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Title: Developments in tensiographic multivariate analysis leading to a new approach with prevalent applicability for sample fingerprinting and data representation
Author: Riedel, Sven Manfred
Awarding Body: Kingston University
Current Institution: Kingston University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis describes a comprehensive engineering development of a new commercially important liquid analysis technology that has found applications across a spectrum of industries. These applications includes measurements in the water, food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, but extend to applications for control in the heavy industries of electrical power and manufacture. The tensiograph instrument described in this study evolved from an existing prototype that had an information content of signal less than 4 bits. This Mark 1 version had been used in various application studies and demonstrated good potential. The project describes how this very limited instrumental system was re-engineered to deliver a Mark 2 instrument with very substantial improvement. With this upgraded instrument, it has been possible to provide ultra-sensitive measurements, for example, on priority pollutants (PP) in rela water that were detected at ppb levels. The engineering that transformed the instrument was undertaken in a prioritised system engineering development based on using a new information-based approach devised by the author and McMillan. This new approach is described in Chapter 6 and its successful application to the analysis and subsequent engineering of the tensiograph system is described. This approach employs the universal yardstick of information, which is different to the traditional dB menthods used in systems engineering. The fundamental issue is that these traditional methods do not provide a unified systems analysis simply because the reference 0dB levels for different energy forms are not the same. The Mark 2 was engineered rationally top-down so that the instrumental problems were solved in a logically ordered way. In the following chapters the actual rigorous engineering (optical, electronic, mechanical, thermal and software) is detailed. The chapter structure is broken down to present all the phases of this work. Chapter 3 details the electronic engineering development and discusses the electronic circuit design for a light source driver, silicon detector and a temperature controller. This electronic engineering development was done in a professional environment working in Kelman Ltd. who led the 5th Framework EU Aqua-STEW (Surveillance Techniques for Early Warning) project that supported this work, and the highest commercial electronics engineering standards were used throughout. Chapter 4 details the design of acquisition, analysis, control and automation software. The software development was undertaken using the best practice Object Oriented approach and the work described is notable for providing an integrated user environment. Chapter 5 describes drophead developments, which were a serious attempt to optimise the engineering of the key element of the tensiograph; this work in fact contributed in a number of ways to the optimised design. Chapter 6 describes the new system engineering approach described above. In additions, this chapter details the engineering advances made in the design of the anti-vibration system and thermal control module. The latter achieves the absolutely vital accuracy of 0.1[degrees]C and reproducibility at [plus or minus]0.01[degrees]C. The next section describes the development of the improved liquid delivery systems. The software that controls the various pump operations for sample delivery, cleaning and control of the drop formation (stopping at appropriate positions, for example, within the drop cycle) is described. The entire code for all the software runs to over 300 pages and is bound in a separate volume. Chapter 7 is on fingerprinting and data archiving. This work describes the development of a new data mining approach that was introduced by McMillan and the author in 1998 and shows signs at this point of becoming an established technique with several other PhD and Masters studies being developed around this. The theory of data-scatter has been presented based on the original pioneering work done by the author and the utility of this method has been demonstrated in some important tensiographic applications. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the use of the technique to reduce data storage in archiving of digital signals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chemical engineering