Special Session proposals are invited; these should include title, synopsis, at least one confirmed attendee (who will have to cover their conference registration and travel costs). Special Sessions typically have an extended introduction or overview presentation. Proposals should be sent to the attention of the Special Session Chair.

Submit a Special Session paper here

Special Session Chair:
Eric Matson, Purdue University

Special Session #1: “Sensors and sensing system for Assistive Technology” 

Organizers: Prof. Vincenzo Marletta (DIEEI, University of Catania, Italy)

Prof. Bruno Andò – (DIEEI, University of Catania, Italy)

Session Synopsis: Assisted Living is a hot area having an everyday increasing strategic relevance given its impact on the economy and on the society. In this sector, sensors and sensing systems assume a role of primary importance. There is, in fact, an extremely vivid interest on this subject both in the scientific and in the industrial community. In spite of the numerous results available, there is still a large need for further research efforts and for novel solutions. In particular multi-sensor platform and Wireless Sensors Networks hold the promise of being able to bring innovative contribution to this area being able to collect and transfer large sets of measurement data from several points thus realizing distributed and flexible measurement systems. We invite therefore original research papers on this subject with the goal to contribute to this area through a vibrant arena where novel ideas on converging subjects for the general topic of “Sensors and sensing system for Assistive Technology” will be confronted and exchanged between prominent actors in this field.

Submissions are welcomed on (but not limited to):

• Overview of state of the art on "Sensors and sensing system for Assistive Technology"
• Measurement methodologies and algorithms for Assistive Technologies, with particular regards to the well being and the active ageing
• Smart (wireless) multi-sensor systems for Ambient Assisted Living and Activities of Daily Living monitoring
• Smart textile solutions for Body Sensor Networks
• Wireless Body Sensor Network

Special Session #2: "IEEE 21451 – The Universal Smart Sensor Standard for IOT"

Organizers: Darold Wobschall (Esensors Inc., USA) Contact: designer@eesensors.com

John Schmalzel (Rowan University, USA)

Session Synopsis: The older ISO/IEC/IEEE 21451 series of smart transducer standards is a comprehensive data formatting standard for both sensors and actuators which was intended for industrial use but is being updated for applications to the Internet of Things for which it is ideally suited. It covers nearly all types of sensors, all types of data transmissions formats, allows automatic configuration (plug-and-play) by means of the Transducer Electronic Data Sheets (TEDS),  unique ID and encryption. This session described the standard and gives examples of its use.

Submissions are welcomed on (but not limited to):
• Applications of the IEEE 2145 standard suitable for the IOT
• Compilers or other software to facilitate the standard use

Special Session #3: "Self-Powered Sensors: Novel Methodologies and Nonlinear Effects in Energy Harvesters from ambient power sources"

Organizers: Carlo Trigona (DIEEI, University of Catania, Italy) Contact: carlo.trigona@dieei.unict.it

Grzegorz Litak (Lublin University of Technology, Poland) Contact: g.litak@pollub.pl

Session Synopsis: In the last few years, there has been an increasing demand for novel transducers for energy harvesting applications, self-powered sensor node, smart devices and autonomous measurement systems. The interest to save energy from the environment is highly felt in macro scale but also in small and integrated scale. Several ways to optimize the amount of harvested energy have been explored in literature, as regards the conversion, extraction mechanisms and the exploitation of nonlinearity in order to improve the performance of the devices. In fact, nonlinear energy harvesters showing broadband frequency transduction (e.g.based on kinetic sources) are based on nonlinear phenomena. Consequently these materials and/or geometrical nonlinearities improve the efficiency of energy harvesting from variable ambient sources via synchronization and nonlinear resonance. The nonlinearity also allows the appearance of multiple solutions. The session would be devoted to application of various nonlinearities to enhance the power output of energy harvesting devices, methodologies of power conversion and management, design and fabrication of novel transducers and MEMS devices, autonomous sensors. 

