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Sensors & Transducers Journal 2006







Vol. 80, No. 6, June 2007




Table of Contents

Journal's CD ROM 2006




High-Speed Universal Frequency-to-Digital Converter for Quasi-Digital Sensors and Transducers


Abstract: New fast, accurate universal integrated frequency-to-digital converter (UFDC-1M-16) is described in the article. It is based on the novel patented modified method of the dependent count and has non-redundant conversion time from 6.25 ms to 6.25 ms for 1 to 0.001 % relative errors respectively, comparable with conversion time for successive-approximation and S-D ADC. The IC can work with different sensors, transducers and encoders, which have frequency, period, duty-cycle, PWM, phase shift, pulse number, etc. output ...


Sergey Y. Yurish

Sensors Web Portal, Inc., Toronto, Canada

E-mail: syurish@sensorsportal.com



Pulse Oximeter Fully Powered by Human Body Heat


Abstract: The realization of a body-area network demands innovative solutions to efficiently power the wireless sensor nodes that typically consume about 100µW of power. Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) harvesting energy from wasted human body heat provide an attractive solution, potentially producing about 30µW per square centimeter of human skin. As a proof of concept, a wireless pulse oximeter has been developed that is fully powered by a watch-style TEG using commercial BiTe thermopiles. For a 15 seconds measurement interval, approximately 89µW of power is required from the generator, safely within the available 100µW power budget. The wireless pulse oximeter therefore achieves full energy autonomy. From a performance/cost perspective, superior results are expected from TEGs made up of MEMS thermopiles which are currently under development ...


Tom Torfs*, Vladimir Leonov*, Ruud J.M. Vullers**

*IMEC, Leuven, Belgium

**IMEC-NL/Holst Centre, Eindhoven, the Netherlands



Nano Structure Metal Oxide Ceramic Thin Film for Detection of Trace Moisture Using CMOS Timer


Abstract: A trace moisture analyzer is described below which consists of a moisture sensor with nano porous thin film sol-gel processed g-Al2O3 dielectric and active circuit. The thinner layer pore geometry enhancing the entrapment of water molecules makes it high wet to dry capacitance ratio. A simple dual-CMOS timer has been developed to detect moisture by controlling the monostable pulse width. Monostable pulse correlates the ambient moisture. The sensor is tested in combination with the circuit. Excellent quasi linearity is observed over the range from 0-50 ppmv. An experimental graph shows resolution better than 1% and accuracy of 2%. The response time is less than 2 minutes ...


Debdulal Saha, Kamalendu Sengupta

Sensor and Actuator Section,

Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute,

Jadavpur, Kolkata-700 032, India



Further Analysis of Charge/Discharge Capacitance Measuring Circuit Used with Tomography Sensors


Abstract: Although the charge/discharge capacitance measuring circuit has been used for many applications, in particular for electrical capacitance tomography (ECT), its detailed dynamic performance has not been analysed and hence the circuit has not been optimised. This paper presents a further study of the charge/discharge circuit. To investigate the transient processes of the charging and discharging phases and the steady-state output of the current detector, the circuit has been analysed theoretically in the time and frequency domains and by PSpice simulation to confirm the analytical results. It is found that the non-ideal characteristics of the circuit, including the stray capacitance and ON resistance of CMOS switches used to control the charge/discharge processes, dominate the performance of the circuit. The values of the feedback capacitor and resistor in the current detector need to be carefully selected to achieve an optimised sampling rate and accuracy. The offset error of op-amps can be reduced by using differential configuration and the error due to charge injection can be compensated by frequent system calibration ...


Xiaohui Hu*, Michael Katsouros*, Wuqiang Yang*, Songming Huang**

* School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the University of Manchester, UK

**Schlumberger Cambridge Research, Cambridge, UK



Interconnect-Induced Effects on High-Speed Submicron ADC and Clocking Scheme


Abstract: This paper addresses the impact of interconnects imperfections on SNR, INL and DNL of a typical ADC. It is shown that the interconnect-induced jitter reduces SNR up to 25 dB for global interconnects. Considering only the resistance of interconnects, DNL exhibits 3 times dependency more than that of INL. Also a design methodology, based on a stochastic length function, is proposed to find an optimum scheme for clock distribution and to minimize the delay ...


Ahmad Atghiaee, Naser Masoumi

Faculty of ECE, University of Tehran, Iran



A PWM Current Amplifier with PI Closed Loop Control for Magentorheological Fluid Applications


Abstract: A magnetic field can rapidly change mechanical characteristics of magnetorheological (MR) fluids by means of controlling the current of an electromagnet, which is around MR fluids. Amplifiers of current-control-mode have better performance than that of voltage-control-mode. This paper investigates a low-cost current controllable amplifier based on a PWM IC chip, which can be used for MR fluid applications. The paper introduces the structure of the closed-loop current controllable amplifier based on PWM DRV103 and derives the mathematic models of the system. Based on these models the performance of the system is simulated and parameters of the system can be optimized. Experimental results demonstrate a good match between the models and underlying systems ...


