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he human body is equipped with a variety of senses that communicate information from the outside world to the brain. The ability to detect heat, light, sound, position and our orientation is essential for survival. Most military hardware requires similar types of information for correct operation. When equipment is controlled by a computer then the computer requires information back from the equipment so that the computer knows where the equipment is pointing, how fast it is moving, etc. This information is provided by sensors (transducers) that convert information about the environment into an electrical signal. The main task of a sensor is to convert the required information, e.g. angle of elevation of a launcher, into an electrical signal that can be further processed by the electronic circuits that control the system. This handout covers the basic operation of position and angle sensors used in military equipment.

Cadmium Mercury Telluride: used to detect infra-red radiation in ADAD and other thermal devices. Cadmium Sulphide: used in photo-conductive cells, these give a very large variation in resistance for a given change in light level. They are relatively slow to operate.


ost detectors of light use the energy of light photons to release electrons from the atoms of the material in the detector. When the light falls on the material then its energy frees electrons and the material allows a current to flow. For this to work well then a number of conditions must be met: The amount of energy needed to release an electron must be less than the energy in the photons that we are trying to detect. The material must allow the released electrons to move through it so that they can reach the output. The electrons must be mobile. The released electrons must remain free for sufficient time to be detected. The electrons must not immediately return to an atom. The material must not have many free electrons when there is no light. The material must be a poor conductor or semi-conductor.

The need for cooling: The energy in the longer infra-red waves, such as those emitted by objects at normal temperatures, is comparable with the thermal energy of room temperature. This means that any detector that responds to these wavelengths will be blinded by its own heat energy. Consequently, it is necessary to cool these detectors to around 190 C (80 K) so that the thermal energy in the detector does not cause the release of a significant number of electrons. Another reason for cooling a detector would be to reduce noise levels in order to receive weak signals. Thermal noise power is proportional to the Kelvin temperature: room temperature is about 300 K so reducing the temperature to around 100 K (or 173 C) will reduce the thermal noise power by a factor three. Integration: when the light or thermal intensity is low then the detector might take a longer time to accumulate sufficient free electrons to record a response. This is called integration - the accumulation of a signal over a period of time. Devices such as television cameras, which produce 25 pictures per second, must use detectors that can respond to the light within 1 / 25 second - the available integration time. Circuit Symbols: Devices that respond to light and infra-red radiation are shown in circuits as having two arrows pointing towards them, to represent the arrival of light. This is illustrated in Figure One.

There are a few materials that happen to have the right properties for use in practical detectors. Examples of materials that can be used to detect heat or light are: Silicon: used in photo-diodes and photo-transistors (e.g. at the back of the missile, to detect the laser grid in HVM). Fast operation is obtained from these devices.

Figure 1: The Circuit Symbols for a PhotoResistor (left) and a Photo-Transistor (right)

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-9 V

0V Output +9 V

Input Shaft

Figure 2: Use of a Potentiometer to Convert Angular Position to a Voltage.


n order to determine the position or orientation of an object, we need to convert information into an electrical signal. If object involved is a gyroscope in a missile then we might want information about the orientation of a missile so it can be steered towards the target. If it is a joystick then we might want to know whether it has been moved left or right. One simple device that can do this is the potentiometer. As illustrated in Figure Two, the shaft of the potentiometer is connected to the moving object, in this case a joystick. As the joystick is moved then it moves the slider of the potentiometer. The ends of the potentiometer are connected to + 9 V and 9 V dc, as shown. In the central position, the slider makes contact with the mid-point of the track of the potentiometer which will be at Zero volts - exactly between + 9 V and 9 V. When the joystick is moved upwards then the slider is moved downwards, towards +9 V. You can probably see from the diagram that when the joystick has moved up by 45 then the voltage output will be +4.5 V. When the joystick is moved downwards then the slider is moved towards 9 V. As before, when the joystick has moved down by 45 then the voltage output will be 4.5 V, as illustrated in Figure Three. We now have a sensor, or transducer, that gives an output of one volt for each ten degrees of angular motion and a positive output for an upwards movement.

