Manufacturing & Prototyping

Product of the Month: November 2015

Honeywell, Minneapolis, MN, announced the Amplified Basic Pressure (ABP) sensors for small and low-power devices. The ABP sensors feature wet-media compatibility, as well as sleep mode and temperature output options, making them suitable for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Measuring 8 x 7 millimeters, the sensors’ size enables engineers to save board space. The sensors feature a ±1.5 percent total error band (TEB), and can read pressure ranges from 60 mbar to 10 bar, 6 kPa to 1 MPa, and 1 psi to 150 psi. The sensors minimize the need for additional components, and are available in both analog and digital output I2C or SPI. Moisture sensitivity level of one allows unlimited shelf life when stored at <30 ºC/85% RH. Under most storage conditions, this allows the sensor to be soldered onto the PC board without concerns about solder joint quality due to aging of the sensor terminals.

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Green Pulsed Lasers

The new Revolution series of q-switched, green, pulsed lasers from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) provides average power up to 80W at a wavelength of 527 nm, with a beam profile featuring an extremely smooth energy distribution. They also deliver pulse rate flexibility; the repetition rate can be smoothly adjusted from single shot to 10 kHz, with an additional option that extends pulse repetition rates up to 40 kHz.

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Ice Sensors

New Avionics Corp (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) has announced its Ice*Meister™ Model 9732-PLASTIC Ice Detecting Sensor for Aircraft. The unit consists of a probe, housing, circuit board, and lightweight blue cable. The product, tested at NASA Glenn Research Center, complies with in-flight ice-detection standard SAE AS 5498.

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Automotive Sensors

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has introduced two central airbag crash sensors. The AIS1120SX and AIS2120SX single- and dual-axis 120g in-plane MEMS accelerometers are designed to be mounted in the vehicle’s Airbag Control Unit (ACU) responsible for evaluating the sensor data and triggering the appropriate restraint system. Each sensor includes two independent sensing channels for redundancy and incorporates both slow and fast offset cancellation as well as precise temperature compensation. Both sensors have standard 400Hz signal bandwidth, which the user can extend to 1600Hz. The AIS1120SX and AIS2120SX sensors are specified over the extended temperature range from -40°C to +105°C.

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Vehicle Attitude Sensors

Prova Systems (Carbondale, PA) has announced its Vehicle Inertia Monitor (VIM). The VIM is a dual-mode advanced J1939 CAN-bus vibration analyzer and vehicle attitude sensor for heavy duty vehicle prognostics and performance monitoring. The VIM vibration mode helps maintenance engineers plot equipment performance over time to characterize normal operating metrics. The device captures and highlights subtle changes in vibration through use of high-resolution sub-Hz analysis via multi-rate signal processing, providing indicators pointing towards degradation in equipment performance. The VIM attitude mode incorporates advanced signal processing techniques to estimate vehicle orientation using dynamic modeling and detected vehicle motion from the SAE J1939 CAN-Bus communication link.

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Touch Sensors

Opaque QTC® force touch sensors from Peratech (Richmond, North Yorks, England) can be integrated under a range of top surfaces such as plastics, rubbers, wood, leather, metals, and glass. The “3D multi-touch” matrix sensors provide a human-machine interface (HMI) experience in automotive cockpits. The sensors track multiple touches for position (X, Y) and independent pressure (Z) readings for each touch simultaneously. Introduction of z-axis pressure intelligence enables designers to reduce “button count” and complication from the center stack, steering wheel, and other cockpit surfaces. The sensors have been tested through cycles of -40 to +100 °C.

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Ceramic Sensor Elements

The EPCOS NTC sensor element from TDK Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) measures temperatures up to 650 °C. The ceramic sensor element, connected to a metallized aluminum oxide rod and then glass-encapsulated, is available optionally with wires welded to the aluminum-oxide rod. The component is 16-mm long, and the glass encapsulation has a diameter of 2 mm. The high-temperature sensor, qualified to AEC-Q200, is designed for use in automotive electronics applications, including exhaust gas recirculation systems. The new sensors also monitor the temperature of electric vehicle fuel cells.

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Biosensors

The AS7000 health/fitness biosensor from ams (Unterpremstaetten, Austria) incorporates an integrated optical sensor module accompanied by software to provide heart rate measurements (HRM) and heart rate variation (HRV) readings. Housed in a 6.1 × 4.1 × 1.0-mm package, the AS7000 is intended to be worn constantly, at rest, and when exercising. The AS7000 module includes a photo-sensor, LEDs, analog front end (AFE) and controller, digital processor, and application software. In addition to HRM/HRV, the module also enables skin temperature and skin resistivity measurements by providing interfaces to external sensors.

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IoT Platform

WiSilica (Aliso Viejo, CA) has launched a smart end-to-end IoT platform (WiSe) that provides predictive intelligence to connected devices. The secure platform supports legacy and new devices, and can operate locally, in the cloud, or as a hybrid network. Devices can be configured to act on events initiated by other devices. Real-time presence and awareness are increased through a combination of cloud-based services and software agents running across the devices. Phones communicate directly with devices, eliminating the need for a bridge to support autonomously operating applications.

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Magnetic Reed Sensors

Littelfuse (Chicago, IL) has introduced the 59022 Series Firecracker Reed Sensor, a compact, cylindrical, magnetically operated device capable of switching up to 265 Vac/300 Vdc at 10 Watt/VA. The sensor has a 5.8 mm diameter, and circuit designers may choose from normally open, normally closed, or change-over contacts. The magnetically operated proximity sensor functions through non-ferrous materials, such as wood, plastic, or aluminum. Custom cable length and connector options are available.

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