Contactless Magnetic Sensing in Condition Monitoring and Anomaly Detection for Smart Grid: New Possibilities and Alternatives

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Prof. Philip Pong
Associate Professor
Sensor Research Laboratory
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Our physical and cyber environments are becoming increasingly intertwined with smarter sensing,
communication, and data analytics. Our daily livings are indeed surrounded by a wide variety of sensors,
IoT connectivity, and edge computing devices, constituting smart grid, smart city, smart transportation,
and so on. The availability of sensing devices with measurement, communication, and processing
capabilities is providing fine-grained data. Together with multimodal sensory data collection and sensor
fusion can result in actionable insights and decisions. This synergy can lead to improved ways and quality
of life in what we call smart living.

Magnetism is one of the six energy forms of measurands in sensing. Magnetic sensing plays a critical role
in smart living due to various sources of magnetic fields such as magnetic fields from current-carrying
wires and permanent magnets which are geometrically determined by Biot-Savart Law and Ampere's
Law respectively. These magnetic fields can range from DC to AC, from low frequency to high frequency.
Modern civilization heavily relies on electricity which are generated, transmitted, and utilized through
various kinds of transmission medium and electrical machines that are composed of current-carrying
conductors, electromagnets, and permanent magnets. As such, magnetic field sensing is an important
source of data and thus information for condition monitoring of power generation, transmission, and

In this talk, we will discuss the various opportunities and alternatives magnetic field sensing can offer in
condition monitoring and anomaly detection in smart grid and smart city. Since it is contactless sensing,
its installation is easy and it can be easily retrofitted to the existing plant and equipment. This will
minimize cost, avoid wear and tear, and meet stringent reliability requirement. Contactless magnetic
sensing can complement the traditional contact measurement techniques and help to overcome the
major obstacle towards pervasive sensing due to its scalability.