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Single-chip Implementation of LVDT Signal Conditioning

Journal article
Authors Lars Bengtsson
Published in American Journal of Sensor Technology
Volume 5
Issue 1
Pages 7-16
ISSN 2373-3454
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 7-16
Language en
Links pubs.sciepub.com/ajst/5/1/2/
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/207714
Keywords displacement sensor; demodulation; excitation; LVDT; microcontroller; peak detector
Subject categories Other Physics Topics, Electronics, Electronic measurement and instrumentation, Embedded Systems, Signal Processing

Abstract

The aim of this work was to prove that the signal conditioning electronics for linear variable transformers (LVDTs) can be implemented in inexpensive, general-purpose 8-bit microcontrollers, making expensive dedicated signal conditioning chips redundant. A low-cost, high-resolution signal conditioning solution for LVDTs is presented. Apart from a few external passive components, the entire solution is implemented in a low-cost, analog-digital hybrid microcontroller. The excitation sinusoid is generated by filtering out the fundamental frequency of a (self-sustained) pwm-generated square wave and the secondary coils’ signals are demodulated with classic peak detector circuits implemented in the microcontroller using a combination of its embedded analog and digital building blocks. A resolution of 1 μm over a range of ±6.35 mm for a commercial LVDT is reported and an uncertainty of 6 μm in the absolute value is deduced. The entire solution is implemented as surface mounted components on a small printed circuit board and the LVDT core displacement is displayed on an LCD display. Due to the simplicity and low-cost components required, this signal conditioning proposal has the potential to have a significant impact on commercial LVDT signal conditioning chips in the future since it is significantly less expensive than the present state-of-the-art signal conditioning chips offered by the main commercial suppliers and other solutions previously suggested in scientific literature.

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