Qiang Liu, Nabil Gindy, Chunhua Li

School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering,

School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

University of Nottingham, UK



Infrared Tomography: Data Distribution System for Real-time Mass Flow Rate Measurement


Abstract: The system developed in this research has the objective of measuring mass flow rate in an online mode.  If a single computer is used as data processing unit, a longer time is needed to produce a measurement result.  In the research carried out by previous researcher shows about 11.2 seconds is needed to obtain one mass flow rate result in the offline mode (using offline data).  This insufficient real-time result will cause problems in a feedback control process when applying the system on industrial plants.  To increase the refreshing rate of the measurement result, an investigation on a data distribution system is performed to replace the existing data processing unit ...


1Ruzairi Abdul Rahim, 1Pang Jon Fea, 1Chan Kok San,

1Leong Lai Chen, 2Mohd Hafiz Fazalul Rahiman, 1Chan Kok San

1Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,

2Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UNIMAP)



Fiber Optic Sensors to Monitor Structural Components Made of Composite Materials

Fiber Bragg Gratings Increase the Reliability of Future Airbus Generations


Abstract: New fiber reinforced composite materials and integrated sensors are converging to form smart structural components. They excel by their higher reliability, lead to more economical maintenance procedures and contribute significantly to reducing the cost of operating air fleets ...


Bob Grietens *, Marc Voet **

* XenICs, Leuven, Belgium

** FOS&S, Geel, Belgium



Comparative Study of Moisture Sensing Properties of ZnO Nanomaterials Through Hydroxide Route by Mixing Dropwise and Sudden


Abstract: In this paper we report comparative study of humidity sensing properties of ZnO nanomaterials synthesized through hydroxide route by dropwise and sudden methods. Sodium hydroxide is mixed with zinc sulphate solution at room temperature in the molar ratio 1: 2.2. It yields precipitate of zinc hydroxide. Precipitate is filtered out and washed with deionized water till the sodium ions are not completely removed and its subsequent calcinations give zinc oxide in powder form. We have used two methods such as Method ‘A’ and Method ‘B’.  Method ‘A’ stands for ‘Drop wise’ and method ‘B’ stands for ‘Sudden’. For method ‘A’, sodium hydroxide has been mixed ‘Drop wise’ with zinc sulphate and for method ‘B’ it has been mixed ‘Sudden’ with zinc sulphate. For both methods, we get zinc hydroxide precipitate after 24 hours and its subsequent calcinations give zinc oxide nanomaterials in powder form. Pellets of these powders have been made and annealed for 3 hours at temperature 550°C in an electric furnace successively. After annealing, pellets are exposed to humidity and variations in resistances with the variations in humidity have been observed. SEM and XRD studies of samples have been done ...


Richa Srivastava, B. C. Yadav, C. D. Dwivedi, Ritesh Kumar

Nanomaterials and Sensors Research Laboratory

Department of Physics, University of Lucknow, India





Fast, Accurate Universal Frequency-to-Digital Converter for Quasi-Digital Sensors and Transducers


18 June 2007, Toronto, ON, Canada - SWP, Inc. has introduced its new model of fast, two-cannel Universal Frequency-to-Digital Converter UFDC-1M-16. This IC is designed for applications requiring high conversion speed. In comparison with the previously model of UFDC-1 the new converter has increased up to 16 MHz internal reference frequency and decreased in 32 times conversion speed.


The UFDC-1M-16 is based on patented advanced modified method of the dependent count for frequency-to-digital conversion. The IC has wide frequency range from 1 Hz to 7.5 MHz (120 MHz with prescaling), programmable relative error from 1 to 0.001 % at appropriate non-redundant conversion rate from 6.25 ms to 6.25 ms and three popular communication interfaces for sensors applications: I2C, SPI and RS-232. The fast conversion time makes the IC's speed comparable with successive-approximation and S-D ADCs ...


I. Myshkin

General Manager

SWP, Inc., Toronto, Canada

Tel.: +1 (416) 255-9779

E-mail: sales@sensorsportal.com


Universal Frequency-to-Digital Converter UFDC-1M-16



Lowest-Noise Compact Seismic Accelerometer


6 June, 2007 - Endevco introduces industry’s lowest-noise compact seismic accelerometer with 70% less weight than traditional IEPE accelerometers. It is designed specifically for measuring ultra-low-level seismic events and low-frequency vibration on structures and objects. The new Endevco model 87 delivers the industry’s best signal to noise in a compact seismic accelerometer through state-of-the-art integrated electronics. Plus, at six ounces, the device is 70% lighter than traditional IEPE seismic accelerometers. It is hermetically sealed against environmental contamination, available in 1 V/g or 10 V/g sensitivity, and provides near-dc frequency response flat to 0.05 Hz ...


