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

    (ISSN 1726- 5479)


No. 3, March 2004



Table of Contents





Forecasts and Modern Sensors Market: Today’s Revolution Changes


Abstract: Based on the past forecasts and predictions in sensors market and today's realities the future marked trends are described in the article. It is shown that frequency-time domain sensors become more and more popular among users and system integrators. Its part (and digital output sensors on its basis) in the sensor market will be significantly increased during the next 4-5 years. Smart sensors will also have a good market niche due to sensors price reduction. The best modern approach for smart sensors creation will be to use both modern technologies and advanced methods for signal processing and conversion. Moving from traditional analog (voltage and current) signal domain to the frequency-time signal domain (frequency, period, duty-cycle, time interval, phase-shift, etc.) lets achieve many benefits due to properties of frequency as informative parameters.


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Sergey Y. Yurish,

Vice President,

Internationl Frequency Sensor Association (IFSA),

Tel/fax:+1 (416) 233-4546 

E-mail: info@sensorsportal.com

Classification in Terms of Sensors Output Signals





GMI Effect in Co-rich Glass Coated Microwires for Sensor Applications


Abstract: GMI effect of soft magnetic Co67Fe3.85Ni1.45B11.5Si14.5Mo1.7 glass-coated amorphous microwires has been investigated. In the as-prepared sample, maximum GMI ratio, DZ/Zmax depends on the sample geometry, being highest (about 610%) in samples with thinner glass coating. Joule heating has been performed without magnetic filed (CA) under axial magnetic field (MFA). It has been shown, that even in samples with lower DZ/Zmax the Joule heating enabless to enlarge the DZ/Zmax ratio from 380% up to 500%. A strong dependence of DZ/Zmax on annealing time, tann, frequency, f, and amplitude of the driving current, i, has been observed. DZ/Zmax (tann) dependences with f and  i as parameters, showed an increase of the anisotropy field, Hm, increasing tann for CA annealing.  In contrast, MFA results in an increasing of Hm increasing with tann. The observed dependencies have been interpreted in terms of stress relaxation and changes of the magneto-elastic anisotropy induced by the Joule heating.


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A. Zhukov, K. García,

M. Kuzminski, V. Zhukova,

H. Lachowicz , J. Gonzalez and M. Vazquez



Microcontroller Based Dielectric Constant Measurement


Abstract: A dielectric constant measurement setup has been developed to measure dielectric constant of liquids using AT89C55WD microcontroller. A modified operational amplifier based AC Schering Bridge network is used to compute capacitance and hence calculate dielectric constant of liquids. This instrument system permits recording of dielectric constant of liquids at various concentrations and temperature and sends data to a computer to enable the computer processing of such data. A dedicated AT89C55WD (8-bit) based microcontroller and its associated peripherals are employed for the hardware. The details of its interface to measure dielectric constant of liquids, temperature and to control the temperature at desired range and evaluate results are explained in this paper.


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A. Rajendran,

P. Neelamegam


Studies of Two Disposable Electrochemical Biosensors


Abstract: This paper reports the methods to prepare the disposable electrode and the biosensors. The screen-printing technique was used and the ferrocene acted as an electron receptor. Two biosensors had been prepared by immobilizing the materials that contain the enzyme on the surface of modified electrode. The one is a polyphenol biosensor and another is an ascorbic acid biosensor. The source materials of enzyme as mushroom extraction or cucumber slice were immobilized by chemical cross-link or adhered by the polymer respectively. The characteristics of two biosensors were both satisfactorily.


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Tu Yifeng,

Zhu Yueqing

E-mail: tuyf@suda.edu.cn



Cascadable Sensor Network


Abstract:  Sensor elements in embedded systems are usually connected via non-standardized interfaces to a micro-controller-based controller. In order to reduce the integration effort that is necessary especially in sensor-intensive applications, the CAN in Automation (CiA) international users’ and manufacturers’ group has developed a CANopen device profile (DS 404) for transducers and closed-loop controllers. The profile describes the interfaces for CAN-based sensors, actuators and PID-controllers. The internationally standardized CANopen protocol (EN 50325-4) provides communication services, with which the devices can exchange process data, receive configuration data, and transmit diagnosis data. The digital I/O functions correspond to a sub-group of the CANopen device profile for generic I/O modules (DS 401).


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Holger Zeltwanger,

CAN in Automation, Erlangen,

E-mail: headquarters@can-cia.org





High-Accuracy Strain Gage Load Cells


Depew, NY - The Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc. offers a broad range of high-accuracy Strain Gage Load Cells, including low profile, rod end, S-beam, dual bridge, crash barrier and pedal effort load cell sensors. Applications include weighing, material testing, structural testing, press monitoring, process automation, rocket thrust, component testing, automotive and aerospace testing.


