bullet On-line Magazine 'Sensors & Transducers' (S&T e-Digest)

    (ISSN 1726- 5479)



No. 6, June 2003



Table of Contents





Smartec SPD Series Pressure Sensors Suitable for PCB Mounting


The Netherlands, Breda - The Smartec Pressure Device (SPD) series pressure sensors are especially designed for measurement of  pressure in the range between 0 and 6 Bar. In that range specific full scale ranges are available. For absolute pressure measurement a reference vacuum chamber is formed on the die during production. Due to the modified six pins dual in line packaging  this sensor is ideal for mounting on PC-Boards. The bridge resistance is about 3.3 KOhm and this range makes the sensor ideal for digitizing with the UTI03. Typical applications are blood pressure meters, process control and vacuum meters. For more details and orders please see Sensors Web Portal's e-Shop.


Rolf De Boer,


Smartec BV 

Delpratsingel 26

4811 AP Breda, The Netherlands

Smartec SPD Pressure Sensors



Accelerometer Offers Superior Modal Analysis


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – June 17, 2003 – The Model 63C12/C13 is a compact triaxial piezoelectric accelerometer. This device’s low unit-to-unit phase deviation at low frequencies makes it ideal for low-g modal analysis applications. The accelerometer also features Endevco’s unique Smart ISOTRON and i-TEDS™ capabilities. Built-in digital memory chips store information such as sensitivity, location, and calibration coefficients as a Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS). Smart ISOTRON then enables a dedicated signal conditioner to communicate digitally with the TEDS, compliant to the proposed IEEE 1451.4 standard. This enables automatic identification of all sensors and correct configuration of output data. Users can virtually eliminate human-related errors, simplify system setup, maintain configuration control and enhance calibration database management.


This Model 63C12/C13 offers exemplary dynamic range and frequency response, and maintains good phase characteristics over its entire operating temperature. Utilizing Endevco’s PIEZITE® Type P-8 crystal element, this accelerometer offers the highest transduction efficiency in its class, without sacrificing ruggedness. Its low impedance voltage outputs are connected to the same 4-wire cable that supplies the required constant current power. Endevco Signal Conditioner Models 133 or 2793 are recommended for use with the Model 63C12/C13 accelerometer.


Endevco Corporation

30700 Rancho Viejo Road

San Juan Capistrano, California 92675

Tel: (949) 493-8181

Fax: (949) 661-7231


E-mail: applications@endevco.com

Endevco  63C12, 63C13 Accelerometer



Pedal Effort Load Cells


Depew, NY - The Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc. announces a new series of pedal effort load cells designed to measure the force required to operate vehicle brake, emergency brake, and clutch pedals. The Series 1515-106 sensor with integral cable is compact (1.19" overall height), easy to install/remove, and temperature-compensated for 30° to 130° F (-1° to 54° C). Series 1515-106 sensor is designed with high overload protection (500% of FS), and an integral loading surface that rejects off-axis loading errors. Sensors are offered in a broad range of capacities, and provide accurate measurement resolution even in panic stops.


Peter Munschauer,

Division Manager

Force/Torque Divison

Tel.: (888) 684-0004

Fax: (716)684-8877

E-mail: pmunschauer@pcb.com

1515-106 Load Cells



ARM-based Controllers Used for Applications in Car Interiors

Freiburg, Germany - Micronas announced that Volkswagen is using the Micronas CDC 3207G and CDC 3272G dashboard controllers in their new Touran compact-vans, launched on March 14 this year. This marks the first time that an ARM-based controller is being used for applications in a car’s interior.


The CDC 3207G and the CDC 3272G are the world’s first fully integrated dashboard controllers capable of driving up to seven stepper motors. The new chips integrate the 16/32-bit ARM7TDMI* RISC processor core to meet the growing demand for more powerful dashboard controllers that provide scalable future proof design to an expanding customer base.


“Micronas has 30 years of experience in designing ICs for automotive applications,” said Peter Zimmermann, market manager automotive at Micronas. “The CDC platform of dashboard controllers has been designed according to the requirements of our lead customers SiemensVDO Automotive and Volkswagen. With the CDC platform, Micronas offers an optimal cost performance ratio which is a key factor for automotive applications. Based on a strong relationship with SiemensVDO Automotive AG, this is the first time that Micronas is making these specialized automotive IC designs available on the open market,” commented Zimmermann.


The CDC 3207G and CDC 3272G are the first members of the Micronas controller platform CDC 32xxG that feature a high level of embedded functionality. The Micronas platform includes controllers for automotive applications in driver information, entertainment, body control and gateways used as a bridge between the different CAN networks in a car. With the new platform, Micronas meets customers’ requirements for more flexible solutions and more powerful MCUs to control an increasing number of functions within today’s and tomorrow’s cars. With the new chips, the customers’ systems can drive up to seven stepper motors and system engineers have the freedom to select the number of CAN blocks as well as the Flash, RAM and ROM sizes. This is enabled by Micronas’ scalable architecture allowing rapidly tailored derivatives.


The CDC 3207G dashboard controller features 512 KByte flash memory, 32 KByte RAM and a 8 KByte special function ROM as well as three CAN modules, two UARTs, two SPI, two IІC and a graphic bus. Also integrated is a dedicated module to display information on a segmented LCD without any additional hardware. The CDC 3272G dashboard controller features 384 KByte ROM, 12 KByte RAM and a 8 KByte special function ROM as well as two CAN modules, two UARTs, two SPI, two IІC and a graphic bus. In addition to the LCD module, the device also offers a patch module for small ROM corrections. Both devices are fully pin and software compatible. They also contain the superior EMI Reduction Module (ERM), patented by Micronas, which suppresses radiation and reduces electromagnetic interference.


