Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PROTEUS Report Summary

Project ID: 644852
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PROTEUS (AdaPtive micROfluidic- and nano-enabled smart systems for waTEr qUality Sensing)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

PROTEUS is a project funded under the H2020 framework program for research of the European Commission. It investigates the smart integration of chemical sensors based on carbon nanotubes, MEMS based physical sensors together with a cognitive engine providing on-the-fly reconfigurability. The produced devices will be tested in the context of water monitoring. Indeed, water management requires massive, low-cost monitoring means coping with differentiated and evolving requirements. However, the majority of multifunctional water sensors only supports predefined goals hindering interoperability, with a high cost, impeding large scale deployments.
Addressing this, PROTEUS aims at offering x10 reduction in both size and unit function cost compared to state of the art. To this end, an increased number of functions will be integrated at a reduced cost and PROTEUS will deliver a reconfigurable microfluidic-and nano-enabled sensor platform for cognitive water quality monitoring. Innovative embedded software will provide reconfigurability of the sensing board to support several differentiated applicative goals while cognitive capabilities will manage evolving requirements during exploitation. Energy autonomy will be made by harvesting water flow energy. In addition, low cost of additional sensing components will enable redundancy increasing life span of the systems.
The main challenge relates to the heterogeneous integration into a monolithic, microfluidic sensing chip of carbon nanotubes-based resistive chemical sensors, of MEMS physical and rheological resistive sensors and of a multifunctional adaptive deep-submicron CMOS system on chip. Upstream, high level system design addressing industrial use cases, manufacturability and cost-effectiveness, packaging, energy budget and interfaces between building blocks, will enable consistency and efficiency of the whole approach. Downstream, system validation will be carried out at different levels: benchmarking, reliability assessment to guarantee service time, model deployments and field testing.
The consortium brings together renowned actors along the whole value chain, including system integration and end users. This will contribute to post-project exploitation prepared by ensuring appropriate inclusion of business requirements within the system design.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During Proteus first year, the consortium has spent very intense efforts in defining properly the use case requirements for Proteus node and then converting them into technical requirements, which then have led to a very detailed design. Such a top-down approach is essential in such a multidisciplinary project, as it enables to define very finely the interfaces between the different hardware and software building blocks. It also ensures that the results fit optimally with the needs, facilitating later exploitation.
Based on the detail design, hardware and software development has started out. Regarding to the hardware side, a multiparameter sensor chip based on MEMS and CNT sensors is being developed. Presently, its flow chart is finalized and the first version of the chips is being fabricated. The process for integrating the CNT sensors onto these chips is being optimized. Performances of a first set of MEMS sensors have been assessed and are promising. A CMOS chip capable of interfacing the sensor chip has also been designed and is currently in production. It integrates an analog to digital converter, the programmable gain input sample and hold, a programmable filter, a programmable analog MUX and a DC-DC converter.
On the software side, a low level model is being developed to interface the CMOS chip with the programmability API (also being implemented) which are required to operate PROTEUS node. A first version of the node management software has been developed and implemented into a demonstrator. It is able to detect alert/alarm scenarios based on measurement data and adapt accordingly the measurement and transmission profiles of the node. Moreover, prediction algorithms have been developed for implementation either directly in the Node or in the water management service.
Assembly of the different building hardware and software building blocks will be carried out during the second period. Meanwhile, the lab validation phase is being prepared: two testbeds for lab validation have been designed and are being implemented. The deployment phase is also being readied: A 50m long, outdoor model deployment of a drink water network is in its design phase, while a detailed set of communication tests have been carried out in real world scenarios to prepare for Proteus node field deployments.
The field test locations were selected and began to be carried out a market analysis in relation to the control equipment.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

At the end of the first period, the progresses beyond the state of the art are the following
• Design and associated flowchart of a redundant, all-resistive, multifunctional sensor chip cointegrating MEMS and CNT sensors
• For signal conditioning of the sensor chip, design of a highly programmable, energy efficient 130 nm CMOS analog front-end, including analog to digital conversion, programmable analog filtering, programmable gain sample and hold, band-gap reference, and a low loss signal routing within a multi-input analog multiplexer.
• Modelling Approach for supporting the real-time reconfiguration of the programmable front-end.
• Development of a reconfigurable, predictive node software specially tuned for diversified water monitoring actions.
• Development of a water flow force energy harvester suitable for water networks
• For the interface with the energy harvester, an inductor free DC-DC converter which is fully based in a switched-capacitor topology designed for an 130 nm CMOS technology.
Based on this design, Proteus device will be 10 times smaller and 3 times cheaper than its direct competitor with additional functionalities.

Related information

Record Number: 186637 / Last updated on: 2016-07-14