Submissions are welcome (but not limited):
• Transducers for energy scavenging
• Linear and Nonlinear mechanisms and techniques
• Emerging technologies and methods for energy harvesting
• Power management and interfaces
• Models and simulations in energy harvesters
• Self-powered sensors and autonomous sensors

Special Session #4: "Sensors for oil and gas applications"

Organizers: Max Deffenbaugh (Aramco Services Company, Houston, TX USA) Contact: max.deffenbaugh@aramcoservices.com

Mark Disko (ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, Clinton, NJ USA) Contact: mark.m.disko@exxonmobil.com

Session Synopsis: Oil field and refining applications present challenging environments for sensors.   Downhole sensors  measure fluid and rock properties providing vital information for optimizing hydrocarbon recovery, however these applications are often challenged by limited power and telemetry bandwidth.  Pipeline monitoring can provide early warning of emerging integrity problems, but sensitivity, coverage, and accessibility pose significant challenges.   Refinery and chemical plant operations can be optimized with process monitoring using a variety of sensors, however these sensors often must operate in extreme temperatures and corrosive environments. 

Submissions are welcomed on (but not limited to):
• Permanent downhole sensors
• Untethered sensors
• Downhole power and energy harvesting
• Telemetry and sensor networks
• Pipeline monitoring sensors
• Flow and fouling sensors
• Sensors for refining and chemical plant operations
• Soft sensors and intelligent algorithms for data fusion

Special Session #5: "Power-efficient sensors for long term applications"

Organizer: Michele Magno (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Session Synopsis: Today sensors technologies are gaining popularity, with people surrounded by many sensor devices. Low power sensing devices, pushed by the wave of Internet of Things (IoT), are becoming increasingly complex systems that combine hardware, microcontrollers, sensors, memory, energy, and data storage, software, firmware, and connectivity in a myriad of ways. As these devices are typically supplied by batteries  one of the main challenges faced from industrial and academic researcher are to prolong the operating lifetime  of the sensing platform and enhancing usability, maintenance, and mobility while keeping a small and unobtrusive form factor. Low power design aims to build power efficient sensing systems to provide continuous data monitoring, acquisition, processing, and classification of the data. However continuous operation using only ultra-small batteries poses unique challenges and many hardware software technologies/methods/algorithm need to collaborative employed to extend the lifetime or even make them self-sustaining . This Special Issue emphasizes the challenges, issues, and opportunities in the research, design, and engineering of energy efficient sensing, focusing on techniques, strategies, and algorithms applied to real-application achieving long lifetime; also, this Special Issue welcomes contributions in deployments, in-field tests, and measurements of low-power devices. All submissions must be original and not previously published. 

Submissions are welcomed on (but not limited to):

• Power management algorithms for energy harvesting sensing systems
• Experiences of real-world sensing applications and in-field deployments
• Innovative mobile and mobile sensing applications
• New hardware and sensing platforms for logging data in real application scenario
• Reprogrammable and reconfigurable sensing systems especially smart cameras
• Low-power machine learning for sensors data, video processing and context recognition
• Semantic technologies for interoperability and context awareness
• Smart-Cities / Smart-X applications involving sensing and control
• Wearable sensing technologies (smart textile, flexible, wearable electronics)
• Power management algorithms for energy harvesting sensing systems
• Architectures for energy-neutral sensing systems
• Resilient energy-neutral sensors
• Ultra-low power communication and wake up radio devices for sensors devices
• Smart-Cities / Smart-X applications involving sensing and control
• Experiences from real-world low-power IoT applications and deployments

Special Session #6: “IEEE P21451 – Overview of the Standard and Implementation”

Organizers: John Schmalzel (Rowan University, USA)

Session Synopsis: The original IEEE 1451.1-1999 defined a network capable application processor (NCAP) whose description included a large number of complex functions. Efforts to incorporate the standard into technology demonstrations met with limited success due to the overall complication of the standard; so-called “lite” implementations with a small subset of functions were ultimately developed. The P21451-1 revisions to the original standard emphasize clearly defined classes of functions. An important addition is the work that has defined reference implementations and software development tools to lower the barriers for incorporating the standard into a diverse array of applications from many industries. This session explains the concepts and details of the P21451-1 standard along with descriptions of reference implementations of core elements of the standard and the evolution of a software development kit (SDK) to aid others in adopting the standard for their application.

