Pressure scanners allow the signal delivered to an instrument to be scanned or switched between multiple pressure sensors. Multi-channel pressure scanners increase the throughput and productivity of costly instrumentation. Pressure scanners provide high accuracy, low-cost measurement of multiple pressure points and also can be daisy chained and networked to a PC or a laptop computer to form a low-cost distributed data. There are many different types of pressure scanners. Examples include miniature electronic pressure scanners, electronic pressure scanners, piezoelectric pressure scanners and ESP scanners. Miniature electronic pressure scanners have unparalleled long term stability, optional temperature sense output, and automatically switched reference pressures. Electronic pressure scanners are an array of silicon piezoresistive pressure sensors, one for each pressure port, whose analog outputs are electronically multiplexed through a single onboard instrumentation amplifier at ultra-high rates using binary addressing. Piezoelectric pressure scanners are designed to move in various directions (X, Y, Z) by expanding in some directions and contracting in others, depending upon the polarization of applied voltage. ESP scanners incorporate a two position manifold actuated by momentary pulses of control pressures. Other pressure scanners are commonly available.
Sensors are mounted on a common hybrid glass substrate in pressure scanners, using a proprietary technique which maximizes long term stability. The outputs of the pressure scanners are electronically multiplexed through a single onboard instrumentation amplifier at rates up to 20,000 Hz using binary addressing. The multiplexed amplified analog output is capable of being driven through long lengths of cable to a remote A/D converter. Pressure scanners also incorporate a manifold actuated by momentary pulses of control pressures. When placed in the calibrate position, all sensors are connected to a common pressure port through which zero pressure or a series of accurately measured calibration pressures can be applied to characterize the sensors, in place, at the condition to which they are being subjected. Pressure scanner interface is an interface that facilitates the connection of the scanners to third party acquisition systems. The pressure scanner interface accepts a single DC supply and provides +/- 12 and 5 volt scanner supplies. Pressure scanners use multiplexers which are devices that have multiple input streams and only one output stream. Multiplexers forward one of the input streams to the output stream based on the values of one or more selection inputs. Pressure scanners are designed and manufactured to meet most industry specifications.
Pressure scanners are used in many applications. Examples include their use in turbo machinery test applications and other high pressure requirements. Miniature electronic pressure scanners are used in model wind tunnel testing, aircraft flight testing, and automotive track testing. ESP scanners can be used with PSI's system 8400, DTC net, S8256 flight system, and a variety of third party compatible systems. Pressure scanners should adhere to the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE).