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Vol. 56, No. 6, June 2005




Table of Contents










Intelligent Opto Sensors’ Interfacing Based on Universal Frequency-to-Digital Converter


The application specific paper describes a design approach for digital opto sensors and data acquisition systems. It is based on the Universal Frequency-to-Digital Converter (UFDC-1) working well with any frequency output sensors, for example, light- and color-to-frequency converter from TAOS. Such design approach lets significantly simplify the design process, reduce time to market and production price and produce digital opto (color and light) sensors and multiparamters sensors with high metrological performances. Practical examples of such digital sensors are given.


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Sergey Y. Yurish



Machine Control and Monitoring with Low-Cost Embedded Digital Signal Conditioners


Simple, low-cost automated machine control and monitoring is required for survival in lean manufacturing environments. Low-cost intelligent digital signal conditioners embedded within a sensor or within a machine for direct, local signal conditioning, measurement and control can be ideal automation solutions. CellMiteд Model 4326A Intelligent Digital Signal Conditioner uses its digital and analog outputs to tune and control local actuators. CellMiteд contains the signal conditioning, excitation and sense voltages, digitization, and processing power, along with both analog and digital serial outputs suitable for direct connection to a PC. The CellMitesд are individually addressable so that a complete sensor network can be established by simply bussing together multiple units. The application of CellMiteд for machine control and monitoring of a multi-axis cutting machine is presented in this paper.


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Dr. Raymond B. SEPE, Jr.



Network of Smart Sensors for Remote Electromagnetic Field Monitoring

with a Fuzzy Alarm Reporting


The present paper proposes a network of mobile sensors in order to remotely measure concerning environmental parameters. Taking advantage of wireless technology, the system is able to exchange commands and data in numeric format with a querying remote client; displaced in a wide area to be monitored, each measurement module is equipped with an isotropic electromagnetic field smart sensor and a GPS module. Acquired data, according to a fixed sampling rate, are transmitted to a remote PC for processing stage, by GPRS networks. Several solutions have been undertaken for reducing noises and error contributes and the measurement system has been characterized in terms of uncertainty, in order to guarantee reliability and accuracy. Data processing optimization is performed by a fuzzy algorithm, previously tested, so getting the qualification of the decision-making stage with particular attention paid to the statistical features of monitored process.


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Claudio DE CAPUA, Annalisa LICCARDO and Rosario MORELLO





Smallest, Lightest Triaxial Accelerometer


June 2, 2005, Depew, NY -The Vibration Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., introduces a new Miniature, Triaxial, Lightweight, Ceramic Shear ICP® accelerometer. Model 356A13 has a sensitivity of 5 mV/g and a measurement range of В±1000 g peak. It is hermetically sealed in a titanium housing and is adhesive mounted. It features an integral, light gauge, twisted quad cable extending 5 ft. from the sensor, terminating in a 4-pin jack. This allows the cable to be easily routed around components especially when the sensor is mounted in tight areas. Also included with each sensor is a 5 ft, 4 conductor shielded cable with a mating 4 pin plug, terminating in 3 BNC plugs, for a full running length of 10 ft.


The 356A13 is ideally suited for shock and vibration measurements in space-restricted locations, on very small lightweight structures. Its small size, 0.25 in cube (6.35mm), light weight 0.04 oz (1.0 gm) and unique cable arrangement make it ideal for use anywhere mass loading must be minimized. The sensor features built-in microelectronic signal conditioning circuitry that offers a low-noise, low impedance output signal while permitting long distance signal transmission and simplicity of operation. This durable design operates in -65 to +250 В°F temperatures, and survives accidental shock inputs to В±10,000 g.



Mark Amatuzzo,

PCB, Vibration Division

3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, NY 14043-2495

Tel: (888) 684-0013 ext. 2706 

Fax: (716) 685-3886

E-mail: mamatuzzo@pcb.com

Triaxial Accelerometer 356A13



MEMSCAP Pressure Sensor Systems has Taken to the Sky Along with new Business Jet


Grenoble, France and Durham, North Carolina - MEMSCAP announced its pressure sensor technology has taken to the sky along with Cessna new Citation Mustang. This new Cessna Mustang that will be certified as a FAR Part 23 aircraft, with a maximum operating altitude of 41,000 feet, is embedded with 8 MEMSCAP sensors that Company provides to 3 major North American Cessna Suppliers, such as Aerosonic (cf. Press release June 16-2004). This flight is of great importance for MEMSCAP whose business in aeronautics is gaining a strong momentum as the company is providing more and more key products to major players in this industry. The new Cessna Mustang thus contains 8 MEMSCAP new technology sensors, including TP 3100 pressure module transducers and SP82 sensors family, when the former aircrafts only were equipped with 2 to 4 SP 82 sensors.


