Tough, but sensitive. Could be the ideal man--or Endevco's Microtron® micromachined capacitive accelerometer. Available in ±2, 10, 30, and 100g versions, the sensor will endure 5,000 to 20,000g shocks, depending on model. Test units have survived more than 90,000g with only slight drifts in performance. The secret is a hermetically sealed--not just epoxied--case, mechanical stops, and a rectangular capacitive mass suspended by numerous small beams around its periphery. Ideal applications consist of down hole drilling; gun, mortar, or missile tracking; and shock recorders. Endevco, 30700 Rancho Viejo Rd., San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, FAX (714) 661-7231.
Shipping tracker controls damage
Ever wonder how your sensitive package became damaged during shipment? Shockwriter 3000 will tell you. The 2.5-lb, 10.25- x 4.5- x 1.8-in device mounts to a container and records up to 700 shock or temperature events. Its three-axis piezo electric accelerometer is accurate to 4% over a range of ±2 to 200g, while a built-in thermistor senses temperature events to within 1C from 40C to 70C. Custom PC software controls the Shockwriter 3000 via RS-232. A glass-filled polycarbonate case helps it meet FCC part 15 and European standards while brushing off 600g drops to concrete. Produced by AMP Sensors, it's the company's first integrated end product. Price: $995, about ¼ that of the competition. AMP Sensor, Box 799, Valley Forge, PA 19482, FAX (610) 666-3509.
Pressure sensor uses 1-mm die
"This is the smallest packaged pressure sensor out there," says Dale Gee, marketing manager for Lucas Novasensor. Based on a 1- x 1-mm die, the NPP series is gel coated for toughness and fits in standard SOIC 8 plastic containers. Engineers designed the sensor for vehicle in-tire pressure monitoring, telecommunications cables, and SCUBA computers. Using proprietary Senstable® technology, it operates from 40C to 125C, and is available in 0-15, 0-30, and 0-100 psi (full scale) designs. At $2.90/ea., the NPP costs about two-thirds that of the competition, Gee claims. "It brings sensors into the realm of integrated circuits." Lucas Novasensor, 1055 Mission Court, Fremont, CA 94539, FAX (510) 770-0645.
Magnetometer improves sensitivity
An improved, three-axis digital magnetometer, the HMR 2300, is smaller and about three times more sensitive than any other, claim engineers from Honeywell's Solid State Electronics Center. Based on the company's magnetoresistive thin-film permalloy process, it offers 100-µ Gauss resolution over a range of ±2 Gauss. Ideal for traffic monitoring, it will detect cars at about 20 to 30 ft. Small objects, like a paper clip, can be sensed at 6 to 10 in. Other possible applications include process control and position tracking for VR helmets. Until a year ago, the division only produced sensors for Honeywell's in-house use. Now, you can benefit. Honeywell, Solid State Electronics Center, 12001 State Hwy. 55, Plymouth, MN 55441, FAX (612) 954-2051.
Silicon sensor takes the pressure
EG&G IC Sensors' new model 96 and 97 silicon strain gauge pressure transducers feature improved non-linearity and temperature performance; and smaller, more rugged packaging. The company claims the nonlinearity—–±0.1%—is 2.5 times better than the competition, whereas the temperature zero and span performance of ±0.5% is two to four times better. Engineers achieved these results with a new Ultra™ chip developed with extensive FEA and performance modeling. It's ideal for process, control, hydraulics, SCUBA monitoring, or liquid-level sensing. EG&G IC Sensors, 1701 McCarthy Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035, FAX (408) 432-7322.
Measurement system goes digital
Kaman Instrumentation introduces its first full-digital product, a non-contact position-measurement system called KUDA. It manages inputs from 4 to 10 sensors and outputs to servos, steppers, alarms, or other process controls. John Drollinger, Kaman's marketing manager, cites several strengths: ease of use--a few keystrokes set up and run KUDA, and once running it can stand alone; high sampling rate--at 20 kHz it's more than twenty times faster than its predecessor; and flexibility--in early 1996, Kaman will introduce a version that can switch between a variety of target materials, including aluminum, copper, brass, and stainless steel, without factory recalibration. Kaman Instruments, Box 7463, Colorado Springs, CO 80933, FAX (719) 599-1823.