Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ariane 5 technology turns the lights on

22.02.2005


Soon we may be able to fill the bath, turn the lights on and play our favourite CD without moving from our chair or pressing a button. Technology, developed by ESA for European spacecraft, is now being used to create small sensors that can make any flat surface – walls, windows or tables – interactive.



"The idea is to use an accelerometer to determine the exact position of touch on an object,” says Nicolas Delorme from Nodal Consultants, part of ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme’s (TTP) network of technology brokers. “For example, an accelerometer can determine exactly which part of the interactive surface on a window or a door has been touched, making the surface as sensitive as keys on a keyboard."

Accelerometers are used in combination with gyroscopes onboard Ariane launchers for the inertial positioning system and to kick-off the pyro-technic switches that control the fuelling of the boosters. They are also used on satellites to determine the exact position of the spacecraft. As they are used in space, these systems have to be extremely accurate. "This technology is at the heart of ReverSys, an innovation which could revolutionise how we consider the objects around us and how we use them.” Nicolas Delorme adds.


ReverSys

Ros-Kiri Ing, President and Founder of Sensitive Object, the company that developed and patented ReverSys, received assistance from ESA’s TTP technology broker Nodal Consultants who carried out market research for them and identified technology and partners.

"Our patented technology is based on recognising the sound waves propagated in an object when it is tapped at a precise location," says Ros-Kiri Ing.

Just as fingerprints are unique, a tap on a flat surface gives an acoustic signature that is unique for the specific point of impact, as the waves emitted are diffused differently from a tap even a few centimetres away. This property was discovered thanks to a physical process called ’temporal reversal’ which precisely identifies the point of source of emitted waves.

"I had the idea of associating this signature with an action and creating a sort of virtual command table. The association is managed by a computer program that links touch at a specific location to a specific action. A small sensor, the accelerometer, placed nearby then detects the sound waves and analyses their acoustic signature. If the signature is recognised, the intended action is executed, if not, nothing happens," Ros-Kiri Ing explains.

ReverSys technology can be used with most solid materials: glass, wood, steel, even a brick wall. Sensitive control panels can be placed at any location on a surface to create an interactive human-machine interface. It also has a number of important advantages:

it is wireless and cable-free and can be integrated onto any surface
it does not require any modification to the surface
it is aesthetic and fits with any decor
it can easily be re-programmed to reposition the sensitive zones
it is simple to operate
it can be easily moved

Ros-Kiri Ing explains: "In a bathroom, for example, ReverSys could be used to put a control panel on the edge of the bath or even in the shower, with the sensor placed nearby, away from the water. If the control panel needs to be moved to a new position or a new command needs to be added then it’s no problem. There is no need to touch the sensor, with the help of computer it is a simple matter to modify the system and define new sensitive zones.”

This certainly has many advantages for home owners; for instance, the controls for the lights in a room could be moved without having to change the wiring. A big advantage when fixing up an old house or changing the way a room is used.
"When I first saw Ros-Kiri Ing demonstrating his system I was really impressed. In just minutes, he managed to turn a simple white-board into an interactive device, controlling the playback of music on the computer," says Pierre Brisson, who as head of ESA’s Technology Transfer and Promotion Office has seen hundreds of examples of how well space technology can be used to make life on Earth easier.

"Who would have thought that the technology we use in the Ariane launchers could simplify the way we turn on a light?”

Pierre Brisson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM60JYEM4E_index_0.html
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht When fluid flows almost as fast as light -- with quantum rotation
22.06.2018 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

nachricht Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles
22.06.2018 | Universität Greifswald

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>