Season 1 (3) Digital eyes reflect the world

As the breath of spring enveloped the campus, Sakura headed to her new class at the Digital Inquiry Science Department with an excited feeling in her heart. Her theme today is “Fundamentals of digital measurement and sensors, physical measurement (heat, light).” After the electrical circuits class the other day had piqued Sakura’s curiosity, today was the day to explore how sensor technology expands our senses.

The class started and the professor spoke in a quiet voice. “Sensors are windows into the world that go beyond our five senses. Today, we’ll look at how information is collected and interpreted through those windows.”

Even as Sakura took her notes, her professor’s words captivated her. Human senses augmented by digital technology. It was a completely new concept to her. Thermal sensors detect minute temperature changes, and the optical sensors measure invisible light intensity. A new world opens up before Sakura’s eyes as she learns how these technologies are useful in daily life and scientific progress.

What particularly impressed me was her class on light measurement. The way the light sensor worked as the professor explained it seemed like magic to Sakura. For example, how do sensors detect the dawn light and use it as a signal to turn off street lights? This simple yet innovative technology optimizes energy use and creates a more sustainable society.

In the second half of the class, experiments using various sensors were actually conducted. Sakura and Ayaka paired up again and tried an experiment. The two researchers conducted an experiment using an optical sensor to examine the effects of light of different colors and intensities on the sensor. By placing various light sources in front of the sensor and observing changes in the digital signal, Sakura began to gain a deeper understanding of the physical phenomena behind the data.

Throughout the experiment, Sakura and Ayaka shared the problem-solving process, collaborating and sometimes challenging each other. Deciphering the meaning of the data captured by the sensors gave them the excitement of being detectives. And in the process, the bond between the two grew even stronger.

After class, Sakura and Ayaka talked passionately about what they had learned that day while walking around campus. They were particularly excited about how sensors can help us visualize and analyze a world beyond our understanding. For example, sensors can capture ultraviolet and infrared rays that are invisible to the human eye and communicate this data to us, allowing scientists to make new discoveries. This fact had a huge impact on Sakura’s heart.

“Digital sensors are like new sensory organs. It’s really exciting to be able to see things that we couldn’t see before!” Sakura nodded strongly at Ayaka’s words. For both of them, this class was more than just theoretical learning. It was the key that opened the door to seeing the world with new eyes.

That evening, Sakura was sitting at her desk in her room, looking back at the data from the optical sensor experiment while reflecting on the day. She shared her thoughts on how this data can be used to help solve real-world problems. For example, the possibilities for sensor technology to contribute to society are endless, such as crop growth management in the agricultural field and pollution detection in environmental monitoring.

Suddenly, an idea for a new project using sensor technology occurred to Sakura. The idea was to record the natural environment around her as digital data and create a platform through which people in the local community could connect more deeply with nature. Excited by this idea, Sakura wrote down the outline in her notebook.

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The second episode ends with Sakura learning the basics of digital measurement and sensor technology and beginning to understand how her knowledge can contribute to society. She aims to apply what she has learned to real life and give form to her own ideas through her new projects. “Trajectory to the Future: Ouka Inquiry” is a journey where Sakura’s inquiring spirit will lead her, and her journey has only just begun.

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