News

ECTM developing UVC LED test system to study virus disinfection

Read the interview with Tianyi Jin who, together with 3 MSc students, the group of Professor Fouchier of the Erasmus MC, and supported by the TUDelft COVID-19 fund, is developing a platform to test the disinfecting power of UVC LEDs.

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Professor Wouter Serdijn appointed as Medical Delta Professor

Since 2011 Medical Delta professorships have been established and approved by the executive board of Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University. At the moment 13 professors are active as Medical Delta professor.

A Medical Delta professorship is an honorary title for those who meet the requirements that they have double appointments at, at least, two of the three universities participating in Medical Delta and are active in research and teaching in a way that makes a Medical Delta appointment appropriate.

In the last year the board of Medical Delta together with the scientific council of the Medical Delta and governors of the academic knowledge institutes developed a process to identify the professors that fulfil these criteria. Based on this process a number of professors have been identified to be eligible for this honorary title of which professor Wouter Serdijn is one.


Kleine Stromstöße mit heilsamer Wirkung (Eng: Small surges of electricity with a healing effect)

Winzige Chips statt Medikamente – leitet die „Bioelektronik“ eine neue Ära der Medizin ein? Ein Überblick über die neuen Ansätze (Eng: Tiny chips instead of medication - does "bioelectronics" usher in a new era of medicine? An overview of the new approaches). Article by Susanne Donner with, a.o. Vasiliki Giagka in Der Tagespiegel.

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How smart sensors can prevent epilepsy

In Delft and Rotterdam, Wouter Serdijn and Christos Strydis are collaborating on a network of sensors and stimulators for the body. By picking up signals and sending the brain a rapid wake-up call, they hope to be able to predict and prevent epileptic fits. ‘If we can close the loop, we’ll have the technology ready within three years.’ Article in Nodes, with Christos Strydis and Wouter Serdijn.

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Bachelor student Dewwret Sitaldin wins first prize 3-E Royal SMIT BSc prize

Abstract

The main goal of this Electrical Engineering Bachelor project is to build a solar-power system for a quad-copter that will extend its battery life or rather its flight time. The complete system is comprised of a PV system (PV), a micro-controller (MC) and a DC/DC converter (DC) which was mounted onto the drone. On each subsystem, a separate thesis was written and this paper serves as a general yet complete overview of the design process, simulations and test results of a fully functioning solar drone with the theses attached as appendices for reference.

The original (optimistic) aim of an extension of at least 25% of the battery lifetime was set by our supervisors. For the PV part SunPower C60 IBC cells were used (no specific selection was done) together with a (borrowed) custom-built drone (not built by this team, it was borrowed from another research group) as a starting point. After analysing the limitations of the drone and the cells, multiple configurations were designed and a mathematical model that determines power usage, energy costs per solar cell and the optimum amount of cells was developed. A SEPIC converter will extract solar energy from a PV-module in order to charge the battery of the drone. The converter will be controlled by the micro-controller subgroup using MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) algorithm and this will be done by supplying a PWM signal to the converter.

Since the drone was not specifically designed for the project (thus not optimised when it comes to lift capacity and room for cell placement), the efficiency of the solar cells was not sufficient to extend the fight time by 25% (15.1% in summer, 5.6% in winter). Since these bottlenecks can easily be eliminated by replacing the drone and the cells, these results serve as a proof of concept and are an excellent starting point for future research


Dutch-Japanese astronomical instrument measures 49 shades of far-infrared

Integrated superconducting spectrometer chip.

The Dutch-Japanese made DESHIMA instrument has passed its first practical tests when measuring the distances and ages of distant galaxies. The core of the instrument is a chip the size of two euro coins that measures 49 shades of far infrared light. The developers of the spectrometer publish the results of their first measurement campaign (first light) on Monday 5 August in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Measuring distances and ages in the universe is a problem. The brightness of a star or a galaxy says little about age. Astronomers bypass this problem by measuring the doppler effect of light from galaxies. The redder the light, the higher the speed, the farther the galaxy. Unfortunately, the redshift of many galaxies in the early universe cannot be measured with visible light, because starlight is shaded by dust clouds surrounding these galaxies. Measuring the redshift of these galaxies requires observing in far infrared.

49 channels

In October 2017, Dutch and Japanese researchers, led by Akira Endo (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands), mounted the special chip on the Japanese ASTE telescope in North Chile. The superconducting chip is developed by Delft University of Technology and SRON, Netherlands Institute for Space Research. The chip contains one antenna, 49 filters and 49 detectors. The antenna captures radiation of various wavelengths. The filters unravel the radiation in 49 tones of infrared. The 49 detectors measure the intensity of the radiation. When a detector picks up a signal, it can be seen as a peak in a graph.

First light

The first tests with the telescope, the so-called first light, were promising. The astronomers first focused the telescope-with-chip on Mars, Saturn and a number of well-known stars and galaxies. When they saw the expected slope in the graph without significant problems, the researchers aimed the telescope at the well-known distant galaxy VV114 and saw the predicted redshift.

The researchers are now working on a chip that can cope with 300 tones of infrared instead of the current 49. This allows them to determine the distances to galaxies that have hitherto been hidden behind dust clouds. In addition, the researchers want to link multiple chips so that they can study multiple galaxies at the same time. The development must lead to a handy-sized imaging spectrometer that is easy to use on a ground based telescope and is a must for use with space telescopes.

Incidentally, the first tests on the telescope in Chile almost failed due to material problems. There was something wrong with the cooling system of the chip. The researchers had brought spare parts for the cooling system, but they had forgotten the pins to align the parts. After searching for hours in the town of San Pedro de Atacama, the researchers came to jeweler Jose Pinto. In Pinto's toolbox, they found a piece of copper wire with exactly the right diameter. With that they could make the forgotten pins. And so the instrument was rescued and the tests could start.

Publications

Grants

The DESHIMA project (http://deshima.ewi.tudelft.nl ) is made possible in part thanks to grants from NWO, JSPS and the ERC.

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