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Measurement methods spur auto capacitive sensor use

Posted: 23 Oct 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:capacitance-to-digital converters  converter  capacitive sensors  measurement 

Macroscopically, capacitive sensors are usually analysed by converting their capacitance into another physical variable, such as voltage, time or frequency. Microscopically, capacitive sensors have existed in cars for a long time—micromechanical acceleration sensors are based on this principle. These are usually used to detect charge transfers.

A method for sensing capacitance uses a modified input stage of a sigma-delta converter to detect an unknown capacitance and convert it into a digital value. This method, using capacitance-to-digital converters, (CDC), is explained here—along with several capacitive sensor principles that can be used in the car.

This method enables the number of capacitive sensors in a car to increase dramatically, and allows for simple shape adaptation, low power consumption and favourable manufacturing costs while imparting ease of control and read out.

View the PDF document for more information.

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