Sensors Inc. to Develop Innovative Diagnostic System Using SRI International's Patented Vibration Imaging Technology

Jun 02, 2010, 13:26 ET from SRI International

MENLO PARK, Calif. and SALINE, Mich., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development organization, has granted Sensors Inc. a global manufacturing and distribution license to develop a diagnostic system using SRI's vibration imaging technology. Sensors Inc., a developer of portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS), will use SRI's patented technology to create a new line of diagnostic systems for the automotive, power generation systems, and aerospace/avionics industries.

Vibration Imaging: An Innovation in Remote Data Collection

SRI's vibration imaging technology is a special camera and computer system that is able to "see" vibrations on the surface of objects in its field of view. The system can be used to monitor the mechanical health of a pipeline pump, machine, vehicle, wind turbine, or other structure from a distance without special lighting or wiring. In the automotive industry, the system can be used to indicate mechanical problems by detecting noises or vibrations. This approach can also be applied to most equipment with rotating parts, as unexpected vibrations usually indicate that maintenance or repair is required.  

"Sensors Inc. can now complement its broad range of transportation emissions testing equipment with a system that expands our field of operation into the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) arenas," said Andrew Reading, Ph.D., president and CEO of Sensors Inc. "We are also looking at the possibility of entering into the alternative energy market with diagnostic tools for wind turbines and other power generating systems, thereby tapping into business segments offering strong growth and international opportunities."

Market Impact

Until now, the only reliable and practical way of collecting vibration data was through the use of accelerometer sensors that are physically attached to an object's surface. Information from the fixed accelerometers must be communicated through wire harnesses or wireless networks to computers that are gathering and analyzing the data. SRI's vibration imaging technology does not require cables, wires, or special lighting, and can be located several centimeters to hundreds of meters from the actual object.

Another advantage to SRI's vibration imaging technology is that data collection is not limited to a few fixed points, like accelerometer-based systems. SRI's vibration imaging camera collects data from each pixel in the image taken, and from anything in its field of view. The technology is able to take accurate measurements on individual components ranging in size from a few microns to many meters. Potential applications for the diagnostic system include testing machinery ranging in size from wind turbines, to trucks, to automotive subsystems such as transmission and braking systems in hybrid vehicles.

"SRI's vibration imaging technology is highly portable and cost-effective, operates in real time, and can be used as a standalone system or integrated into standard monitoring systems," said Alex Beavers, Ph.D., an executive director of technology commercialization at SRI. "By taking our technology to the worldwide market, Sensors Inc. can enhance its technical capabilities in a wide range of industries."

About SRI International

Silicon Valley-based SRI International is one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. SRI, which was founded by Stanford University as Stanford Research Institute in 1946 and became independent in 1970, has been meeting the strategic needs of clients and partners for more than 60 years. Perhaps best known for its invention of the computer mouse and interactive computing, SRI has also been responsible for major advances in networking and communications, robotics, drug discovery and development, advanced materials, atmospheric research, education research, economic development, national security, and more. The nonprofit institute performs sponsored research and development for government agencies, businesses, and foundations. SRI also licenses its technologies, forms strategic alliances, and creates spin-off companies. In 2009, SRI's consolidated revenues, including its wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, Sarnoff Corporation, were approximately $470 million.

About Sensors Inc.  

Sensors Inc. was founded in 1969, and has evolved to become the leader in developing innovative gas analysis technology, primarily for use in the transportation industry. The company has decades of experience and expertise in the design and manufacture of measurement systems that are widely distributed throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Sensors Inc. also provides in-field emissions and fuel-economy testing services covering a wide range of applications including, on- and off-road vehicles and equipment, and marine, mining, and power generation systems using internal combustion engines. In 1999, Sensors Inc. acquired Sensors Devices in Germany, ensuring a presence in Europe and expanding its product base to include analyzers for environmental applications. Today, Sensors Inc. has offices worldwide, providing emissions measurement solutions for a global client base. The company's emissions measurement solutions are used by government regulatory agencies and universities, as well as engine and vehicle manufacturers in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China and Hong Kong, for the measurement of CO, CO2, NO, NO2, THC, NMHC, CH4, NH3 N2O, O2 and Particulate Mass in both test cell environments and in on-board, mobile applications.

SOURCE SRI International