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Plessey signs to make 'disruptive' sensor

11/11/2010 01:15 PM EST
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WKetel
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re: Plessey signs to make 'disruptive' sensor
WKetel   11/24/2010 2:35:48 PM
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I agree with "Sharps", and I would offer that in addition to sounding quite a bit like the analog "bootstrapping" technique, which I saw explained in the late 1960's as a means of improving transistor circuit input impedances, charge amplifier circuits have also been around for quite a while. Of course, if they have come up with a means of rejecting the ambient background field well enough to deliver the described performance, that is quite an accomplishment indeed, and very worthy of acclaim. But I am more likely to consider the development in light of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which reduces to the assertion that "measuring a quantity has an effect on that quantity", and this usually introduces some error.

bcarso
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re: Plessey signs to make 'disruptive' sensor
bcarso   11/13/2010 5:13:44 PM
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Fundamental noise limitations from a small-geometry FET will limit the effectiveness, feedback techniques or not. In particular higher bandwidths will be difficult. However, that's not to say it couldn't be useful, particularly in arrays with plenty of signal processing. And the reproducibility as an integrated part will be greatly advantageous compared to discrete realizations. I had a recent occasion to be reminded of the prevalence of electric fields in the local environment, when the aluminum can housing an electret "condenser" mic capsule went open-circuit and ceased to shield the input circuit, which typically has a local gate resistor of a few hundred megohms and a small JFET, which pretty much sets the low-frequency electrical response cutoff. The result was a loud hum/buzz in the audio. I use the mic to remotely monitor the sounds at the front door, so that I don't miss a mail delivery or similar.

Peter Clarke
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re: Plessey signs to make 'disruptive' sensor
Peter Clarke   11/12/2010 12:02:29 PM
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Hi Dr Quine I was fortunate enough to see an impressive demonstration of the technology at a press event at Electronica. It would seem that in "remote" sensing it might be possible to "confuse" the sensor....so muscles firing could mask the presence of heart beat for example. Professor Prance actually demonstrated that while holding a sensor in each hand. But the ability to create 1- and 2-D arrays of sensors and intelligent application-specific systems architectures should get round most problems. As to price; as Plessey has yet to do any of the monolithic or monopackage integration I am sure their executives would say it is too early to give an indication on price. But fundamentally i don't see any reason why the sensor itself should cost more than a few dollars/pounds/euros. But if you are replacing expensive medical monitoring equipment it would be natural to want to price to value created rather than to the cost of manufacture! In sports and human-machine interface applications the prices may have to be lower anyway.

sharps_eng
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re: Plessey signs to make 'disruptive' sensor
sharps_eng   11/11/2010 11:21:13 PM
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This sounds like a refinement of analog 'bootstrapping' to raise apparent input impedance. Effectiveness depends on how accurately the incoming signal can be modelled in the feedback circuit (so as to match it and oppose it) and also how well interfering signals can be nulled out. No doubt the research work has worthwhile applications, but I hope this isn't a lot of marketing types getting over-excited about a relatively incremental development?

yalanand
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re: Plessey signs to make 'disruptive' sensor
yalanand   11/11/2010 10:01:01 PM
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Wow, this is exciting techonology. I can imagine so many numerous applications. Just imagine somebody comes and tells your health report without even you visiting doctor, seems crazy.

DrQuine
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re: Plessey signs to make 'disruptive' sensor
DrQuine   11/11/2010 6:31:02 PM
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This new technology sounds like it has "electrical potential". How will the sensors distinguish the voltage of interest from other ambient voltages in remote sensing applications? It sounds like these sensors are inexpensive enough to be used to monitor multiple subsystems. What is the expected price point?

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