The smaller the better
Ohio University scientists have developed a new compression method that uses only 1 percent of the previous data storage space. It is to be used in the development of a new postage stamp-sized sensor for toxins in the air. For certain jobs, occupational safety requires ongoing monitoring of the extent to which workers are exposed to the effects of organic chemicals. One problem is that today's sensors are very large, cumbersome and have little storage capacity. In addition, it does not integrate the technology that would be necessary to directly identify the chemicals detected. Chemists at Ohio University's Center for Intelligent Chemical Instrumentation are now developing smaller, intuitive sensors that can be used both at work and around the home.
For a chemical sensor to work effectively, it needs the capacity to store a very large volume of data. In addition, fast access must be guaranteed - which is a challenge for chemists and engineers.
In most sensors, the collection and storage of data is time dependent. According to Harrington, a professor of chemistry at Ohio University, this method can be problematic. The sensors pick up all time-varying signals, including those that represent useless information. The Ohio University researchers used a Fourier transform to filter out unwanted information. The Fourier transformation is a mathematical method in which curves are broken down into sine curves. According to Harrington, a lot of space can be saved to make room for the valuable data.
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