Micronor (www.micronor.com) has unveiled the first commercially offered fiber-optic position sensor suitable for long-distance position sensing without being affected by ground loop issues — the Model MR330 fiber-optic position sensor. Its optical design provides immunity to all electro-magnetic interference such as radiation, magnetic fields, lightning and other extreme conditions.
Without any electronic component, the position sensor can measure absolute angular position more than zero to 360 degrees with speeds exceeding 2,500 rpm and 13-bit (8192-count) resolution. An optical technique integrated in an active controller and a passive sensor, held together by a 62.5/125 multimode duplex fiber-optic link allows the position sensor to track multiple turns to 12-bits (4096-revolutions). Powered by 24 VDC, the optical sensor’s controller sends a burst of light to the sensor’s code disk that modulates the light’s spectral components based on angular position. The position data is embedded in the light’s optical spectrum and led back to the controller for accurate position readout.
“The uniqueness of the system is that the sensor is entirely passive, meaning that there are no electronic components whatsoever in the unit,” said Robert Rickenbach, Chief Engineer at Micronor.
“The result is that the sensor can be directly deployed in extreme environments where conventional electronic-based encoders have distinct limitations.”
The accuracy and EMI immunity of MR330 make it ideal for application requiring for precise position measurement and motion control in challenging environments, such as satellite antennas, oil rigs, actuator systems, solar panel arrays, steel mills, transportation systems and medical instrumentation. The optical sensors also conform to the ATEX requirements, making it suitable for use in mines and other explosive environments. Its immunity to lighting makes it ideal for various outdoor applications including antennas and wind turbines.