Heinz Arnold

Positio Europe GmbH

Trautenwolfstr. 5

80802 Mьnchen

Tel. +49 (0)89/ 340834-16

Fax +49 (0)89/ 340834-10

Micronas CDC 3207G and CDC 3272G controllers



Dual-Mode Signal Conditioner for Charge, ICP®, and TEDS Vibration Sensors


Depew, NY - The 443B01 Dual-Mode Amplifier from the Electronics Division of PCB Piezotronics is a multi-function signal conditioner for charge mode, ICP®, and TEDS (Transducer Electronic Data Sheet) IEEE P 1451.4 compliant vibration sensors. A user-friendly, menu-driven display with keypad or RS-232 serial communication controls all set-up parameters. Logical operation adjusts input sensor sensitivity, gain, and charge conversion with four-digit accuracy. Additional features of the low-noise unit include selectable low and high pass filtering, sensor fault detection, and sensor and amplifier overload detection. Modular architecture permits installation of multiple units into a rack-mountable chassis.


Bill Andrews,

Division Manager

Electronics Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY 14043-2495

E-mail: bandrews@pcb.com

443B01 Dual-Mode Amplifier



5.8 GHz Band Automobile Anti-Collision Rarad System

Provides Accurate Sensing at Lower Cost


Cambridge Consultants Ltd (CCL) has developed an anti-collision radar system for automobiles based on economic, 5.8 GHz component technology. By using a software-centric system and broad-beam antennas, the design and development company has created a single, standalone radar module providing a complete solution, yet measuring just 8 x 12cm (~3 x 5inch) and offering an angular resolution of less than 2 degrees.


Dubbed the CCL-Softcar project, the system is a pulsed radar designed to work in the 5.8 GHz band. This contrasts with alternative technologies that have elected to use higher frequencies including 24 or 77 GHz, and which require expensive compound-semiconductor technologies, and precision assembly processes in order to make products. CCL tags its CCL-Softcar anti-collision technology as smart, because of a unique sensing approach that makes it possible to accurately distinguish and track multiple objects.


Just one CCL-Softcar module is required to implement rear, side or front view safety. Alternative approaches typically require two or more transmit/receive modules spaced widely apart for each view, in order to allow the system to determine object position using a form of triangulation ('trilateration'). Conventional wisdom dictates that the further apart the sensors are, the higher the accuracy. But CCL has proven that for automobile radar, the exact opposite can be true. This is because the exterior surfaces of the typical automobile result in a complex scattering of echoes that make it very hard to accurately determine distance and trajectory, a problem exacerbated when measurements are being taken from different positions and directions.


By using a single transmitter and a closely-spaced antenna array, echo scatters are more closely matched, allowing the system to determine distance and trajectory with greater accuracy. This approach not only reduces the number of radar modules required for anti-collision warning, but significantly reduces the computation required to analyze the echoes - further reducing system costs.


This is especially important for dealing with multiple objects. When two or more objects are in the field of view of a radar system with widely spaced transmitters and sensors for example, the mathematical analysis required to determine their positions and trajectories is so great that it can demand supercomputer-style performance. This is one of the major reasons why anti-collision radars have been so long in development. Conversely, the echo separations between multiple objects appearing in the field of view of CCL-Softcar will always tend to be more clearly defined.


CCL has constructed a proof-of-concept system. The demonstration unit comprises a rear-view radar module with a range of 5 meters, mounted inside a typical compact automobile fender/bumper, and providing intelligent anti-collision impact warning. A DSP-based electronic control unit (ECU) processes the echoes, and communicates the results to the central controller containing the driver interface, over a CANbus vehicle network.


The same ECU will control further transmitter/receiver modules for side- and front-view protection. An identical radar transmitter and antenna receiver - programmed for a different field of view - is used for side view protection. The same basic module - but with a different signal waveform - is used for frontal view systems, to accommodate the extended range. This architecture allows four-quadrant vehicle protection to be implemented with just four radar modules and a single ECU. This compares with the eight or more radar modules required by some alternative systems.


Claire Gale,

Marketing Communications,

Cambridge Consultants Ltd,

Tel: +44 (0)1223 420024

E-mail: claire.gale@CambridgeConsultants.com

Anti-collision radar system



Flexible, Modular System for Building Optical Test Instruments


Wells Research and Development announced AlignmentStudio, a new family of modular hardware and software tools for rapid development of optical test and measurement fixtures. Based on a flexible, mix-and-match design, AlignmentStudio features a selection of tightly integrated components, including optical instruments, image analysis software, and mounting hardware.


"Creating an optical measurement system has always presented the engineer with a wide array of challenges," said Ben Wells, President of Wells Research and Development. "Assembly fixtures, especially, can be key to making a smooth transition from hand-assembled prototypes to volume production. Leaving these fixtures to the last minute can be a costly mistake. AlignmentStudio provides the engineer with a higher level of integration, allowing them to concentrate on performing the measurement task instead of constructing the fixture".


Ben Wells, President

Wells Research and Development, Inc.

15A Lewis Street, Lincoln, MA 01773 USA

Tel: +1 781.259.8667, Fax: +1 781.259.8009

E-mail: ben@wellsresearch.com

AlignmentStudio Modular Optic System







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