About the MIMES project

Models and Inverse Methods for Near Field Electromagnetic Sensors (MIMES)

Near field electromagnetic sensing modality (NFEMS) is based on the changes of electric and magnetic fields due to changes in material properties and geometry of monitored objects or processes. NFEMS that operate below 10 MHz are classified according to the dominant coupling as capacitive (electric coupling) and inductive (magnetic coupling) and they find their use in a vast number of sensing applications thanks to their non-intrusiveness, sensitivity, simple construction and robustness. Prominent advanced application domains of these sensors, in focus of this project, include non-destructive testing (NDT) of safety critical industrial components (nuclear reactor heat exchangers, oil wells, aircraft hull) and proximal soil sensing (PSS) (precision agriculture, buried infrastructure, humanitarian demining). Because NFEMS operate in the near field region their greatest shortcoming is complicated relationships between measured quantities (field strength, induced voltage or impedance) and inspected properties (spatial distribution of electromagnetic properties, dimensions, inclusion, etc.). As a rule, advanced applications of NFEMS require impractical computationally-intensive inversion procedures to obtain human-suited information. Consequently, they rely either on simplified models for the inversion or on experienced human interpretation. There is a strong need for computationally efficient models and fast inversion methods in order to exploit full informational potential of this sensor modality and to speed up the design phase of such a sensing systems.
The overall objective of this project is to establish a viable research group in NFEMS, including research on sensor technologies and interfaces, embedded sensor systems, forward modelling and inverse methods. During the project the research group will develop and implement computationally efficient forward models for NFEMS in the domains of NDT of tubes and PSS. These applications include two very different set of material properties (high conductive, magnetic, homogenous with small inclusions vs. low conductive, dielectric and heterogeneous) so different modelling approaches can be tested and complementary knowledge gained. The team will also study inverse methods based on the implemented models and will experimentally demonstrate the researched concepts on two industry-relevant applications. In order to accomplish the project's objectives, the group will engineer novel NFEMS interfaces and embedded systems with high performance in terms of sensitivity, accuracy, processing power and harsh environment operation