News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Measuring System", for Approval

August 6, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors RITTER, Joachim (Loerrach, DE); FRANKE, Joerg (Freiburg, DE), filed on January 14, 2014, was made available online on July 24, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Micronas GmbH.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a measuring system.

"EP 2 354 769 A1, which corresponds to US 20110187351, which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses an angle sensor and a method for determining an angle between a sensor system and a magnetic field. The angle sensor has a magnetic field-generating magnet, which is adjustable with regard to a rotation axis in different rotational positions relative to the sensor system. The sensor system has a first magnetic field sensor for detecting a first magnetic field component, oriented transversely to the rotation axis, and a second magnetic field sensor for detecting a second magnetic field component, situated transversely to plane extending from the rotation axis and the first magnetic field component. The sensor system has a third magnetic field sensor for detecting a third magnetic field component oriented in the direction of the rotation axis.

"DE 10 2008 059 401 A1, which corresponds to US 20110291650, discloses a semiconductor chip and a method for generating pulse edges, assigned synchronously to the movement of a mechanical part. A magnetic field is generated and at least two measurement signals for the magnetic field are detected. The magnetic field is changed as a function of the movement of the mechanical part in such a way that the measurement signals are modulated phase-shifted to one another. A first measurement signal is compared with a first reference value. A second measurement signal is compared with a second reference value. The value of the first measurement signal is compared with the value of the second measurement signal. A pulse edge is generated when at least one of these comparisons produces an agreement or the result of the relevant comparison changes its sign.

"EP 1 111 392 A1, which corresponds to U.S. Pat. No. 6,965,227, which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a detection of the rotational speed and angular position of a rotating wheel with an adjustable switching threshold for drift compensation. The detection of the rotational speed and angular position of a wheel occurs by means of a non-contact sensor which scans the wheel and generates a pulse train. The amplitude of the pulse is compared in a comparator with a variable switching threshold. The switching threshold is adjusted so that the value of the difference between the pulse amplitude and the switching threshold does not exceed a predefinable maximum value.

"An optical nonius system is known from ELEKTRONIK PRAXIS, No. 18, 17 Sep. 2008, page 22, by J. Quasdorf. The interpolation of analog sine signals is an evaluation function in the case of position sensors. It is possible with a special method to evaluate a number of measurement scales and to combine them to form a position value. Measuring systems are possible thereby that offer a high integral accuracy or very high resolutions with good differential precision. A small optical sensor is sufficient for the scanning.

"An angle rotation sensor is known from EP 1 503 182 B1, which corresponds to U.S. Pat. No. 6,894,487. The rotation angle sensor has a rotary shaft, a magnet coupled to the rotary shaft, and a magnet-sensitive sensor element. The sensor element generates a sinusoidal and a cosinusoidal output signal as a function of the relative rotation angle between the magnet and the sensor. The rotation angle sensor has an evaluation unit, which generates a signal corresponding to the rotation angle from the output signals. In addition, the shaft is movably guided linearly parallel to its axis along a guide track during its rotation around its axis, so that the distance between the magnet and sensor changes according to a pitch of the guide track. The evaluation unit determines from the output signals of the sensor element a signal from which the distance between the sensor element and the magnet and thereby the number of full rotations of the shaft can be determined. A fine signal within a full rotation is determined from the sinusoidal and cosinusoidal output signals and this fine signal is added to the value of the full rotation multiplied by 360.degree.."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Against this background, it is an object of the present invention to provide a circuit that refines the state of the art.

"Accordingly, a measuring system is provided with a magnetic field sensor array and with an encoder and with an evaluation circuit.

"The magnetic field sensor array has a first magnetic field sensor, integrated into a semiconductor chip, for measuring a first component of a magnetic field vector in a first spatial direction and a second magnetic field sensor, integrated into a semiconductor chip, for measuring a second component of the magnetic field vector in a second spatial direction, and a third magnetic field sensor, integrated into a semiconductor chip, for measuring a third component of the magnetic field vector in a third spatial direction.

"The encoder is designed to change the magnetic field vector in the first spatial direction and in the second spatial direction and in the third spatial direction, as a function of its rotatory and/or translational movement. The magnetic field vector is defined here at the place of the magnetic field sensors by the measurement of the magnetic field vector components. The change, caused by the movement of the encoder, in the magnetic field vector describes a closed and non-intersecting line in all three spatial directions.

"The first magnetic field sensor and the second magnetic field sensor and the third magnetic field sensor are connected to the evaluation circuit. The evaluation circuit is set up to determine the position of the encoder based on a first measurement signal of the first magnetic field sensor and a second measurement signal of the second magnetic field sensor and a third measurement signal of the third magnetic field sensor.

"Tests by the applicant show that a number of advantages are achieved by the substance of the invention, therefore by the course of the sensed magnetic field vector as a closed and non-intersecting line in all three spatial directions. Thus, a position of the encoder is to be assigned unambiguously to each magnetic field vector. In addition, a high resolution can be achieved by a plurality of pole reversals. In addition, the movement of the encoder is not limited to an exclusively rotatory or to an exclusively transversal movement, but more complex courses of movement can also be detected.

"According to an embodiment, the line described by the magnetic field vector is helical at least in sections.

"In a further embodiment, the encoder is designed to modulate a length of the magnetic field vector, as a function of the rotatory and/or translational movement. Such an amplitude modulation can occur in different spatial directions for one or more components of the magnetic field vector.

"Preferably, the line described by the magnetic field vector has at least two helical sections lying one inside the other. Preferably, the helical sections lying one inside the other are spaced apart from one another by different amplitudes of the magnetic field vector in at least two spatial directions.

"According to a further embodiment, the encoder is designed to modulate a pitch of a helical shape of the line of the magnetic field vector, as a function of the rotary and/or translational movement of the encoder.

"According to a further embodiment, the encoder is designed to modulate, as a function of the rotary and/or translational movement, a first oscillation of the first component of the magnetic field vector with a first frequency and a second oscillation of the second component of the magnetic field vector with a second frequency, whereby the first frequency and the second frequency are different.

"In an embodiment, the encoder has a number of magnets and/or a number of coils to generate the magnetic field vector.

"In a further embodiment, the magnetic field sensor array has a number of magnets and/or a number of coils to generate the magnetic field vector. Advantageously, the magnetic field vector is changed by the magnetic conductive material of the encoder, for example, by the teeth of gear wheels, by the movement of the encoder.

"The previously described refinement variants are especially advantageous both individually and in combination. In this regard, all refinement variants can be combined with one another. Some possible combinations are explained in the description of the exemplary embodiments shown in the figures. These possible combinations of the refinement variants, depicted therein, are not definitive, however.

"Further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter. However, it should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given hereinbelow and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and thus, are not limitive of the present invention, and wherein:

"FIG. 1 shows a schematic illustration of a measuring system;

"FIG. 2 shows a block circuit diagram;

"FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of a line described by a magnetic vector in three-dimensional space; and

"FIG. 4 shows a schematic diagram with measurement signals."

For additional information on this patent application, see: RITTER, Joachim; FRANKE, Joerg. Measuring System. Filed January 14, 2014 and posted July 24, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4057&p=82&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140717.PD.&OS=PD/20140717&RS=PD/20140717

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Micronas GmbH, Semiconductor.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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