Precision Sensors for a Tight Budget

Precision Sensors for a Tight Budget

When developing a new railcar, bridge or construction machine, every movement is a crucial contribution to the success or failure of the project. Implementing precision inertial sensors into the design of a project is a necessity, but with limited resources, short design cycles and tight budgets, engineers are expected to do more with less. High precision sensors typically cost thousands of dollars each, but there are some out there that will run a few hundred bucks a piece, without sacrificing too much precision.

JDI Digital MEMS Inclinometer

JDI Digital MEMS Inclinometer

Economical Sensors for Design Engineers

MEMS sensors can be purchased fully packaged at significantly lower prices than traditional sensors. They aren’t quite as sensitive as traditional sensors (resolution to 0.0001° tilt, 0.04 mg acceleration), but for many OEM and industrial applications, this is sufficient precision.

MEMS accelerometers have high vibration sensitivity (up to 400 Hz), which can be useful for detecting failures within a mechanical design.

 

SMI Emerald Series Inclinometer

SMI Emerald Series Inclinometer

Emerald Series inclinometers and accelerometer (3.5 µrad or 3.5 µg resolution) are higher precision OEM sensors with servo technology and durability (IP65) seal. However, they are not fluid-damped so you’ll want to keep them away from vibration. This series falls under the traditional precision sensor category, but without the steep price tag.

MEMS and Emerald series sensors have a small footprint making them easy to build into a design and they have the precision to serve applications such as construction equipment, industrial automation, solar trackers, platform positioning and automotive testing.

850 MEMS Tuff Tilt

850 MEMS Tuff Tilt

Economical Sensors for Civil Engineers

Civil engineers need a static and weatherproof unit that can be mounted on a bridge, building, dam or platform to track structural integrity. The 850 and 875 series utilize low-cost MEMS technology within weatherproof enclosures providing a geotechnical tilt solution that brings down costs.

Black Diamond 750-050 Tiltmeter

Black Diamond 750-050 Tiltmeter

The Black Diamond 750-050 is much like the Emerald Series in terms of performance and price, but is intended for the geotechnical industry. Most civil engineering tiltmeters have a large footprint, but the Black Diamond (1.55″ W x 3.10” L x 2.04″ H) saves on space.

PCA Boards

PCA Boards

Use a Raw Sensor

If you have the means to construct an enclosure of your own, PCA MEMS boards can be purchased on their own as an easy and affordable tilt sensing option.

Looking for a quote or a custom sensor? Contact us to learn how we can build a solution tailored to your project and budget.

Comments

  1. Chris Hicks says:

    I use a 4-wheeler to survey sidewalks and i need to find the Pitch and Roll of sections of sidewalks and ramps.
    Do you offer anything that can withstand constant vibration and possibly some sort of digital read out for 2 Axis?

  2. Hi Chris!

    We are happy to help you with this project. A sensor specialist will contact you soon to help you find a specific solution.

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