Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Linear Position Sensor Can Be Used To Make You Safe

By Adriana Noton

Engineers have been learning about the use of sophisticated location systems from members of the animal kingdom, for years. The outcome is the development of the linear position sensor. One example is bat, who moves about in the dark, missing obstacles because they have a very sophisticated sonar system. Cats use their whiskers as location sensors. These send messages that give information of their position relative to the environment, to the brain, to alert them of any danger.

Any industry that is reliant on having tools, or equipment, positioned precisely, have a need for linear positioning technology. Scientific and military establishments often use this technology in their projects. These position sensors can also be found in calipers, scanners, and in fact almost anything that can be regarded as high precision machinery. The accuracy of the sensors can go down to less than . 001 mm, so they are ideal for applications that have to be extremely precise.

There are many different variants of position sensor, but their task is the same. Their purpose is to measure, by sensor, the relationship between a particular object and the environment. Each of these sensors, whether they be linear, Rotary, or angular, all have very important parts to play in modern society.

The way that these position sensors are used is dependent on the industry, and the machinery, they have been installed in. The oil and gas industry would use such sensors to monitor the serviceability of pipelines that are laid on the seabed. To be able to successfully perform this task helps to prevent any environmental disasters. These sensors need to be extremely reliable as it would only take one to be faulty, and the effects could be catastrophic.

The application of positional sensors is growing as we begin to rely on robotic engineering. They are used in automobiles to assist in parking, and in certain self-controlled vacuum cleaners to prevent them crashing into furniture. Industrial applications include such things as auto manufacturer, to ensure that the components are precisely located.

Sensors are often used in environments, or situations, that humans cannot operate in. They are often exposed to very extreme environmental conditions, such as an ocean floor. They can also be exposed to large variations in temperature, and subject to immense vibration.

If you are going to use this type of sensor within an environment that can be prone to dirt and dust, you will have to take some special precautions. The sensor and the encoder would have to be enclosed so that they were not affected by this dirty environment. This might have an affect on the accuracy of the results given, compared with those that would otherwise be given by an open sensor.

There are so many varied applications that use a linear position sensor to work satisfactorily. Whether it be monitoring pipelines on the seabed, or building an automobile, they all play their part within the society we live in. As a rule, they usually go unnoticed, because we are so used to using equipment that have them installed. However, if you want to see a positional sensor in action, take a look at your cat.

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