Figure 4: Potentiometer connected to Control Surface Actuator to Determine its Position The magnitude (size) of the voltage is determined by the number of degrees of rotation and its polarity is determined by the direction of rotation. Linear Potentiometers may also be used for position sensing. These have a straight track and the slider moves along it. They are sometimes used in graphic equalisers to adjust the settings of each channel. Where an object has to move back and forth by a few centi-metres then attaching the slider of a linear potentiometer to the object produces a voltage that depends on the objects position. A linear potentiometer is attached to the actuator that moves the control surfaces of a Rapier missile so that the servo system can monitor its movement. (See Figure Four.) Limitations: Some of the limitations of the potentiometer as a sensor are: The maximum amount of rotation that can be accommodated by this type of sensor is about 320 and it cannot register around an entire circle as there has to be a gap between the plus and minus connections. There is some friction at the sliding contact and the track of the potentiometer is also subject to wear and contamination by dust, etc. (A potentiometer is also used as a volume control in Hi-Fi systems and, when it is worn or contaminated, you can often hear loud crackles from the loudspeakers when you adjust the volume.) Changes in the voltage supply to the ends of the track will cause corresponding changes in the output, so a stable supply might be required.

-9 V -4.5 V Input Output +9 V

Figure 3: Use of a Potentiometer to Convert 45 Down to a Voltage of 4.5 V


Advantages: The potentiometer gives a large output voltage and is very simple in operation.

hen the distance to be moved is very small or when the movement is fairly rapid then the potentiometer is not very effective owing to its mechanical limitations. A strain gauge is a very effective sensor

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oth the potentiometer and the strain gauge sensors are limited to small movements and rotations. To measure over the full range of 360 a different system is needed and one such system is the resolver. Its purpose is to produce an electrical output over the full 360 of rotation that can be used to determine its orientation. The resolver is a type of transformer - so it operates on alternating current. The rotor is the primary of the transformer and it is connected to an ac supply (e.g. 24 V and 400 Hz). There are two secondaries and they are arranged at right-angles to each other, with the primary in the middle, as shown in Figure Six. The dot at the centre represents the axis of rotation. For a transformer to operate, there must be a magnetic flux that links from the primary to the secondary. When the current changes in the primary then the flux changes also and that change reaches the secondary where it produces an emf. For the orientation shown in Figure Six, it will be secondary coil S1 that has maximum flux linkage and, therefore, maximum emf. The magnetic flux linkage (during one half-cycle of the ac supply)is indicated by the grey lines in the Figure. Coil S2 is oriented at right-angles to coil S1 and the flux linkage is zero because the two parts of the flux cancel out - look at the arrows on the flux linking through coil S2 to see this. Applying some Mathematics to this situation, gives the results that the emf from coil S1 depends on the Cosine of the angle of rotation whilst the emf from coil S2 depends on the Sine of the angle of rotation, measured clockwise from the vertical. In the position shown in Figure Six, the angle is Zero because the rotor is vertical. The emf in coil S1 is V Cos 0 = V 1 = V whilst the emf in coil S2 is V Sin 0 = V 0 = 0. Connections to the rotor coil are made through carbon brushes and slip rings. These require little maintenance because they carry only the small current to produce the magnetic field. When the rotor has turned by 45 then the situation is like that of Figure Seven. The flux linkage through

