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Article

Single-chip Implementation of LVDT Signal Conditioning

1Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden


American Journal of Sensor Technology. 2018, Vol. 5 No. 1, 7-16
DOI: 10.12691/ajst-5-1-2
Copyright © 2018 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Lars E. Bengtsson. Single-chip Implementation of LVDT Signal Conditioning. American Journal of Sensor Technology. 2018; 5(1):7-16. doi: 10.12691/ajst-5-1-2.

Correspondence to: Lars  E. Bengtsson, Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Email: lars.bengtsson@physics.gu.se

Abstract

The aim of this work was to prove that the signal conditioning electronics for linear variable transformers (LVDTs) can be implemented in inexpensive, general-purpose 8-bit microcontrollers, making expensive dedicated signal conditioning chips redundant. A low-cost, high-resolution signal conditioning solution for LVDTs is presented. Apart from a few external passive components, the entire solution is implemented in a low-cost, analog-digital hybrid microcontroller. The excitation sinusoid is generated by filtering out the fundamental frequency of a (self-sustained) pwm-generated square wave and the secondary coils’ signals are demodulated with classic peak detector circuits implemented in the microcontroller using a combination of its embedded analog and digital building blocks. A resolution of 1 μm over a range of ±6.35 mm for a commercial LVDT is reported and an uncertainty of 6 μm in the absolute value is deduced. The entire solution is implemented as surface mounted components on a small printed circuit board and the LVDT core displacement is displayed on an LCD display. Due to the simplicity and low-cost components required, this signal conditioning proposal has the potential to have a significant impact on commercial LVDT signal conditioning chips in the future since it is significantly less expensive than the present state-of-the-art signal conditioning chips offered by the main commercial suppliers and other solutions previously suggested in scientific literature.

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