Yeni Hoo,

Marketing Communications Supervisor

ENDEVCO Corporation

Office: 949.493.8181 x242

E-mail: yeni.hoo@endevco.com


Endevco model 87 accelerometer


Miniaturized Load Cells


DS Europe, that has been producing measuring instruments for more than 30 years, is proposing the series BC300 miniaturized load cells (smallest is mod. BC302 with 16,5mm overall diameter and 8mm highness).


Series BC300 are a strain gauge load cells with 4 active arms Wheatstone bridge and a 2mV/V sensitivity with  < ±0,5%FS linearity Series BC300 can measure from 0 up to +2000Kg compression and from 0 up to ±1000Kg tension and compression.


Applications: general purpose load cells for automation machines, textile machines, medical machines, testing machines, machines working wood-plastics-rubber-paper, robotics, vehicles, military, weighing, food machines, agriculture machines, machine tools, research, geophysical, anti-overload for cranes and lifts etc. ...


Dott. Dario Piardi

DS Europe S.r.l.

Via F. Russoli, 6

20143 Milano, Italy

Tel.: 02/8910142,

Fax: 02/89124848

Series BC300 Load Cells



Piezoresistive High-Pressure Sensor


In contrast to many other pressure sensors the sensor from Kistler can measure hot media up to 300 °C directly with the RH High-Pressure, High-Temperature Sensor. The unique construction with a special silicon measuring cell does not require any interfering or toxic pressure transmission fluid. An extremely robust sensor diaphragm enables it to be used even under the most difficult conditions in hydraulic and process applications. The RH-sensors high sensitivity of 100 … 300 mV with 2 mA supply, its excellent stability, high accuracy and a very high natural frequency provide additional advantages, enabling both static and dynamic pressures to be measured. The sensors are available as absolute pressure types with a Wheatstone bridge output for pressure ranges of between 0 … 100 to 3 000 bar. The sensor can be supplied for more stringent requirements with a set of coefficients for digital sensor compensation ...


Kistler Instrumente AG

PO Box, CH-8408 Winterthur, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 52 - 224 11 11

Fax: +41 52 - 224 14 14

E-mail: public.relations@kistler.com



RH Pressure sensors



Iincremental Encoder for Angle Measurement


The new encoder device iC-TW2 is a highly integrated sine-to-digital converter which interpolates analog sine/cosine signals from magnetic and optical sensors with a freely selectable resolution of up to 8 Bit. Due to the complete integration of all functions, the interpolator does not need any other external components, besides the sensor. All functionalities are fully programmable.


The configuration EEPROM is already integrated into the iC-TW2 and available in a 4x4 mm small QFN-package. The programmable instrumentation amplifiers with selectable gain and offset are for each channel individually configurable and permit differential and single-ended input signals. The iC-TW2 inputs process high impedance signals, e.g. from magnetic sensor bridges. This permits also a direct connection of different magnetic sensor types ...


Marko Hepp

iC-Haus GmbH, Am Kuemmerling 18,

D–55294 Bodenheim, Germany

Tel.: +49–(0)6135–9292-302

Fax: +49–(0)6135–9292-192

E-mail: sales@ichaus.com

Encoder device iC-TW2



Digital Load Sensors with USB Output


Loadstar Sensors, Inc. of Mountain View announces the immediate availability of the iLoad Series of digital load/force sensors based on its patented capacitive sensing technology. These sensors combine the core load or force sensing function with integrated computing and communications modules to offer Plug and Sense simplicity and unprecedented ease of use in a rugged, low profile package ...


Div Harish

Loadstar Sensors, Inc.

453 Ravendale Drive, Suite F

Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

Tel.: 1-650-938-4282, fax: 1-650-938-4285

E-mail: div@loadstarsensors.com

Digital Load Sensors



New Digital SPI Bus Pressure Sensors Offer Precision Measurements


Sensortechnics’ new digital RCE series offers precision absolute, gage or differential pressure measurement from ±10 mbar to 5 bar. These devices generate a calibrated and temperature compensated digital output signal with high resolution and very fast response times. The sensors comply with the SPI bus protocol and can be easily interfaced to microcontrollers without the need for additional electronic components. Custom specific outputs, I2C bus, analog or switching outputs can also be provided on request.


