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H. Tariq, A. Takamori, F. Vetrano, C. Wang, A. Bertolini, G. Calamai, R. DeSalvo, A. Gennai, L. Holloway, G. Losurdo, S. Marka, M. Mazzoni, F. Paoletti, D. Passuello, V. Sannibale och R. Stanga, “The linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) position sensor for graviational wave interferometer low frequency control,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A, vol. 489, pp. 570-576, 2002.

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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:


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.