The next level of Sensor System Integration: USB Sensor Solution,
where analog and digital output seamlessly integrate.
In January of 2008, FUTEK Engineers began their research and
development on the new USB Sensor Solution. The team had originally
worked on USB technology for Sensors back in 2004 with FUTEKs
VCAL, a portable calibration verification platform.
The advantage of offering a USB Solution was clear. Sensors with
analog output could seamlessly interface with digital devices.
As the diagram below indicates, in order to build a Traditional
Sensor System platform, there are several instruments to consider.
An ideal platform will include an Amplifier/Signal Conditioner
with an Active Analog Filter which will require an external Power
Supply. In addition, a Multi-meter (Display) and Data Storage
is necessary. Traditional Sensors Systems also had some short
comings including the power consumption, unwanted noise, and
voltage drop out, that would occur if cable range between the
Amplifier and Display instrument was too long.
Even if we disregard the economic factor behind such a platform,
the task of integrating these instruments all together is no
simple feat. As the second diagram illustrates, utilizing the
USB Solution immediately removes the need for an Amplifier (Signal
Conditioner), Analog Filter, Power Supply, and Multi-meter.
The advantages, besides the cost, are the High Resolution Digital
Output, an Integrated Digital Filter to reduce 50HZ/60HZ as well
as High Frequency noises, the ability to increase the sampling
rate for high speed applications, and capability to store Calibration
Values inside the chip (in order to apply the real-time calculation
to account for the non-linearity) and also other configurations
which are usually stored in a TEDS chip which is no longer needed.
Further more, using the High Speed, bi-directional USB link gives
the user power to communicate with the sensor and monitor/control
the functionality of features without any need to change the
hardware settings manually. Finally, by integrating the FUTEK
USB Sensor Solution, the number of instruments interacting would
be limited which makes the setup of such a platform much easier.
As the Multiple System diagram illustrates the USB Sensor Solution
feature can seamlessly integrate a multi sensor platform. No
longer will there be a need for multiple instruments to make
the platform work. It is possible to connect up to 127 Sensors
using the USB Sensor Solution on one port by utilizing multiple
Furthermore, instruments (booster) can be provided so that the
system can be extended to operate on a 150 feet (45 meters) distance
with no impact on the electronic noise. Such options are not
easily available or user friendly for Sensors that are operating
on analog platforms. The greatest advantage with such a system
is that it provides flexibility in system control. If there is
a failure point in the system it is much easier to determine
where and which precise Sensor it is that has failed.
Cell Diagram - Hydraulic Press
In the process of automating hydraulic or pneumatic presses for
feedback control, traditionally one load cell was used even for
heavy duty presses with a few million lbs. of load capacity.
As illustrated in the enclosed diagram, multiple load cells with
built-in USB interface can easily be utilized. This approach
not only simplifies the installation & handling, but also
minimizes the total cost, eliminating the need for a customized
In addition, it will allow the operator to check the uniform
loading of a large platform while monitoring the output of each
It also makes troubleshooting much easier, and the system will
still be operational when any sensor is removed for repair or
The FUTEK USB sensors, combined with FUTEK USB software utilized
on a PC, will allow the development of a cost effective intelligent
system without the use of multimeters, amplifiers, or data acquisition.
information, please contact:-
Advanced Sensors Technology Inc.
949-465-0900 Fax: 949-465-0905