Sensors Expo & Conference will convene June 27-29 in San Jose. Event organizers say more than 300 exhibitors will demonstrate products that measure acceleration, chemical and gas concentrations, flow, force, strain, load, torque, level, moisture and humidity, light, position, proximity, pressure, temperature, and more. Applications areas include aerospace, automation, embedded systems, instrumentation, IoT, and wireless. In addition to sensors and system components, you could find on display products ranging from energy harvesters to software. Here is a sampling of what you might expect to see on the exhibit floor. Visit the website for more information

Oxygen sensor

Achieving a 0.01% O2 measurement resolution with better than ± 0.5% repeatability, the OXY-COMM oxygen analyzer consists of one of the vendor’s Zicronia devices accompanied by all the necessary supporting electronics, a fault-tolerant RS-485 serial interface, and a die-cast aluminum housing (which is fully IP65 compliant). The combination presents customers with a comprehensive monitoring subsystem, featuring built-in diagnostic capabilities that safeguard against erroneous measurement data. Zicronia products utilize the company’s proprietary technology, which results in improved precision and prolonged operation (as they do not become depleted) compared with conventional oxygen sensors. In addition, the devices avoid the inconvenience of using a reference gas, and they are not prone to sensor drift over time, meaning they do not need regular recalibration.

Applications include monitoring controlled atmospheres (with reduced oxygen content) within refrigerated containers in which fruits and vegetables often are transported.
SST Sensing

LiDAR platform

LeddarVu is a new platform for the vendor’s next generation of its Leddar detection and ranging modules. The LeddarVu platform combines the benefits of a compact, modular architecture with performance, robustness, and cost efficiency needed for high-resolution LiDAR applications, such as autonomous driving.

Leveraging the vendor’s patented signal processing and algorithms, LeddarVu sensors will evolve along with the future generations of the LeddarCore ICs, with upcoming iterations expected to deliver ranges reaching 250 meters, fields of view up to 140 degrees, and up to 480,000 points per second (with a resolution down to 0.25 degrees both horizontal and vertical), enabling the design of affordable LiDAR systems for all levels of autonomous driving, including the capability of mapping the environment over 360 degrees around the vehicle.
LeddarVu also adds the capacity to interchange various types of optical components from different suppliers to ensure the rapid development and integration of new module configurations that are optimized for specific applications or requirements.

The vendor’s Vu8 is the first module based on the new LeddarVu platform. The Vu8 is a compact solid-state LiDAR module that provides highly accurate multitarget detection over eight independent segments.

LeddarVu’s high tolerance to noise and interference means that it remains unaffected by other sensors’ signal and by lighting conditions including direct sunlight and that it provides reliable detection in various weather conditions including rain and snow. LeddarTech

Digital multispectral sensor-on-chip

Offered in a small 4.5- x 4.4-mm land grid array package, the ultra-low power AS7262 visible range sensor and the AS7263 NIR sensor each provide six calibrated spectral channels. The new multispectral sensors open the door to testing and use in a range of consumer and real-world field applications. Key solution spaces include material and product authentication, product quality, and integrity assurance as well as material content analysis in the near-infrared (NIR) and visible spectrums.

The multispectral sensors employ a new fabrication technique which enables nano-optical interference filters to be precisely deposited directly on the CMOS silicon die. This interference filter technology used for the sensors offers precise and reproducible filter characteristics that are stable over both time and temperature and are smaller and more cost-effective than the components typically used in today’s spectral analysis instruments.

The AS7262 six-channel visible light sensor with integrated intelligence provides a calibrated digital output over an I2C or UART interface. It measures light intensity at six wavelengths in the visible light spectrum: 450 nm, 500 nm, 550 nm, 570 nm, 600 nm, and 650 nm. The AS7263 operates in the NIR spectrum detecting 610-nm, 680-nm, 730-nm, 760-nm, 810-nm, and 860-nm signatures. Both devices include an electronic shutter with LED drive circuitry, which means that device designers can accurately control the light source and the spectral sensing functions with a single chip.

The small size of the new multispectral sensors combined with low power consumption enable measurement equipment OEMs to develop new product types that take advantage of these unique attributes. For instance, bulky laboratory-grade analysis equipment now can be replaced by handheld form factors. In factories, samples which today have to be removed from the production line and taken to a laboratory for chemical analysis or quality testing will be tested in-line by new small, robust spectral analyzers based on the multispectral sensors. The AS7262 and AS7263 are in volume production now. Unit pricing is $4.00 in order quantities of 1,000. ams AG

Time-of-flight sensor

The VL53L1 third-generation laser-ranging sensor—based on the vendor’s FlightSense technology—benefits from new patented silicon- and module-level architectures, adding optical lenses to the module for the first time. This combination enhances core performance while introducing new features including multitarget detection, cover-glass crosstalk immunity at long distance, and programmable multizone scanning. Applications include robotics, user detection, drones, IoT, and wearables.

