Rugged angle sensor has optional CANopen interface

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In many applications it is necessary to measure angles with sensors that exhibit a combination of precision, high resolution and ruggedness. One example of this is in marine drive systems and their controls.

Efficient marine drive systems produce high thrust, while precise steering systems enable accurate navigating manoeuvres. An important contribution to this is made by high-resolution angle sensors, which, despite harsh conditions such as salt water and mechanical loadings, work accurately and fault-free. The Contelec Vert-X 51 rotary sensor, available from Variohm Eurosensor, is one such sensor.

The absolute-measuring contactless angle sensor features a watertight aluminium body and is certified by Germanischer Lloyd for marine engineering applications. It is suitable for use in functions such as command and feedback sensors on 360-degree marine drive systems. With IP67 protection, the sensor is also recommended for a wide range of other applications in which dust, moisture, vibration and other harsh environmental conditions prevail (eg agricultural machinery, public utility vehicles, cranes and construction machinery).

Compact, impressive and long-life

The Vert-X 51 angle sensor gives manufacturers of highly sophisticated systems a sturdy and, at just 51mm diameter, compact component with an impressive range of additional features. These include the 12 to 14-bit resolution, the measurement range of 360 degrees, the slimline body, the high adjustment speed and the specified life of 360 million movements.

Application-specific characteristics make additional electronic circuitry superfluous for converting angle information in a large number of uses. Customer-definable digital switching points obviate the need for external switches in many cases, thereby significantly reducing the space requirement with a corresponding reduction in costs.

Support is provided for a wide range of interfaces and numerous optional versions are available. Units with customer-specific shaft and cable outputs, individually pre-programmable baud rates and node IDs on the CAN version, together with versions for an operational temperature range between -40 and +85degC, can all be produced economically even in extremely low quantities.

According to Variohm-EuroSensor there are scarcely any limits to the possible interfaces. In addition to analogue output signals (5V and 24V versions), PWM and SPI interfaces are also optionally available. Attracting a great deal of interest, however, is the CANopen bus, which allows angle sensors to be seamlessly integrated into existing systems, thereby maintaining a constant two-way dialogue. This function is of enormous importance in areas such as marine applications, in which ships can be controlled both from the bridge and from outer decks. Uninterrupted interaction between the angle sensors used in the various steering units is an indispensable safety requirement.

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