Figure 5: Strain Gauge, Used to Monitor the Mirrors Movements, in Javelin Aiming Unit when small distances or rotations have to be determined as it has no moving parts. A strain gauge is made from a thin strip of insulating material on which is deposited a grid of a conductor, made from an alloy (e.g. Copper/Nickel). The resistance across the grid of conductor is, typically, about 100 . When the gauge is subjected to strain - a change in length, a bend or a twist - then the dimensions of the grid will change slightly and the distance between its atoms will change slightly and its resistance alters. The change in resistance is usually quite small (e.g. from 100 to 100.2 for a small bend) but it is proportional to the amount of strain so it increases or decreases in a linear way. When an emf is connected across the strain gauge then bending it causes the current to decrease by an amount that depends on the amount of bending. Because the change is very small, the signal requires processing and amplification before it becomes useable. However, the advantage of the strain gauge is that it has no moving parts and can respond quickly to any changes. One domestic use for strain gauges is in electronic weighing machines (scales). The scale pan is supported on a lever connected to a strain gauge and the amount by which it bends under the weight of an object is used by the electronic circuits to derive its weight. Strain gauges have even been placed under roads to measure the weight of passing lorries. One military use of the strain gauge is in the aiming unit of Javelin/HVM. To scan the laser guidance grid, a semi-conductor laser is made to move a few millimetres from side to side. The amount and timing of the movement is monitored using a strain gauge connected to the moving arm that supports the laser.This ensures that an accurate grid is produced to guide the missile(s) to the target. Strain gauges are also used to monitor the movement of the motors that move the mirrors in the unit (see Figure Five).

Vx Sin() S2

V x Cos() S1

V - ac supply

Figure 6:Schematic Diagram of a Resolver

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V x Sin 45 S2
V V Sin 45

Vx Cos 45 S1
c - a ly V upp s
Figure 7:Schematic Diagram of a Resolver with the Rotor Turned Through 45 coil S1 has reduced whilst that through coil S2 has increased. Applying the Sine and Cosine factors, Sine 45 = 0.707 and Cos 45 = 0.707 so the emfs from the two coils are equal and about 71% of V. For each position of the rotor, there will be a corresponding set of Sine and Cosine values - some of which will be negative. The negative values arise when the flux direction reverses. This will occur in coil S1 once the rotor has turned through 90, when the flux will be oriented down (previously it was up). Output Waveforms: the outputs from the coils of the resolver are alternating current. As the rotor is turned then the amplitude of these outputs changes as described above and their phase changes too - when

V Cos 45
Figure 9: Resolving V into Sine & Cosine Components

S1 0 S2 S1 45 S2 S1 135 S2

the flux direction reverses. A set of waveforms for various angles of orientation is shown in Figure Eight. Note that the output from coil S1 reverses phase when the rotor has turned past 90 In military systems, resolvers are generally used to determine such things as the angle of elevation or azimuth of a missile launcher. The signals from the resolver are passed to a computer which processes them and calculates the value of the angle. In effect, the resolver operates by splitting (resolving) a vector (the angle of orientation of the rotor) into its horizontal and vertical components. This is a similar process to that used to convert range and bearing to Eastings and Northings and is also called polar to rectangular conversion. Once the computer has the two voltages from the resolver then they are divided to give the Tangent of the angle required. This is illustrated in Figure Nine. The advantage of dividing the two components to calculate the tangent of the angle is that this will cancel any variations in the ac supply that is used to energise the rotor. Any variation will affect both the top and bottom parts of the division and have no effect on the result. The two signals, S1 and S2, are processed using a circuit called a Phase-Sensitive Rectifier. This converts the alternating signal into a direct voltage whose magnitiude is proportional to the amplitude of the sine wave and whose polarity depends on the phase of the sine wave. You will encounter this circuit in more detail during the Radar Theory part of the course, as these circuits are used as part of the radar receiver.

Figure 8: Resolver Waveforms at 0, 45 and 135

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synchro is a device similar to a resolver and it is used in servo systems to determine when the alignment of an object has reached a pre-determined setting. Note that this is different from the task performed by a resolver - the resolver measures the alignment itself (e.g. elevation angle of 23 mils) but the synchro is used to measure how far away from 23 mils elevation, for example. When a servo system is used to control the position of objects such as missile launchers. The synchro also provides information as to how far the object is misaligned to enable the servo system to apply the correct amount of force that would be required to drive the object into alignment. As with the resolver, the synchro does not have any ends and can indicate continuous rotation. The signals produced by a synchro, when used to detect misalignment, are as follows: When the object is correctly aligned then the electrical output of the synchro is zero - in simple terms this means that the servo does not need to move the object any further. When the object is misaligned clockwise then the synchro might produce an alternating signal whose amplitude increases with the amount of error. When the object is misaligned anti-clockwise then the synchro would produce an anti-phase signal compared to that which it produced for a clockwise error.