With a form factor of 4.9 x 2.5 x 1.56 mm, the sensor module integrates a new lens system, a 940-nm VCSEL invisible-light source, a processing core, and a SPAD photon detector. The addition of the optical lens system increases the photon detection rate to boost the module’s ranging performance. The embedded microcontroller manages the complete ranging function and runs the digital algorithms to minimize host-processing overhead and system power consumption, maximizing battery life for mobile applications. STMicroelectronics

Differential pressure sensors

SDP800 Series differential pressure sensors offer repeatability and measurement speed up to 2 kHz. The fully calibrated and temperature-compensated sensors are available in numerous versions that differ in pressure range, pneumatic connection, and output signal. Whereas the analog version provides a configurable analog voltage output, the digital version features different measurement modes, smart averaging functions, and multiple I2C addresses. Both versions come with either 125-Pa or 500-Pa bidirectional pressure range and provide a manifold or tube connection.

The SDP800 Series is based on the vendor’s CMOSens technology, which combines the sensor element, signal processing, and digital calibration on a small CMOS chip. The EK-P5 evaluation kit is available for testing the digital SDP800 sensors. Sensirion

Triaxial accelerometers

Miniature triaxial ICP accelerometer Models 356A43, 356A44, and 356A45 are small (0.4 x 0.4 x 0.75 inch), lightweight (4.2 g), and TEDS IEEE 1451.4 enabled. The TEDS feature self-identifies the accelerometer and describes type, operation, and attributes, making it easy for an operator to track. Data contained in the TEDS programming includes manufacturer, model number, serial number, calibration date, sensitivity, frequency response, and measurement ID, all in compliance with the IEEE 1451.4 standard.

Models are available with three sensitivities—10 mV/g, 50 mV/g, or 100 mV/g—and packaged in a hermetically sealed titanium cube. The most common applications for this family of miniature triaxial ICP accelerometers are modal and structural analysis, automotive NVH, and package testing.

Models 356A43, 356A44, and 356A45 are stock products and available for immediate shipment. PCB Piezotronics

Wireless mesh networks

The SmartMesh IP wireless sensor network product line has expanded to address the growing needs of industrial Internet of Things (IoT) applications. New capabilities include the SmartMesh VManager networking software, which seamlessly increases the mesh network capacity to thousands of nodes. SmartMesh IP, based on 6LoWPAN, delivers wire-like reliability and ultralow power to wireless mesh networks, allowing secure deployment of battery-operated IoT sensors in harsh environments with more than 10 years of battery life.

SmartMesh IP now offers a wider range of features. SmartMesh networks self-form and self-heal and continuously self-optimize while providing NIST-certified security. A new Blink mode addresses applications where nodes may need to move in and out of the mesh and send data several times per day. Thousands of SmartMesh IP Blink nodes can send data into a mesh-mode SmartMesh network while consuming an average of less than 3 µA of power.

SmartMesh IP products are wireless chips and precertified PCB modules, complete with ready-to-deploy wireless mesh networking software based on the 6LoWPAN and IEEE 802.15.4e standards. SmartMesh is built for use in industrial IoT. It includes complete networking software to speed time-to-market. Linear Technology

Gas-damped auto crash sensor

The Endevco Model 7264H optimally gas-damped accelerometer for automotive safety testing is small in size and mass, eliminating irrelevant frequency content generated by breaking glass and metal-to-metal impact. Unlike fluid-damped sensors, it performs consistently over temperatures ranging from -18°C to +66°C. Target applications include pedestrian-safety, military-vehicle, and sled testing.

Employing a MEMS design, the 7264H has a wide frequency measurement range compared with conventional fluid-damped sensors.

The 7264H has a two-active-arm, full-bridge circuit with fixed completion resistors to facilitate shunt calibration. Full-scale output is 200 mV nominal with 10 VDC excitation for signal-to-noise performance. It comes standard with 2-, 5-, and 10-volt calibration data. Meggitt Sensing Systems

Sensors Expo offers gamut from components to networks
Rick Nelson
Rick became Executive Editor for EE in 2011. Previously he served on several publications, including EDN and Vision Systems Design, and has received awards for signed editorials from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He began as a design engineer at General Electric and Litton Industries and earned a BSEE degree from Penn State.