Jan Hallenstvedt

General Manager, Sensor Solutions BU

Tel.: +47 33 08 40 00

E-mail: jan.hallenstvedt@memscap.com


Cessna Citation Mustang



Dynamic Impact Force Sensors Measure Millions of Cycles for Automotive Durability Testing


June 2, 2005, Depew, NY - Piezoelectric dynamic impact force sensors from the Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., accurately measure dynamic impact force. Unlike strain gage sensors that are suitable for measuring static loads, dynamic impact force sensors possess the necessary response and endurance to accurately follow fast-rising, repetitive and short-duration force events such as actuation or operation of various automotive accessories and components. The sensitivity of piezoelectric force sensors does not change with time, thus they are suitable for continuous automotive durability testing.


Series 200B, 200C and 210B offer a variety of sizes and ranges and all feature a durable impact surface to evenly distribute impacts into the force sensor. ICP® and charge output versions are available; signal conditioning is also offered. Durability applications include compression, impact and fatigue testing of latches, doors, hoods, trunks, seats, springs, actuators, suspensions, chassis, brackets and other automotive accessories and components.


Peter Munschauer,

Force/Torque Division,

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY 14043-2495 USA

Tel: (888) 684-0004 ext. 2405, fax: (716) 684-8877

E-mail: pmunschauer@pcb.com

Force Sensors



Integrated Programmable Sensor Interface IC for Automotive Applications


Belgium - Melexis introduces a new versatile, fully integrated and programmable sensor interface solution for automotive and industrial applications. The MLX90320 provides amplification, calibration and temperature compensation for virtually all kinds of resistive bridge type sensors including pressure transducers, strain gauges and position sensors.


The MLX90320 can help design engineers to optimize their application in terms of cost, space and time to market. With very few additional components the MLX90320 will amplify an analog ratiometric input signal to achieve the desired output signal. This output signal can be corrected for sensitivity and offset errors due to temperature effects.


The ASIC calibrates the sensor output by nulling the offset voltage and by applying the appropriate signal gain to calibrate the output voltage span between 0V and 5V. 'Error calibration' is accomplished via various DACs. The digital coefficients, which determine the calibration parameters, are stored in an on-chip EEPROM. Both gain and offset have coarse and fine DACs, allowing a very accurate calibration over a wide range of input errors.


Mr. Tanguy Scorpati

Transportstraat 1

3980 Tessenderlo, Belgium,

Tel.: +32 (0)13 67 07 95

E-mail: tas@melexis.com

Sensor Interface MLX90320



Explosion-Proof Laser Transmitter Measures Level, Distance, & Position in Challenging Bulk Solids Applications


Houston, TX (June 6, 2005) - ASI Instruments announced the EasyTrak XP laser transmitter, designed for measuring dry bulk solids, regardless of the presence of surrounding vapor or moderate dust. The device is housed in an explosion-proof assembly with screw-on cover for quick and easy access. The dual-compartment design allows users to isolate the wiring and terminations from the sensing elements and internal electronics. Meeting the requirements for use in hazardous areas (FM and CSA - Class I, Division 1 and 2, Groups A,B,C,D), the EasyTrak XP's rugged, powder coated aluminum enclosure is rated for IP67 or NEMA 4X and DIP ratings. This ensures operation even in the harshest of conditions.


The EasyTrak XP can measure virtually any solid surface at any angle, whether grain, plastics, or aggregates. The small wavelength of the laser means a narrower beam with virtually no beam divergence and, therefore, no false echoes. This provides high accuracy readings even when dealing with the most challenging circumstances, such as measuring inside silo cones and even silo chutes or through narrow openings in protective grids.


Kevin Hambrice, Director of Marketing

ASI Instruments, Inc.

8570 Katy Freeway, Suite 117

Houston TX 77024 USA

Tel.: 800.245.7056, +1 225.673.6100, fax: +1 713.461.7348

E-mail: khambrice@asiinstruments.com

Laser Transmitter



CellMite Model 4325A Intelligent Digital Signal Conditioner Hassle Free – Strain Gage Direct to PC


Electro Standards Laboratories, Cranston, RI, just announced a new addition to the CellMite Product Line, Model 4325A. CellMite Model 4325A connects directly to a standard strain gage, such as a load cell, extensometer, or pressure sensor, and simultaneously generates a serial output for connection to a PC as well as a +/-10V analog output.


