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Vol. 130, Issue 7, July 2011, pp.103-117




A New Shape Memory Alloy Based Smart Encoder for Sensing of Direction and Angular Motion

1Bishakh BHATTACHARYA and 1Om Prakash PATEL
Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kanpur, 208016, India

Tel.: +91-512-259-7824, +91-512-259-7048

E-mail: bishakh@iitk.ac.in



Received: 13 June 2011   /Accepted: 22 July 2011   /Published: 29 July 2011

Handbook of Laboaratory Measurements book


Abstract: This paper presents a novel technique for sensing direction, angle and velocity from rotation of shafts using simple Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) based micro-switches. Due to electro-mechanical coupling of SMA wires reflected in controlled force generation capacity, the SMA based devices can provide better alternatives for traditional relays, solenoid valves and opto-coupler isolators. The control algorithm involved in this sensing technique, reads the switch status for shaft rotation and sense the angular displacement thereafter. One of the advantages, this new sensor offers is its inherent robustness to vibration in the host platform. Experiments are carried out under vibrating conditions and obtained results are compared with conventional optical incremental encoder. The result shows that SMA based angle encoder works efficiently and gives more accurate results under disturbance while optical encoders are quite sensitive to similar platform vibration. Due to its compactness and lightweight, this concept of SMA wire based angle sensor is envisaged to be suitable for structural health monitoring applications where discrete angle information is needed at low RPM.


Keywords: Shape memory alloy, SMA based micro-switch, Angle encoder, Sensing of angular Motion, Miniature robotic manipulator


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