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Small Target, High Speed - Sensing Applications

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Targets that are either very small, or that are travelling at high speed, or are both small and are travelling at high speed can often be characterised by having a small mark to space ratio, being present in front of a sensor for small time periods.

Mark to space ratio is the relationship between the time a target object is present in front of the sensor and the time it is absent.

To detect small targets at high speeds a sensor must feature a fast response.
Any delay in activation, detection or excitation may result in missed targets. Each sensor will have a maximum switching frequency determined by its design.

Maximum switching frequency is often calculated or established by testing with regular target objects for example a toothed gear wheel with a 1:1 or 1:2 mark to space ratio. The critical issue is the absolute time period during which the target is present in the sensor's active field. This time period will suggest the maximum switching speed the sensor can attain with other shapes of targets whose geometry and size will cause further variation.

Example of application of a Sensatech small target high-speed sensor:

1mm wide "tip sensor" for measuring the deflection of turbine rotor blades.
The specification included:
16 - 20 turbine blades of 1mm wide
Turbine operating at 60,000 - 120,000 rpm
The target tip starts at 0.5mm away.

This capacitive sensor was developed to measure the rpm of the turbine blade and it's deflection or expansion due to centifugal force and or temperature expansion.

The tip of the turbine blade being detected was present for half a microsecond and travelling at just below the speed of sound, Capacitive sensing can then be seen as a suitable method of high speed small object sensing in a high temperature environment.

This high speed tip sensor measures rpm and deflection of turbine blades
This high speed tip sensor measures rpm and deflection of turbine blades
The Sensatech high speed tip sensor shown mounted in a test rig
The Sensatech high speed tip sensor shown mounted in a test rig
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Pages in the Applications section:
3d shapes - detection and or measurement of
Collision avoidance - Proximity measurement
Electro-cardiography - Non contact
Environment - Hazardous
Environment - High temperature
Human anatomy - Foot gauge
Human anatomy - Light switch
Invasive, non-contact 3d mapping
Landmine detection
Liquid level detection
Micro machines
Moisture measurement
Powder or granule level detection
Proximity detection - Non contact
Proximity measurement - Analogue
Reversing Sensor
Robotic control and protection
Small targets at high speeds
Solder Wave height
Weighing cell

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