In spite of all the sensors found on vehicles, a torque sensor is not one of them. “All OEMs today use torque sensors in their lab and instrumentation systems to develop products, but today, passenger cars and light trucks are not using torque sensing in serial production,” says Paul Cain, director of marketing — Transportation Products for Custom Sensors and Technologies Inc. “Engine control module engineers and transmission engineers are seeking a high accuracy torque technology in their assembly, but the price points of torque sensors have historically been too high.” A production-viable technology from BEI Duncan Electronics Div., called BEITORQ, could change this.
Using patented technology licensed from NCTEngineering GmbH, Pulsed Current Modulated Encoding (PCME) establishes a permanent magnetically encoded region inside an existing shaft, as long as the shaft is made from a ferro-magnetic material. Applying a mechanical force causes the shaft to radiate a magnetic field that is measured by the sensor. As the torque is increased on the shaft the magnetic field is also increased outside this encoded region. The coils then “read” this changing magnetic field. The sensor assembly is designed to reject unwanted external magnetic field signals, such as those from the earth’s magnetic field. The sensor operates in air, water and oil with only 5 mA current consumption, provides a high signal bandwidth of 10 kHz and accepts large alignment tolerances of 0.5 mm. With a temperature range up to 210C, ideal applications are automotive and industrial environments.
In vehicles, a torque sensor mounted at the crankshaft can monitor dynamic torque sensing on the engine as a primary sensor for next-generation engine control modules to optimize fuel economy and eliminate other sensors. Additionally, these torque sensors are under development in transmission applications in both the input and output shaft locations. To use it effectively, a torque sensor requires a different architecture in the control module. While it is not a trivial system design change, the benefits could offset the effort in a new engine or transmission management system. With the pressure for improved fuel economy and soaring gas prices, torque sensing could supply a means for improvement over accepted design methodology. Today, strong interest in diesel engines could provide one of the first applications.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.