Submissions are welcomed on (but not limited to):

• Descriptions and evaluation of the standard
• Details of reference implementations incorporating key elements of the standard
• Tool chains supporting development of applications based on the standard

Special Session #7: "Sensors for Aerospace"

Organizers: Robert R. Krchnavek (Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ USA)

Session Synopsis: Micro, Nano, Pico, and Femtosatellites are a class of satellites with low mass and size compared to traditional satellites. Nanosatellites have a mass from 1 to 10 kg while femtosatelltes have a maxmum mass of 100 g. These small satellites offer cost effective solutions to space-based research and novel data collection. However, attitude control, communications, computer systems, power and data collection provide significant challenges due to the size and mass restrictions. This session begins with an overview of the CubeSat (nanosatellite) standard, the functional subsystems, sensors used for satellite operation and recent applications of CubeSats and their sensor requirements.

Submissions are welcomed on (but not limited to): 

• Navigation sensors (star trackers, sun sensors, horizon sensors, gyros, accelerometers, etc.)
• Data-Collection sensors (imagers, magnetometers, radiation, etc.)
• Space hardened sensors/electronics.
• Sensors and their applications in the satellite subsystems: power, communications, on-board computers, attitude control, command and data handling, etc
• Missions beyond low-earth orbit.

Special Session #8: "Magnetic sensors and their applications"

Organizers: Asaf Grosz (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) Contact: asaf.grosz@gmail.com 

Candid Reig (University of Valencia, Spain)

Session Synopsis: Year after year, magnetic sensors remain as key elements in many sensing applications for example, in the automotive, industrial and medical world. Due to this huge variety of application fields, a complicated set of requirements for the sensors size, resolution, power consumption, etc. is demanded in each particular case. Such requirements are acting as catalysts for multidisciplinary research relating to all aspects of the sensor systems including the development of advanced magnetic materials, integration of the sensing elements with miniature and ultra-low power electronic circuits, and novel algorithms which exploit the unique features of magnetic signals.

Submissions are welcomed on (but not limited to): 

• Magnetic materials for magnetic sensors
• Ultra-miniature magnetometers (including MEMS and NEMS)
• Atomic magnetometers
• Magneto-resistive magnetometers
• Fluxgate, search coil and magnetoelectric magnetometers
• Conditioning circuits for magnetic sensors
• Magnetic sensors and measurements for space research
• Magnetic biomedical applications including low field MRI and magnetic beads detection
• Magnetic fields measurements for geophysical exploration (CSAMT, TDEM, etc.)
• Through-the-earth magnetic communication
• Magnetic sensors for automotive applications
• Calibration techniques

Special Session #9: "Sensor systems for UAV security and safety"

Organizers: Eric Matson (Purdue University, USA) Contact: ematson@purdue.edu

Session Synopsis: The growth of UAV in both the private and public sectors is greatly expanding.  As the sky above and around humans becomes filled with UAVs, there will be issues created for security, safety and management.  This session will focus on sensors and sensors systems that can help to manage and assist humans in working with and being secure from class 1 UAV systems.

Submissions are welcomed on (but not limited to):

• Sensors for detection (specific to class 1 UAV systems)
• Categorization of UAV’s
• Tracking of single UAV’s
• Tracking of multi-UAV systems
• Air-to-air systems and on-board sensors
• Remediation systems
• Electronic interference 
• Prototype sensors
• Calibration techniques
• Processes for discovery of a captured UAV