Photonic low-cost sensors for in-line fluid monitoring. Design methodology
Mabe Alvarez, Jon
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The paradigm of process monitoring has evolved in the last years, driven by a clear need for improving efficiency, quality and safety of processes and products. Sectors as manufacturing, energy, food and beverages, etc. are fostering the adoption of innovative methods for controlling their processes and products, in a non-destructive, in-place, reliable, fast, accurate and cost-efficient manner. Furthermore, the parameters requested by the industry for the quality assessment are evolving from basic magnitudes as pressures, temperatures, humidity, etc. to complete chemical and physical fingerprints of these products and processes. In this situation, techniques based on the UV/VIS/NIR light-matter interaction appear to be optimum candidates to face the request of the industry. Moreover, at this moment, when we are witnessing a technological revolution in the field of optoelectronic components, which are required for setting up these light-based analyzers.However, being able to integrate these optoelectronic components with the rest of subsystems (electronics, optics, mechanics, hydraulics, data processing, etc.) is not straightforward. The development of these multi-domain and heterogeneous sensor products meeting not just technological but also market objectives poses a considerable technical and organizational challenge for any company.In this context, a methodological hybrid and agile integration of photonic components within the rest of subsystems towards a sensor product development is presented as the main outcome of the thesis. The methodology has been validated in several industrial scenarios, being three of them included in this thesis, which covers from hydraulic fluid quality control to real-time monitoring of alcoholic beverage fermentation process.