Environmental Sensors Based on MEMS Technology

Bourns’ (Riverside, CA) new sensors feature state-of-the-art technologies that provide the ability to operate in conditions that typically cause many sensors to fail. The BPS110 and BPS120 pressure sensor models deliver extremely accurate ultra-low pressure sensing capabilities for sensitive applications. They offer fully calibrated and compensated output for more efficient processes as well as long-term stability for reliable repeatability.

The Model BPS130 pressure sensor line features harsh media compatibility and high temperature operation with high accuracy. This sensor family offers particularly stable performance over the product's lifespan, and the ability to work with a wide range of pressures. Bourns also offers port configuration and calibration customization for all three BPS pressure model families.

The Model BPS230 family offers precision relative humidity sensing in a small (2.0 × 2.0 × 0.75 mm) surface mount package. Bourns’ new line of humidity sensors features low current consumption for battery supported applications and low voltage operation compatibility with high reliability over the life of the sensor.

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Automotive Time-of-Flight Portfolio for In-Cabin Monitoring Systems

Melexis (Tessenderlo, Belgium) is announcing new ToF sensors suitable for automotive applications including gesture recognition, driver monitoring, and people/object detection. The MLX75024 ToF QVGA sensor doubles the sensitivity of the previous generation while maintaining the same resolution and ambient light robustness. This allows it to operate in lower light levels or reduce the illumination power required by at least 30%. System efficiency is further enhanced by a 50% reduction in current consumption. The resulting lower heat generation allows the design of more compact cameras. The SNR is two times better in low light conditions and distances greater than 1m.

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Digital Force Measurement Gages

The DFC and DFG Series Digital Handheld Force Gages from L.S. Starrett Co. (Athol, MA) are optimized for production and quality control. Advanced automatic testing can be attained with the DFC Force Gage controlling a Starrett FMM Digital Force Tester, or basic testing can be performed using the DFG gage. They feature an easy-to-view high-resolution OLED color backlit display and auto-off function. Primary and secondary windows show test results, and out-of-tolerance results displayed in red. A multi-function keypad has programmable softkeys. Adjustable sampling rates help capture peak loads, and filters can be applied to peak and display values. The gages have a USB port for transmitting data to a computer.

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Flow Meter Analog Output Sensor

The AW-Lake Company (Oak Creek, WI) introduces the FAC-S™ Analog Output Sensor that hardwires with any flow meter to provide voltage, current, or Bluetooth connectivity of readings. It also supports a Bluetooth interface for remote programming and flow monitoring from a smart phone. A Bluetooth-enabled mobile app connects to the FAC-S, enabling wireless setup and troubleshooting from a mobile device. The mobile application also supports basic scaling and advanced functions, allowing for remote correction of nonlinear flow meters to keep a linear analog output. The sensor input range is from 0.25Hz to 5,000 Hz with five user-selectable outputs including 4 – 20mA, 0 – 5V, 1 – 5V, 0 – 10V, and 2 – 10V.

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Health Sensor Platform

The MAXREFDES101 Health Sensor Platform 2.0 from Maxim Integrated (San Jose, CA) incorporates a comprehensive range of Maxim products to provide a rapid prototyping, evaluation, and development platform for medical applications, providing accurate monitoring of body temperature, heart rate, and electrocardiogram (ECG).

It's comprised of a watch enclosure that houses a display, battery, micro board, and sensor board, a power-management IC, dual-mode Bluetooth® technology, and a six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope. The platform's sensor board includes an optical sensor, integrated biopotential and bioimpedance analog front-end (AFE), temperature sensor, and biometric sensor hub. The real-time data can be accessed from anywhere.

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Ultra-Precision Dimensional Gaging Probes

NewTek Sensor Solutions (Pennsauken, NJ) introduces the MBB Series of Ultra-Precision Dimensional Gaging Probes engineered for highly accurate and repeatable measurement of dimensional parameters in a variety of quality control, industrial metrology, and inspection equipment applications. Offering excellent linearity, high precision, and infinite resolution, these spring-loaded AC-LVDTs are ideal for use in roundness measurements, automotive testing, metal component gaging, and materials testing.

They feature a stainless-steel probe assembly and 8 mm diameter housing protected to IP-65. Incorporating a linear ball bearing assembly fitted to a non-rotating probe shaft, the probes produce an output voltage linearly proportional to the probe's shaft position with minimal radial play. The use of an AC-operated LVDT for probe shaft displacement reduces errors due to friction, resulting in a highly precise measurement of the position of a target surface. They're designed for greater than 100 million cycles with linearity of better than 0.05% of full range.

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Compact Precision Laser Measurement Sensor

Banner Engineering (Minneapolis, MN), announced the release of the LM Series laser measurement sensor designed for high stability, reliability, and precision. It has 0.004 mm resolution and repeatably measures targets of varying color and reflectivity, not just a white card. It can function in actual industrial environments where ambient temperature, vibrations, and other conditions can greatly impact measurement accuracy. With response speeds as fast as 0.5 ms and a sampling rate of 0.25 ms, it can be used for high speed applications with fast-moving targets and it has a temperature effect of just +/-0.008 mm/°C. They can be programmed via IO-Link, with the remote Teach function, or using the removable remote sensor display (RSD), which enables simple sensor setup, recipe control, and configuration storage, as well as easy monitoring of sensors in difficult-to-access locations.

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Sensor Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the March, 2019 issue of Sensor Technology Magazine.

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