Sensors have the potential for providing revolutionary improvements in performance, reliability, safety, and cost-of-ownership within industrial system designs. Examples involving inertial sensors include platform stabilisation, motion control for industrial machinery, security devices, antenna stabilisation, robotics, navigation, mechanical levelling, and many others. However, a gap has long existed between good sensor technology and its implementation within critical industrial systems.
Embedding sensor processing within industrial equipment typically requires that the designer has intimate knowledge of the sensor technology, to design and implement a signal chain that properly tunes and calibrates a given sensor for its application. For inertial sensors, this typically also requires the capability for motion testing. The system expense of this implementation has created a barrier to more rapid sensor deployment, particularly for customers and applications with moderate production volumes. The problem is worsened by the physical limitations posed by some applications (for instance, embedded vibration analysis) where extreme density, environmental conditions, and remoteness have pushed requirements beyond what is available in standard sensor and signal conditioning components.
The Analog Devices' iSensor product family was created in recognition of this gap in industrial sensor applications. The ADIS16201 iSensor is the first implementation of a new single-package integration technology. It is the world's first direct output, linear-in-degrees inclinometer that is available as a single component. Incorporating a complete sensor and data processing signal path, the device is both a fully-functional programmable dual-axis accelerometer and a dual-axis inclinometer.
The ADIS16201 part provides a gain and offset variability of less than 1%, reduces voltage and mechanical mounting sensitivities, and provides a simple single command interface, which allows in-system auto-zero calibration. It also includes several embedded features, including programmable sample rate, digital filtering, power management, configurable alarms, auxiliary analog and digital I/O, and self-test. This eliminates the need for external circuitry and enables a much simplified system interface, all controlled via an SPI port. Sensor outputs include two axes of 61,7 g acceleration, two axes of 690° inclination (with accuracy within 0,25°), and temperature. The ADIS16201 comes in a small 16-lead laminate-based land grid array (LGA) package.
iSensor integration eliminates a key barrier to the advancement of sensor applications in the industrial market by offering unique functionality, programmability, and simplicity to the system designer. The standard programming interface also allows the user to easily tailor the devices to the application, and very quickly move through prototyping, evaluation, and implementation. Now also in development at Analog Devices are additional iSensor products, which target embedded vibration analysis and programmable angular rate sensing.
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