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GlobalSpec: DirectU2 Sensors & Switches
April 13, 2010 Brought to you by: Sensirion AG
Industry Trends & Events . . .
Sensors Go Cellular

Sensors Go Cellular Writing in, editor Richard MacManus shines the spotlight on the intersection of sensors and mobile phones, which he sees as a key trend for 2010. It's part of a look into the 'Internet of Things,' a larger trend where the Internet — until now linking people together or linking people to information sources — will increasingly connect devices. MacManus describes two common scenarios for sensors and mobile phones. The first is where sensor-equipped devices send data to a mobile phone — temperature, activity, or noise, for example — for analysis and display. In the second scenario, sensor-enabled phones do the sensing themselves.

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Register Today for Sensors Expo & Conference!
Sensors Expo & Conference

Register Today for Sensors Expo & Conference! Sensors Expo & Conference, June 7-9, Rosemont, IL.

Leading event focusing exclusively on sensors and sensor-integrated systems! The in-depth program features the world's leading authorities covering topics such as: energy harvesting, wireless networking, low-power sensing, MEMS, and more! Plus — gain access to the largest showcase of sensing technologies at the Expo!

Pilz Introduces Newer, Safer Safety Gate System
Pilz Automation Safety L.P.

Pilz Introduces Newer, Safer Safety Gate System It operates magnetically. PSENslock has an electro-magnetic holding force of 500 N to prevent the unintentional opening of swing and sliding gates. Its proven transponder technology is manipulation proof because the switch and actuator are different items. It combines safety gate monitoring and a non-contact magnetic interlock within one unit. Learn more.

Miniature USB Sensor — 30 Second Video
Futek Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc.

Miniature USB Sensor — 30 Second Video Watch the video — FUTEK offers the first Miniature Load Cell with USB output and Micro Gram Part Per Million resolution.

With FUTEK's USB Sensor Solution, you eliminate the need for amplifiers, filters, and multimeters. The set up is quick, the software is complimentary, and the cost is lower than a traditional Sensor System.

Media Isolated OEM Pressure Transmitters
Keller America, Inc.

Media Isolated OEM Pressure Transmitters The new "LY" series of OEM sensors from Keller add a new dimension of versatility to your pressure measurement application. With small size, wide available pressure ranges, outstanding EMI resistance, and active thermal compensation, the "LY" series bridges the gap between passively compensated and microprocessor-based pressure transmitters.

Fixed Gas Detection . . .
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Ultima X Series Gas Monitors for Indoor and Outdoor Applications
Mine Safety Appliances Company/MSA

Ultima X Series Gas Monitors for Indoor and Outdoor Applications MSA's versatile fixed instruments provide continuous monitoring of many hazardous gases using catalytic, electrochemical, and infrared gas detection methods. Units are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Ultima X Series Gas Monitors provide HART protocol, DuraSource Technology, with SIL 2-certified products. Applications include offshore, refineries, chemical and petrochemical facilities, steel mills, water and wastewater plants, mining, and general industry.

Contact MSA at 1.800.MSA.INST or visit for gas detection solutions.

Electric & Electromagnetic Sensors . . .
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Interference! Some experts suspect that electromagnetic interference (EMI) might have caused many of the cases of unintended acceleration in cars equipped with 'drive-by-wire' systems. This article from USA Today covers the debate from both sides and contains a graphic depicting possible interference sources, including everything from cell phones to the hybrid and all-electric drive systems themselves.

Come On, Get Haptic!

Come On, Get Haptic! The use of haptic devices such as this piezoelectric controller allows feedback to users of touchscreens and capacitive touch switches, giving the feel of a mechanical key-click. Beyond just being a driver for piezoelectric actuators, this controller has on-board memory to store multiple user-defined haptic waveforms, as well as a playback generator. Only a trigger pulse is needed to play out the waveform.

Switches & Solenoids . . .
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Smart Switches for Testing Applications

Smart Switches for Testing Applications One of the first choices made by engineers when specifying an automated test system is a platform that will control the switching. The author of this article compares the switching merits of LXI and PXI, and presents some real-world case histories, discussing how each solution performed.

LXI-Controlled Switch

LXI-Controlled Switch This data acquisition switch unit supports testing on the bench, on the network, or at a remote location. It consists of a three-slot LXI chassis with a built-in 6-1/2 digit digital multimeter. Eight plug-in modules are available, making the switch unit suitable for acquiring measurements from a range of sensors and AD or DC voltage or current sources.

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Wasco P6/P7 Series Miniature Pressure and Vacuum Switches
Wasco, Inc.

Wasco P6/P7 Series Miniature Pressure and Vacuum Switches The P6/P7 series pressure and vacuum switches are perfect for most applications due to the all metal wetted surfaces. These can be used on a wide range of applications — fire extinguishing systems, factory automation, medical equipment, and HVAC controls. View Wasco's product announcements.

Pulse Selection Systems
Conoptics, Inc.

