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Speed sensor operates at up to 350 °C


Oxford RF Sensors has introduced the ideal sensor for speed measurement in the next generation of automotive turbochargers. The solution combines a probe able to withstand operating temperatures up to 350 °C, the capability to measure rotational speeds in excess of 400,000 rpm, regardless of blade material, and a range of >2 mm even where the blade thickness is <0.4 mm.

The speed sensor utilises the company’s patented radio-frequency technology, developed at the University of Oxford, to overcome the operating limitations of conventional eddy current, variable reluctance and capacitive speed measurement systems. Following its successful launch into the performance-car aftermarket at the beginning of 2006, with use on rally cars across Europe and the USA, the sensor has demonstrated outstanding reliability in the harshest operating environments.

This proven durability makes the technology well-suited for incorporation into the next generation of turbochargers now under development for the automotive original equipment (OE) market, for which it available for license to sensor manufacturers. The product is also supplied directly by Oxford RF Sensors to companies engaged in turbocharger development for interface with their laboratory instrumentation.

Requiring only a 5 VDC supply (max 10 mA), the sensor’s electronics can be separated from the 6 mm diameter probe by up to 3 metres. The output signal, with amplitude independent of speed, is either fed directly into the ECU or converted into a pulse per blade or pulse per revolution. The sensor, which is self calibrating, has excellent immunity to electromagnetic or physical contamination and, with its large probe-to-target air gap, readily accommodates normal manufacturing and installation tolerances.

In addition to the turbocharger’s speed, the sensor can measure individual blade gap to an accuracy of better than 10 microns and be used to provide data on wear, including bearing runout and blade damage.

“As far as we are aware, no other sensor technology comes close to being capable of measuring speed at these temperatures,” says Ross Walker, the Chief Executive of Oxford RF Sensors. “The technology is inexpensive to implement, with volume production costs meeting the car-industry’s price points. For applications outside the automotive sector, we are currently developing the probes to withstand operating temperatures of greater than 1,000°C!”

– ENDS –

9th November 2006


Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford RF Sensors Ltd
0044 1865 331000
ross@oxfordrfsensors.com

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