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Title: An Adaptive Electronic Interface for Gas Sensors
Authors: Cavanaugh, Curtis
Advisors: H. Troy Nagle, Chair
Edward Grant, Member
Mark White, Member
Issue Date: 22-Jan-2002
Degree: MS
Discipline: Electrical Engineering
Abstract: This thesis focuses on the development of an adaptive electronic interface for gas sensors that are used in the NC State electronic nose. We present an adaptive electronic interface that allows for the accurate mapping of the sensor's voltage output to sensor resistance profiles. The adaptive interface uses a linearized Wheatstone bridge in a constant current configuration. The balancing of the bridge and the adjustment of the subsequent gain stage is performed using programmable variable resistors. The programmable resistors are controlled by a LabVIEW® program. The same control program also determines and records all the resistor values in the interface circuit. The resistance of each sensor is accurately computed by LabVIEW® using the interface-circuit, resistor values, and the voltage output of the circuit. Compensating for sensor drift can be done in LabVIEW® by adjusting the programmable resistor values so that a zero-voltage output is produced during the reference cycle. By doing this zero adjustment between each 'sniff' of an odorant, the baseline drift can be minimized.A single channel of the adaptive electronic interface has been designed and tested. The interface can be calibrated so that it is 99% accurate when performing sensor resistance measurements. A new conducting polymer sensor chamber has also been designed and tested. The new radial flow sensor chamber was minimizes the dead volume in the chamber and also deliver the odorant to each sensor at the same time. Two operating modes were compared: continuous-flow and sniff-and-hold. Both modes gave good classification performance while testing four different coffee samples. Experimental testing indicates that sensor response is highly correlated with the sample flow rate. Future work to more fully characterize this correlation is recommended.
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