Pulse Selection Systems Conoptics' Pulse Selection Systems — select from single pulse to 30 Mhz repetition rate for mode locked lasers running at as high as 100 Mhz. Low temperal dispersion compatible with FSEC pulses. Learn more...

Nanometer Resolution Non-contact Position Sensor
MicroSense, LLC

Nanometer Resolution Non-contact Position Sensor The 6810 capacitive sensor from MicroSense measures the position of "high dynamic" targets that change position, rotate or vibrate at very high speeds, including poorly grounded targets. Easily measure displacement of precision motors, spindles, and air bearings — nanometer level resolution is possible at measurement bandwidths up to 100 kHz!

High-precision Gyro Sensor with Attractive Pricing
Sensonor Technologies AS

High-precision Gyro Sensor with Attractive Pricing Sensonor Technologies is now launching their high precision gyro sensor calibrated and compensated with digital SPI interface, with low in-run bias stability and high reliability and robustness over long lifetime. The sensor has low vibration sensitivity and high overload and shock capability (5000 g). Read more: SAR100

Thermal, Mechanical & Pressure Sensors . . .
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Zeroing in on Servomotor Temperatures

Zeroing in on Servomotor Temperatures Monitoring and controlling the temperature of a servomotor is a tougher job than you might think. You need a temperature sensor, but you also need a thermal model that closely replicates the real world. As one author notes, the typical two-parameter thermal model doesn't cut it. He offers an in-depth discussion of the challenges involved, together with solutions.

It's a Small World After All

It's a Small World After All Making accurate nanomechanical measurements is critical to the development of new nanotechnologies and devices. This article surveys the challenges and the range of solutions used in nanometric metrology. While some measurements examine the same material properties as at the macro scale, some of the most interesting focus on mechanical behavior intrinsic to the nano world.

Optical & Ultrasonic Sensors . . .
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Sharpening Focus to Defeat Scattering

Sharpening Focus to Defeat Scattering Writing in Ars Technica, author Chris Lee discusses some optical research recently reported in the journal Nature Photonics. For laymen, he provides a brief explanation of the technique known as structured illumination microscopy. While he takes issue with the claims represented in the report, he suggests that the approach may have promise in building an imaging system that could resolve smaller objects.

Heads Up!

Heads Up! GM plans to develop a new head-up display for its vehicles. As shown in this video, the system would use forward-looking sensors such as lasers and night-vision cameras to detect the edges of the road surface, as well as road hazards, and "paint" images on the windshield to draw the driver's attention.

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AC/DC Transducers, Transformers, and Power Meters
Ohio Semitronics, Inc.

AC/DC Transducers, Transformers, and Power Meters Ohio Semitronics, Inc. has more than 45 years of experience meeting customer requirements. Our only business is helping you solve your electrical measurement requirement for power conversion, power distribution, and power control applications.

Taking the Mystery Out of Non-contact Sensing
MTI Instruments Inc.

Taking the Mystery Out Of Non-contact Sensing Thousands of companies are using non-contact capacitance sensors for critical QC/process monitoring applications. Extremely high performance and years of trouble-free operation can be obtained if basic rules are followed. This white paper removes the mystery behind the technology and provides details about applying these sensors into various applications.

Honeywell Introduces SMART Position Sensor
Honeywell Sensing and Control

Honeywell Introduces SMART Position Sensor Honeywell's SMART Position Sensor is the most accurate and durable linear position device (0,05 mm) enabling highly accurate motion control, and improving operation efficiency and safety. Its simple, non-contact design eliminates mechanical failure mechanisms, reducing wear and tear, improving reliability and durability, and minimizing downtime. View all new products.

New Digital AVC (DAVC)
Teledyne Instruments

New Digital AVC (DAVC) The Digital AVC is a microprocessor-based vacuum gauge. The DAVC is used with Hastings' most popular gauge tubes. In addition to the output signal (0-1 VDC) and setpoints, measurements can be accessed via RS232 with units of Torr, mbar, or Pa.

Teledyne Hastings InstrumentsHow may we help you?

Careers & Commentary . . .
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Tech Brain Drain? Hard to Say

Tech Brain Drain? Hard to Say Some data indicates that the majority of foreigners who earned Ph.D.s in science and engineering at U.S. universities have continued to stay and work in the U.S. — contrary to fears that post-911 restrictions on immigrants might cause many to return home. But other recent evidence — largely anecdotal — indicates a potential dramatic shift following the 2008 market crash.

Diversions . . .
Britain Declassifies UFO Files

Britain Declassifies UFO Files Hold onto your tinfoil hats! As this CNN video reports, the British National Archives recently released thousands of pages of files, sketches and reports of previously-secret UFO investigations — the largest such declassification and release ever made by the British government. One report describes a purported near miss between a UFO and an airliner.

Share Your Thoughts . . .
About This Month's Topic

About This Month's Topic How Do You See the 'Internet of Things?'

How important a trend is this — in which the Internet (and, in some cases, cellular communications) is used to network devices — rather than people — together? How soon will it come to fruition?

Join the discussion...

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April 13, 2010 - Volume 5 Issue 5
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