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Delta sigma ADC bridge measurement

Posted: 13 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Sensors  delta-sigma  analogue-to-digital converters 

Sensors for pressure, load, temperature, acceleration and many other physical quantities often take the form of a Wheatstone bridge. These sensors can be extremely linear and stable over time and temperature. However, most things in nature are only linear if you don't bend them too much. In the case of a load cell, Hooke's law states that the strain in a material is proportional to the applied stress—as long as the stress is nowhere near the material's yield point (the "point of no return" where the material is permanently deformed). The consequence is that a load cell based on a resistance strain gauge will have a very small electrical output—often only a few millivolts. In spite of this, instruments with 100,000 counts of resolution and more are possible. This application note presents some approaches to high resolution measurement using Linear Technology's family of 20- and 24-bit delta-sigma analogue-to-digital converters.

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