novel nanoscale optical voltage sensor.

Method To Probe Bulk And Surface States In Thermoelectrics And Topological Materials

Researchers in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA have developed a non-invasive, site-specific method to probe the electronic structure of both surface and bulk states within thermoelectric and topological insulator materials.

Distributed Dynamic Strain Fiber Optics Measurement For Use In Sensors

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Device Containing Micro-Preconcentrator Array For Diverse Chemical Sampling And Analysis Aboard An Unmanned Aerial System

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a sampling and sensing system attached to an aerial platform that allows for remote detecting and reporting chemicals of interest. 

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