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Oscar for inventions at BAS

Izobr god 2014On 22 January 2014, at a ceremony in the Military Club, the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria gave some of the most prestigious titles in science and technology- "Inventor of the Year". For 2014 the Oscar for inventions was awarded to Prof. Dr. Sia Lozanova and Acad. Chavdar Rumenin from the Institute of Systems Engineering and Robotics at BAS. The award was given to them by the President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Academician Stefan Vodenicharov, who was among the honoured guests at the ceremony. The awarded have, for one year only, been recognized for 10 highly-effective patents for inventions.

The Institute of Systems Engineering and Robotics is a leader in the Academy and in the country for declared and recognized patents for inventions. On average about 15-16 applications are submitted per year and the same number are recognized as inventions. These innovations are related to the main mission of this research unit - the creation and application of specialized sensory elements and devices and intelligent robotic systems of a new generation with multi-functional applicability in practice.

The ten inventions of Prof. Dr. S. Lozanova and Acad. Ch Rumenin are related to micro- Hall sensors. In popular language, this means that on the basis of a physical phenomenon (named after its discoverer American scientist Edwin Hall), combining electricity and magnetism new modifications of miniature items are created, who with the highest possible degree of accuracy and reliability convert the external magnetic field into an electrical signal - current, voltage or frequency.

The Modern Hall sensors are implemented through the methods and processes for silicon integrated microelectronics - in a single technological cycle on one side of the silicon wafer a huge amount of uniform and with practically the same parameters structures are created. This type of electronic products have been realized by the inventors through cooperation with leading European laboratories. Hall sensors, although manufactured and applied in the industry for more than 35 years, have many fundamental flaws that limit their scope of applicability. These include the need to compensate the dependence of the output signal from the temperature variations of the environment; the presence in the transmitted data on the magnetic field of parasitic voltages and noise; limits of a technological nature to achieve the designed maximum sensitivity of these elements; incomplete information on the magnetic field - measurement of only one of the three components and the like. The removal of these restrictions is an indisputable breakthrough for sensors in the magnetic field, increasing the quality of the data that they receive.

A discovery by these scientists has been applied in the genesis of the new inventions - a manifestation of the Hall effect in a non-standard modification, when the magnetic field and electric current are parallel, contrary to the classical manifestation of the Hall phenomenon. This pattern was used by the two scientists in their original designs and solutions of the patented microsensors for magnetic field. They have no analogue in the control and measuring technologies.

The main advantages of the new microsensors are:

  1. We can receive precise metrology data simultaneously and independently of the directions and values of the three orthogonal components of the magnetic field, i.e. the realization of a  multi-component magnetometer.
  2. On the basis of different structures- static and mobile devices, comprising permanent magnets, a practical system may be built for determining almost all physical and / or chemical parameters in areas such as:
  • Energy and Energy Efficiency for contactless measuring of the strength of the current, its power and energy (construction of contactless meters), as well as in intelligent robotic devices for obtaining energy from the environment (water waves, slowly flowing water, wind);
  • Determination of linear and angular displacements, including registration of final and intermediate positions of pistons in pneumatics and ABS in automotive systems;
  • In seismology and volcanology for predicting the eruption of volcanoes by anomalies of the geomagnetic field; in the detectors used to find survivors in the ruins after earthquakes, floods and catastrophes; in geological and geophysical studies, etc .;
  • Characterization and testing without destruction of substances and materials in metallurgy and mechanical engineering, including fault detection;
  • Determining the chemical composition and concentration of fluids, possibility to study defects in the hemoglobin of human blood;
  • Registration of vibration and pressure;
  • Determining the location in space of satellites, submarines, aircraft and other moving objects;
  • Robotics and mechatronics, and especially in the currently modern technology of service robotics for the elderly and people with special needs;
  • Solenoid control of electrical machines, AC and DC motors;
  • Recording and capturing of information from magnetic media, keyboards, etc;
  • In counter-terrorism activities, in the field of national security, military, and others.

The series production of the new sensors is planned to happen in the plant for sensors in Plovdiv, which is currently under construction and will be focused on the automotive industry.