Electronics Technology


Advanced motion sensors for industrial applications

11 July 2007 Electronics Technology

In what the company is touting as a breakthrough in sensor technology, Analog Devices has extended its award-winning iSensor intelligent sensor product family with an advanced motion sensor that allows industrial designers to easily and cost-effectively equip their products with full-range, multi-axis inertial sensing.

Leveraging Analog Devices' iMEMS Motion Signal Processing Technology, the ADIS16355 inertial measurement unit (IMU) delivers performance and functionality previously reserved for defence, aerospace, and other high-end applications, at approximately one tenth of the cost.

Combining three axes of angular rate sensing and three axes of acceleration sensing, the new IMU provides full six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) motion measurement to enable the benefits of complex motion analysis in applications such as vehicle-mounted cameras and antennae, commercial aircraft guidance units, robotics, and prosthetics. Other less integrated sensors require designers to perform complex, costly, and time-consuming motion testing and calibration across temperature and multiple axes before they can be assured the devices will provide accurate and reliable feedback. Analog Devices claims to overcome this barrier by submitting the ADIS16355 to a comprehensive factory calibration process and providing the new sensor with a simple, programmable interface to ensure it is both highly precise and ready for integration right out-of-the-box. The ADIS16355 also includes full-temperature-range calibration, versus the room temperature calibration available in the ADIS16350, and provides a bias temperature stability of 0,005 deg/sec/°C.

The ADIS16355 6DOF sensor can be used anywhere high-performance position or motion detection is required. In aircraft, ships, truck fleets, agricultural equipment, and other vehicles that rely on GPS (global positioning system) satellite navigation to maintain accurate positional information, the IMU compensates for GPS signal loss or vehicle-induced signal irregularities. By detecting tiny shifts in linear acceleration and angular movement, the ADIS16355 provides dead reckoning, allowing vehicles to remain on course until a lost GPS signal is restored. In addition to navigation, the ADIS16355 can be used in countless motion control applications, including highly sensitive robotic devices, where the IMU helps ensure that precision movements can be repeated thousands of times.

Both the ADIS16355 and ADIS16350 include a programmable SPI (serial peripheral interface) port that provides access for programming features such as filtering, sample-rate, power-management, self-test, and sensor condition status and alarms. The devices are also fully in-system tuneable, allowing designers to debug their system and experiment with different configurations for design optimisation. The ADIS16355 provides exceptionally precise and stable sensor response, and the ADIS16350 offers a lower cost alternative for less sensitive applications. Both IMUs are housed in compact modules measuring 23 mm x 23 mm x 23 mm.



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