H1 H3





Producing a Magnetic Field from the Three H Components at the Centre of a Synchro

The construction of the synchro is illustrated schematically in Figure Ten. Alternating current is connected to the three stationary coils (stators) S1, S2 and S3 to produce a magnetic field in the central region. By varying the direction and amplitude of each current a magnetic field can be produced at any orientation. (See sidebar, right). The computer that is controlling the system calculates what these currents should be and uses


R S3 S2

Figure 10: Schematic Arrangement of Rotor (R) and Stator (S) Coils of a Synchro

o produce a magnetic field that points vertically downwards, as shown in the Figure, above, an alternating current is passed through coil S1 so that, for one half-cycle, the current flows towards the centre of the synchro and for the next half-cycle then the current flows away from the centre. That produces a magnetic field vertically downwards for the first half-cycle and an upwards field in the second. At the same time, an anti-phase current is passed through coils S2 and S3. In the first halfcycle, these currents both flow away from the centre. Since the currents must balance, the currents in coils S2 and S3 are each half the current in coil S1. These currents produce a magnetic field oriented down and to the left and right, as indicated in the Figure. The magnetic field at the centre of the synchro is the vector sum of these three fields and it is oriented as required, vertically down. By adjusting the relative amplitude and direction of the three currents, a field with any orientation can be produced. Any increase in one current will cause a corresponding decrease in one or both of the others and this keeps the strength of the field at a constant value even though its orientation changes. The rotor coil, which turns at the centre of this field, acts as the secondary of a transformer. When it is at right-angles to the field then there is no emf induced in the rotor and that is taken as correct alignment. At any other angle, the induced emf forms an error signal that is amplified, processed and fed to an electric or hydraulic motor to turn the system back into alignment. Minor variations in the voltage of the supply do not affect this system because the rotor is driven to the zero point and this is not affected by the supply.

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Figure 11: Synchro & Tacho Used on Rapier B2 Azimuth Gearbox digital to analogue converters to produce them. This sets the reference direction for the synchro. When a synchro is used to detect alignment errors then it operates as follows: An alternating magnetic field is established at rightangles to the required direction of alignment. The synchro rotor is connected to an amplifier that operates a motor. Any emf that is induced in the rotor will cause the motor to turn. When the rotor has moved to a position at rightangles to the field then the emf induced in it is zero and the motor stops turning.

Once the computer has set the reference direction, as described above, then the servo system can be left to move the sytem to that orientation. This leaves the computer free for other taasks.

he potentiometer, resolver and synchro are all devices that measure the position of an object so that it can be controlled. They are especially suited for elevating and traversing weapons systems Figure 12: Inductosyn Track where the system has to be moved to a position and then halted there. The antenna of a surveillance radar has to be controlled in a different way because it keeps moving all the time. The control system must keep it rotating at a constant rate and also know where it is pointing at any time - to a high degree of precision. The Inductosyn is a device suited for measuring the position of a radar antenna. The inductosyn uses a circular magnetic track on the rotating object and a stationary read head that detects changes in magnetism during the rotation. (See Figure Twelve, above.) A pattern of thousands of pairs of North/South magnetic poles is formed on the track (during manufacture) in a similar way to that used for storing data on video tape and computer disks. As this pattern passes the read heads, which are small coils of wire, an alternating emf is induced in the coils. The computer can analyse this emf and determine the position and speed of the rotating object. The read heads do not touch the track, although they are very close to it, so there is no friction or wear. Dust has no effect because the magnetic field passes right through it. A marker that indicates a reference point is usually added to the track (on Rapier systems this will be in line with the towing eye of the trailer) and this gives an additional signal each time the antenna aligns with it. Alternatively, two tracks can be laid down, side-by-side, with one track having one set of poles fewer than the other (N/N-1). The poles of the two tracks will only align at one point around the circumference and this is used as the reference point. Thus, to monitor the position of the antenna, the computer waits for it to pass the marker point and then counts the number of North/South poles that it passes. To monitor the speed of rotation of the antenna, the computer simply counts the number of North/South poles that it passes per second. The synchro and resolver have only one pair of magnetic poles per revolution whereas the inductosyn can have several thousand. This enables the inductosyn to measure angular position to the high accuracy that is necessary to obtain an accurate azimuth for a radar target. By placing the magnetic track on the moving object and the read heads on its base, there is no need to have any slip rings connected to the inductosyn because there is no electrical connection to the magnetic track.