Load Cells are temperature and pressure compensated, with capacities ranging from 5 Ib to 100,000 Ib. Fatigue rated styles are guaranteed for 100 million fully-reversed cycles. All units are built in an ISO 9001 certified facility and are calibrated with NIST traceability in an A2LA accredited laboratory.



Peter Munschauer

Division Manager, Force/Torque Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY 14043-2495

Phone: (888) 684-0004, fax: (716) 684-8877

E-Mail: pmunschauer@pcb.com

Load Cells



New $89.00 Model 6050 Accelerometer


Princeton Junction, NJ– Vibra•Metrics is pleased to announce the release of the completely new model 6050 vibration sensor. Standing only 1.5 inches high, the unit is constructed of 3166 stainless steel, with a welded hermetic seal, and a ¼-28 mounting stud. It has a 2Hz-20KHz frequency response (3 dB) with a 100 mV/g sensitivity. Regarding the product release, the Vibra-Metrics Sales and Marketing Manager, Scot Wlodarczak stated, “The 6050 accelerometer is a very significant addition to the Vibrametrics product line which lacked an inexpensive, general-use industrial accelerometer. The model 6050 sensor offers excellent frequency response, a tighter 100 mV/g sensitivity, and a very small size relative to competitive economy units”. The unit sells for only $89.


Sales Department, Vibra-Metrics,

195 Clarksville Road, 

Princeton Junction, NJ  08550

Phone: 609-716-4130, fax: 609-716-0706

E-mail: sales@vibrametrics.com

6050 Accelerometer



Pressure Sensors Detect High Intensity Acoustic Sound Pressure Levels


Depew, NY - Series 106 and 116 dynamic pressure sensors from the Pressure Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc. measure low-level pressure and high-intensity sound pressure levels, both acoustic and ultrasonic.  These rugged, hermetically sealed, piezoelectric microphones detect rapid pressure transients, pulsations, turbulence, noise, and spikes for troubleshooting equipment and tuning processes. Applications include hydraulic and pneumatic systems, exhaust systems, compressors, turbines, pumps and pipelines, jet engines, rocket motors, and weapons discharge.

ICP" versions feature on-board electronics to provide a conditioned output signal for ease of use. Available charge mode units suitable for use in temperatures to 750°F (400°C). Sensors withstand high static background pressures and feature solid-state construction, no moving parts, stainless steel housings, high frequency range, and sensitivity up to 5,000 mV/psi.



Dan Cummiskey

Division Manager, Pressure Division

3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, NY 14043-2495

Phone: (888)684-0011, fax: (716)686-9129

E-mail: dcummiskey@pcb.com

106 and 116 dynamic pressure sensors



New Line of Low Cost, High Accuracy Laser Level Transmitters


Prairieville, LA - K-TEK, announced the SureShot family of low-cost, laser level transmitters. The lightweight, corrosion-resistant SureShot features a unique, all-digital design that delivers high performance for complex level and positioning applications. Using an advanced timing system and sophisticated digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms, the SureShot is able to select true signals, even in the harshest of conditions. In addition, the SureShot architecture ensures users are up and running quickly because it requires no calibration or special configuration software.


K-TEK's SureShot is designed for level measurement and positioning applications that use pellets, slurries, opaque liquids, in bins and silos. It is priced at one-third to one-fifth the price of competing laser systems and is more accurate and flexible than similarly priced ultrasonic instruments. Two models are available - the SureShot 50 with a measurement range of 1 to 50 feet (0.3 to 15 meters), and the SureShot 30 with a measurement range of 1 to 30 feet (0.3 to 10 meters).


The SureShot is easily programmed with a Palm handheld device or a desktop/laptop personal computer. No special configuration software is needed. Convenient, portable mounting options allows users to position the laser in any direction. A stainless steel dust tube can be added for demanding chemical environments.


Shari Worthington,

PR Counsel

Phone: +1 508.755.5242 

Kevin Hambrice,

Director of Marketing,

Phone: +1 225.673.6100

Laser Level Transmitters



DIN Rail Mount Signal Conditioner


Depew, NY -The Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., has introduced Model 8161A DIN rail mount signal conditioner, which provides conditioned output signals for test, measurement, and process control requirements.

Two concurrent outputs offer the ability to conduct measurements and control processes while simultaneously monitoring or recording, while user-adjustable, analog voltage and current mode outputs are provided. A built-in shunt calibration resistor with recessed pushbutton actuation simplifies test system setup. The unit is ideally suited for installation in control panels or fabricated skid systems where space is at a premium.


Peter Munschauer

Division Manager, Force/Torque Division

3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, NY 14043-2495

Phone: (888) 684-0004, fax: (716) 684-8877

E-Mail: pmunschauer@pcb.com

8161A DIN rail mount signal conditioner



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