The RCE series utilises the latest ASIC technologies for high precision digital signal conditioning and achieve high total accuracies of up to ±1.0 %FSS (Full Scale Span). The sensors feature highly stable micromachined silicon elements packaged with two pressure ports for easy manifold or tubing connection and mounting holes for convenient PCB-assembly ...


Andrea Gebhard

Sensortechnics GmbH

Boschstr. 10

82178 Puchheim, Germany

Tel.: +49 (0)89 80083-48

E-mail: andrea.gebhard@sensortechnics.com

RCE series digital presure sensors



Customized OEM Color Sensing


Jena, 06/06/2007 - MAZeT GmbH, presented the newest products from the JENCOLOR family for spectral analysis Starting immediately, MAZeT also offers customized OEM Color Sensing, in the field of color analysis and spectral sensor systems, to its customers.


Based on the customer's specifications for filter functions, there are adjusted arrays of sensors with diverse hardware functions that are custom-tailored to give a technical and economic application. The customization of firmware for µC-based projects and/or the development of special PC-based evaluation software rounds off the power spectrum for our customers. Proved and certified design procedures assure MAZeT's customers of high-quality development results, minimize the development risks and assure a project's success. MAZeT assures its customers of the development results' exclusivity through established trademark rights on the applied JENCOLOR sensors, and protection of the customer's project-specific proposed know-how ...


Diane Weidemann

Marketing Services


Goeschwitzer Strasse 32

07745 Jena, Germany

Tel.: +49 3641 2809-39, fax: +49 3641 2809-12

E-mail: marketing@mazet.de

Color sensor



Fast 12-bit Encoder-IC for the Digital Motor Control


The iC-MH is a system-on-chip solution for magnetic sensor application with very small space requirements. In combination with a diametric magnetized permanent magnet this represents a robust absolute and incremental encoder. The tiny 5mm x 5mm QFN28 package contains the integrated Hall sensors with signal amplifier and gain control, two A/D converter for incremental (ABZ, 12-bit) and commutation signals (UVW), integrated RS-422 line drivers and the serial BiSS/SSI-interface.


The angle resolution is programmable up to 4096 steps per turn. The output edge rate of 8 MHz can support motor speed up to 120.000 RPM. The commutation signals UVW are available to drive motors with two and four poles. The ABZ and UVW outputs are configurable RS-422 line drivers to adapt for different line lengths and transmission speeds ...


Dr David Lin

iC-Haus GmbH, Am Kuemmerling 18,

D–55294 Bodenheim, Germany

Tel.: +49–(0)6135–9292-300

Fax: +49–(0)6135–9292-192

E-mail:  sales@ichaus.com

iC-MH encoder



Integrated Successive-Approximation ADC Simplifies Motor Control Design


Analog Devices' AD7264 simplifies industrial motor control designs by integrating two successive-approximation (SAR) analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), a programmable gain amplifier (PGA) and four comparators on a single chip. By providing a direct interface for multiple types of sensors, the new ADC solution allows a single, standardized data acquisition board to be used in industrial motor drives, replacing as many as three separate boards previously required to perform the same system control function. This integration allows designers to develop simpler, more cost-effective motor control units ...


Linda Kincaid

Analog Devices, Inc.

804 Woburn Street

Wilmington, MA 01887, USA

Tel.: 1/800-ANALOGD (1/800-262 5643)

Fax: 781/937-1021

E-mail: customer.service@analog.com

Analog-to-digital converter AD7264



Datastick Software Upgrades for its Handheld Vibration Analyzers


Datastick Systems, Inc., announced that new versions 1.7 of the Datastick® Spectrum software suite - including the completely new Datastick Review software utility - for its PDA-based VSA(TM)-series Vibration Spectrum Analyzers for predictive, conditions-based maintenance. The Datastick Spectrum software suite for handheld VSA-series Vibration Spectrum Analyzers includes Datastick Spectrum software for vibration data collection and analysis, Datastick Manager file-management utility, and a new utility called Datastick Review. With Datastick Review, the user can compare past vibration measurements with current measurements on the handheld itself for immediate historical analysis. These programs are all included in Datastick's PDA-based VSA-series Vibration Spectrum Analyzers which work with Palm OS® handheld computers. Datastick simultaneously announced its upgraded version 1.7 of Datastick Reporting System(TM) for VSA software for machine histories and vibration analysis on desktop PCs ...


Michael Scandling,

V. P. Marketing

Datastick Systems, Inc.

51 East Campbell Ave., Ste. 150,

Campbell, CA 95008, USA

Tel.: (408) 871-3300

E-mail: findout@datastick.com

VSA-series Vibration Spectrum Analyzer






Multisensor Data and Information Processing

(Special Issue, August 2005)


S&T Special Issue's cover





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