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Keynote Lectures

Optical Fiber Sensors and Networks - Will They Further Brighten Our Future?
Steffen Lochmann, Hochschule Wismar, University of Applied Sciences: Technology, Business and Design, Germany

Indoor Air Quality Assessment - A New Challenge for Sensor Technology
Andrzej Szczurek, Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland


Optical Fiber Sensors and Networks - Will They Further Brighten Our Future?

Steffen Lochmann
Hochschule Wismar, University of Applied Sciences: Technology, Business and Design

Brief Bio
Steffen Lochmann is professor at Hochschule Wismar, University of Technology Business and Design in Germany. He graduated at the Technical University of Dresden in 1981 and he obtained a PhD from Humboldt University of Berlin in 1984, where he worked on passive optical fibre components. In the same year he joined the Institute and Testing Centre for High Power Engineering Berlin. Here he was involved in investigations on fibre sensor and optical control networks for power plants. In 1991 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor and two years later as an Associate Professor of Telecommunications at the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand). In 1993 he received the Dr. habilitas degree from the Humboldt-University of Berlin. After returning to Germany in 1995 he became the research manager of Advanced Photonic Systems GmbH Berlin. Here, his research activities focused on GHz-detectors, optical and electrical picosecond impulse generators and multimode fibre lasers. Since 1997 he has been working as a full professor at the Hochschule Wismar. His research areas includes a diversity of optical fibre sensors, sensor networks as well as optical code division multiplexing and optical MIMO technologies.

The optical fiber sensor sector, which started as a spin-off branch of the telecom industry decades ago, has been transformed into an independent stand-alone research area and profitable market. This market with its wide diversity has been amazingly robust over the years.
Although the physical principles like intensity, phase, polarization, scattering or spectral sensing were studied in depth long ago and it seemed just a matter of a little bit of engineering to match a sensing principle to an application, we still experience constant and high annual growing rates in this market. The drivers behind it are mainly new sensor developments in terms of dimension, sensing sensitivity and dynamic range, extending fields of industry applications but also applications addressing harsh environments or EMI particularly.
Moreover, the need for deploying more and more sensors, sometimes even in a massive way, asks for new developments in sensor networks, too. Here the different fields of application may set demanding boundary conditions. E.g. smart structures may demand high sensing resolution and low or even no impact on its mechanical parameters. On the other hand, pipeline intrusion detection has to deal with very long monitoring distances.
Thus, new sensors, sensing concepts and related sensor networks continue to emerge and will do so in the future. Several advanced and latest examples, the author’s laboratory was involved with, will be addressed in the presentation to provide evidence of an further growing and diversifying optical fiber sensor market.



Indoor Air Quality Assessment - A New Challenge for Sensor Technology

Andrzej Szczurek
Wroclaw University of Technology

Brief Bio
Andrzej Szczurek obtained MSc in Solid State Physics (1978) from the University of Wroclaw. Since 1978 he is with Wroclaw University of Technology (WUT) Poland where he received PhD (1984) and DSc (2007). In 1986 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Syracuse University, USA. Presently, he is a Professor and the head of the Laboratory for Sensor Techniques and Indoor Air Quality Studies at Faculty of Environmental Engineering WUT. In the period 2007-2013 he was responsible for one of major research tasks “Sensor system for measuring organic compounds” in the project "Detectors and sensors for measuring factors hazardous to environment - modeling and monitoring of threats", ?nanced by the EU via the European Regional Development Fund and the Polish state budget, within the framework of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy 2007-2013. In the period 2013-2016 he chaired the research project ” The variability of physical and chemical parameters in time as a source of comprehensive information about indoor air quality” funded by National Science Centre Poland. His main research interests are methods and techniques of air pollutants analysis with particular emphasis on the application of gas sensors for environmental assessment.

Maintaining proper quality of ambient air is one of the greatest challenges faced by society today. However, over last few decades indoor air quality (IAQ) has become an important problem in many countries. Negative opinions arrive from different indoor environments, e.g. residential, occupational and institutional settings. Indoor air pollution is ranked as the highest risk to human being among all types of environmental problems. The consequences of poor IAQ are complex and not completely understood. The improvement of IAQ requires relevant information. The information about IAQ has a fundamental significance for building managers, policy makers, health professionals and scientists. Indoor air quality can be considered from two complementary perspectives – toxicity and the influence on comfort and wellbeing. Therefore, IAQ assessment is based on the perception of indoor air quality by occupants or the analysis of parameters describing physical and chemical properties of air inside building. The talk is focused on the second approach. In this field of measurements, the application of gas sensors is especially promising. The characteristics of: optical/non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensors; photoionization detectors (PID); metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) sensors; electrochemical (EC) sensors; catalytic sensors are presented. The potential applications of gas sensors are discussed. The attention is concentrated on the measurement equipment for qualitative and quantitative analysis of indoor air; direct-reading devices for detection of specific pollutants or indoor air quality indicators; sensor systems for classification of IAQ, characterization of odors (electronic noses), detection of events, diagnostics of IAQ. At the end, factors determining the progress of IAQ monitoring will be addressed.