Remote Sensors

Remote Sensors

Measurement sensors capture the physical environment. The output of the sensor will typically be the electrical representation of the environment at that time.

For instance, a 0 to 100 degree Fahrenheit temperature sensor with a 0 to 5 volt DC output will output 0 volts at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 5 volts at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The sensor scales voltages between 0 and 100 to 0 and 5V. For example, at 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the sensor outputs a voltage of 2.5 Volts.

What will happen at 101 degrees Fahrenheit? Since the sensor can’t put out more than 5 volts, any temperature higher than 100 (which includes 101) has a sensor output of 5 volts.

Remote Sensor Categories

Typical sensors include the following broad categories with examples of types of sensors in the real world.

  • Temperature
    • Temperature inside a house
      • Turn on the A/C to cool the house.
      • Turn on the heater to warm the house.
    • Temperature of a fluid
      • Photographic chemicals need to be held at a specific temperature for a specific amount of time. Turn on heaters or coolers to adjust the temperature to optimum values.
      • Oil refineries need to closely manage crude oil temperatures in the gasoline distillation process.
    • Temperature of a device
      • A cooling fan on a semiconductor chip is turned on at high temperatures to keep the chip from overheating and being damaged.
      • Capture a fault condition and start the cooling fan.
  • Pressure
    • Water Pressure in a house
      • Little or no water pressure in a house may indicate a rainwater collection tank is empty or the well is dry.
    • Atmospheric pressure
      • Variations in atmospheric pressure are useful for monitoring storm systems.
    • Force
      • Monitor the force of a cutter on the manufacturing floor to determine end-of-life of a cutting edge. As more force is required to cut out the cookie, the cutting edge is getting dull.
  • Fluid Flow
    • A gas pump measures the amount of fuel purchased at a gas station.
    • A water meter measures the amount of water used in a month.
  • Fluid Level
    • Water level of a rainwater collection system.
    • Oil level in an oil retention tank battery.
  • Gravity
    • Tilt sensors used to determine the orientation of a smart phone