FWF - SafeTom - SafeTom - Safety by Electrical Capacitance Tomography

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Every year, thousands of children are injured and about 100 children are killed by cars due to backover in the
United States alone. Approximately 36,000 people are treated in U.S. hospitals every year after incidents with
chains saws. These are just two examples. In fact, a considerable part of injuries and fatalities originates from the
fact that humans (partially) reside in areas where they just should not be. Safety devices that detect human presence
would help to reduce this number and industry is grasping for such technology. However, for many problems of
this kind no such technology exists. Furthermore, safety devices will only be applied when they are cheap enough,
simple enough and safe enough (in terms of false alarms) such that they can be used without disadvantages.
One of the techniques that have the potential to solve such detection problems is capacitive sensing. Several safety
systems have been developed at the Institute of Electrical Measurement and Measurement Signal Processing
(EMT) in the past two years. While they already show promising performance for certain applications, the
technology is not yet fully exploited due to a lack of algorithms and corresponding hardware. In the course of
SafeTom methods known from Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT) will be investigated for their
applicability in safety devices. The specific requirements in safety applications pose many new challenges for this
well established technology. The validity of suggested problem solutions will be investigated in SafeTom:
The reconstruction must be done in real time (i.e. often in less than 1 ms) in order to trigger protection
mechanisms. Therefore, complexity of the algorithms is an important aspect. For this purpose, a novel 2.5D ECT
principle will be investigated.
It is a must that the sensor system can be easily integrated into existing structures. As a consequence, the space
for electrodes is very limited and the region of interest can only be observed from a very limited observation angle,
thus the available information is limited compared to common ECT. Here, experimental analysis to develop models
of the environments should add sufficient prior knowledge for an appropriate regularization.
In safety devices, the sensor is fully exposed to the environment. Therefore, man-made noise and
electromagnetic disturbers are important issues and are most relevant for the assessment of theoretical performance
bounds. Spread spectrum techniques are suggested in SafeTom.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/11/0931/07/14