STARS (NL)

MASER Engineering is participating as a subcontractor in the national Dutch funded "STARS" project, which is an acronym for "Sensor Technology Applied in Reconfigurable Systems".
 
In the STARS project, a consortium of six Dutch partners is working on the development of reconfigurable sensors and sensor networks applied in the context of the security domain.

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Duration STARS project: 4.5 years (July 2010 – December 2014).
Participation MASER in project: 20 months (May 2013 – December 2014).
Project extended with 3 months to March 2015.

Project Overview

The objective of STARS is to develop within  four years the necessary knowledge and technology that can be used as a baseline for the development of reconfigurable sensors and sensor networks applied in the context of the security domain. Six research themes have been identified:

  • Theme 1: System Concepts & Architectures (link).
  • Theme 2: Analogue Frond-ends (link).
  • Theme 3: Digital Signal Processing (link).
  • Theme 4: Algorithms, Software & Methodology (link).
  • Theme 5: End User Integration (link).
  • Theme 6: Knowledge Impact (link).

Four specific research area for reconfigurability and two research areas to contribute to the intermediate level between research and the realization of possible applications and the valorization of all knowledge developed during this project. 

Within STARS, a considerable part of the budget (25%) has been reserved for additional, non-allocated research.

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Contribution MASER Engineering

MASER Engineering joined the STARS project as a subcontractor of one of the consortium members to work on Additional Research Proposal ART5 "Advanced Lifetime Prediction for Dependability". Our activities are performed in close collaboration with the Testable Design & Testing of Integrated Systems group (CAES-TDT, Dr. Hans Kerkhoff) at the Centre of Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT) of the University of Twente (link).

In many sensor networks for security, the dependability of the system is of crucial importance. Any real down time of the system due to failure or repair is the ideal time window for realizing security threats. Especially in (auto) repairable systems, it is required to start the potential repair before any failure occurs, thereby reducing the down time to zero.
In Theme 3 of the STARS project (i.e. Digital Signal Processing) the principle of health monitoring has been suggested, which should also be able to work in an analog and mixed-signal environment. Crucial part of these (or combinations of) health monitors is that they represent an accurate measure for the lifetime of the electronic chip under the systems’ stress conditions. Which monitors are the most accurate is still unknown as is their own aging / reliability behavior.
Currently, there is no hard scientific evidence what is the accuracy and aging behavior of monitors also in the case of different situations (analog, mixed-signal and digital chips). This scientific proposal is aimed to provide that evidence, and give a solid background. The proper partner should have a large experience and knowledge on real life-time tests of heterogeneous chips.
As spin-off of this work, much energy-consuming life tests (many hours, sometimes months, high temperatures and electricity) of heterogeneous chips could be avoided. Moreover, potential higher yield and longer lifetime of chips with auto repair will reduce waste and precious material losses. As this concerns huge volumes, the gain can be significant. Finally it will have a large impact on future reliability tests of nano scale chips (dependable systems with undependable components). More on this Additional Reseach Topics can be found here (link). 

Project Consortium

  • University of Twente, the Netherlands (link).
  • Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands (link).
  • Thales Netherlands, the Netherlands (link).
  • NXP, the Netherlands (link).
  • TNO, the Netherlands (link).
  • Recore Systems, the Netherlands (link).

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Links

Project information

  • STARS project website (link).
  • STARS grant regulation by RvO (link).

Publications

  • Presentation "STARS" by Eindhoven Institute for Research on ICT (EIRICT/TUE) (link).
  • Article "18 miljoen subsidie maakt sensorketens herconfigureerbaar" in Bits & Chips magazine [22-06-2009] (link).

Press releases

  • Press release Ridgetop Group / University of Twente [23-01-2014] (link).
  • Press release MASER Engineering [22-05-2013] (link).

Funding

The work is funded by the "Fonds Economische Structuurversterking" (FES), which is controlled by the Ministry of Economical Affairs in The Netherlands.

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