CellMite M4325A is highly accurate with 24-bit internal resolution. Calibration includes 2 pt., mV/V calibration, 6 pt. Linearization Calibration, 2 pt. Shunt. CellMite M4325A offers internal temperature compensation. The unit offers scalable 16-bit +/-10V analog output. The sample rate is 60 samples/sec. Functions include tare, peak and valley. Units include Lb., Kg., In., Cm., %, and User-Defined.


Jeannette Gouin,

Electro Standards Laboratories

36 Western Industrial Drive

Cranston, RI 02921

Tel: 401-943-1164, fax: 401-946-5790

E-mail: eslab@ElectroStandards.com

Digital Signal Conditioner 4325A



MAGNETO 6.2 for 2D Magnetic Field Analysis


WINNIPEG, MB, Canada - May, 2005 - Integrated Engineering Software (IES) announces the release of MAGNETO 6.2, the latest version of their 2D magnetic field solver software. Used for applications such as clutches, solenoids, motors, sensors, actuators, loudspeakers, transformers, magnetic shielding, circuit breakers and fuel injectors, MAGNETO 6.2's calculations include force, torque, flux linkage and inductance.


A new voltage coils/winding feature in MAGNETO 6.2 allows users to specify voltage excitation to calculate the current draw. A new energy/coenergy by region command can be used as an alternate method to calculate force and torque. A direct link to SPEED motor design software's brushless DC motor module allows users to launch MAGNETO from SPEED and automatically perform their analysis.


Karen Medwid,

Integrated Engineering Software

220-1821 Wellington Ave., Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3H 0G4

Phone: 204-632-5636, fax: 204-633-7780

E-mail: info@integratedsoft.com



ENDEVCO Debuts High Resonance Crash Sensor Provides Unparalleled Measurement Accuracy


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – June 8, 2005 – Endevco Corporation announced the development of the High Resonance Crash Sensor. For 30 years ENDEVCO’s piezoresistive accelerometers have been the industry standard for safety testing with use on vehicle barrier and sled testing and in anthropomorphic test dummies, and the 7264C-HR, maintains this legacy of ENDEVCO’s line of piezoresistive crash sensors.


The 7264C-HR device will provide for accurate measurement of all frequencies of interest without being affected by structure-borne resonances that could impose errors on the signal. By redesigning the base sensor the new unit will have a much higher fundamental frequency, providing unparalleled measurement accuracy.


Advanced materials being used in today’s vehicles and sensor mountings can resonate near the sensor’s fundamental frequency during a crash test. In these cases the output data can show a significant shift, resembling “saturation” during the first 15 milliseconds of the test. By creating a sensor that is not excited by resonances that may exist in the structure, ENDEVCO solves this problem, giving the truest measurement of the test situation.


Other methods that attempt to deal with this issue only “muddy” the data by inducing phase shifts. The resonance of those sensors is still excited and the output is still adversely affected, providing inaccuracies that may not be tolerable. The new ENDEVCO unit will provide the truest data throughout the entire test range.


Endevco Corp.

Tel.: 949.443.9300




ISA Offers Emerson's Latest Flow Measurement Software


Research Triangle Park, NC (6 June 2005) - ISA will offer the latest version of Emerson Process Management's award-winning measurement software, Flowel 4.


Flowel, a software application that makes flow element sizing and specification accurate, easy, and fast was developed by Emerson Process Management's Hydrocarbon and Energy Industry Center. Emerson Process Management, an Emerson business developed Flowel as a valuable tool for instrument engineers who need to obtain accurate design calculations, manage project costs, and store and retrieve tag data for a variety of devices and fluids. Flowel 4 includes current flow element standards and calculations and offers innovative features that improve cost-effectiveness.


Jennifer Infantino

ISA- The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society

67 Alexander Drive

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Tel: (919) 990-9287

E-mail: jinfantino@isa.org





American Sensor Technologies Broadens Product Offering with Acquisition of Macro Sensors


Landing, NJ, June 1, 2005 - American Sensor Technologies (AST), manufacturer of state-of-the-art, MEMS-based pressure sensors, transducers, and transmitters, today announced it has acquired in its entirety the capital stock of Macro Sensors, LVDT manufacturer innovators.   Through the acquisition, AST can offer a greater depth of sensor products and expertise to better serve its OEM and end-user client base.


Macro Sensors will continue to operate under its own “brand” name from its existing facilities in Pennsauken, New Jersey without interruption.  No management changes are anticipated.  Macro Sensors manufactures innovative LVDT-based linear and rotary sensors, gaging probes, support electronics and accessories in providing complete measurement solutions for both OEM and end-user applications.


Karmjit S. Sidhu

Tel.: 973-398-9900

E-mail: kssidhu@astsensors.com


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