First commercially available fiber-optic position sensor launched by Micronor

Newbury Park, CA--The first commercially available fiber-optic position sensor was introduced by Micronor, offering an all-optical design for immunity to any electro-magnetic interference such as lightning, radiation, magnetic fields, and other extreme conditions. The Model MR330 fiber-optic position sensor is also suited for long-distance position sensing over hundreds of meters without being affected by ground loop problems.

The position sensor, with no electronic components, measures absolute angular position over zero to 360 degrees with 13-bit (8192-count) resolution at speeds exceeding 2500 rpm. Multiple turns can be tracked to 12-bits (4096-revolutions). The sensor uses a new optical technique embedded in a passive sensor and active controller connected by a 62.5/125 multimode duplex fiber-optic link. The controller--powered by 24 VDC--transmits a burst of light to the code disk in the sensor that modulates the spectral components of the light based on angular position. The position information is imprinted in the optical spectrum of the light and guided back to the controller for precise 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," says Robert Rickenbach, Micronor chief engineer. "The result is that the sensor can be directly deployed in extreme environments where conventional electronic-based encoders have distinct limitations."

The MR330's accuracy and EMI immunity make it ideal for applications that require precise motion control and position measurement in challenging environments: oil rigs, satellite antennas, solar panel arrays, actuator systems, transportation systems, steel mills and medical instrumentation; it also meets ATEX requirements for use in mines and other explosive atmospheres. The sensor's immunity to lightning makes it especially suited for outdoor applications such as wind turbines and antennas.

Since 1968, Micronor ( has been a supplier of automation and motion-control products for industrial, military, aerospace, medical and other challenging environments. Products include fiber optic sensors, encoders, resolvers, rotary limit switches and custom-engineered feedback units. Micronor has facilities in USA and Switzerland.

SOURCE: Micronor;

Posted by: Gail Overton 

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