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hen making measurements of meteorological conditions, it is necessary to measure temperature, pressure, windspeed/direction and humidity. The devices used might have to be small and lightweight, so that they can be carried aloft in a balloon. Genreally, the sensor is designed so that a change in the quantity being measured will produce a change in the electrical properties of the sensor. Wind Speed: the cup anemometer uses the wind to turn a small turbine and this, in turn, is connected to a tachometer. The output voltage of the tachometer depends on the wind speed. The drawback of this method is that it has rapidly moving parts that are dunject to wear and require maintenance. An alternative form of anemometer allows the airflow to flow over a heated wire - the amount of cooling depends on the flow of air. Yet another form of anemometer uses a pitot tube to measure the pressure exerted by the moving air as it is colected in a tube. When using a balloon, the balloon itself is used to obtain the windspeed as it is blocn along by the wind and being tracked by radar or some other means. Wind Direction: this can easily be measured using a weather vane attached to a resolver. Alternatively, a pair of hot-wire or pitot-tube anemometers may be set at right-angles to measure the easterly and northerly components of the wind. The true direction can then be calculated by combining these components, using trigonometry. Temperature: the thermistor is a small piece of silicon (or similar material) whose resistance decreases with temperature. This is easy to measure and to convert into a temperature reading. Other temperature sensors use the thermal expansion of a material to move the plates of a variable capacitor. Pressure: by making a baromter capsule in two halves, with an insulating material separating top and bottom, this acts as a variable capacitor. Changes in atmospheric pressure change the distance between the top and bottom surfaces of the capsule and, hence, change the capacitance. Measuring the capacitance gives a measure of pressure. Humidity: some materials (e.g. extract of geranium root, extract of seaweed) swell-up when moist and shrink when dry. This change in dimension can be used to sense humidity. A mixture of seaweed extract and carbon particles will have a low, electrical resistance when dry, because the particles of carbon are close to each other and the current can flow from one grain to another. When the sensor encounters increased humidity then the seaweed extract expands and this increases the distance between the carbon grains. The electrical resistance increases and this is easily measured. An alternative technique is to put the extract between the plates of a capacitor. In this case, the swelling of the material causes the separation of the plates to increase and this changes the capacitance.

or effective control of a moving object, especially when it is being moved from one position to another, it is necessary to measure the speed of the object in addition to its position. This allows the control system to move the object quickly when it has a long way to go to its new position and to move it slowly as it approaches the correct position. A device that produces an electrical signal proportional to speed (more correctly - angular velocity) is called a tacho-generator. DC Tacho-generator: The direct current tacho-generator contains a coil that rotates in a magnetic field (usually a permanent magnet). This has the same basic construction as any dc generator and it generates an emf that depends on the rotational velocity. If the rotational speed is doubled then the emf doubles. However, the polarity of the emf will reverse if the generator is turned in the opposite direction. Thus, the following outputs would be obtained from a tacho-generator that gave 5 V for each 500 rpm: 500 rpm, clockwise 500 rpm, anti-clockwise 200 rpm, clockwise 1000 rpm, anti-clockwise = = = = +5 V 5 V +2 V 10 V

AC Tacho-Generator: This is a type of rotary transformer where the output is an alternating current at the supply frequency. As the generator is turned faster then the amplitude of the alternating current increases - but not its frequency. This means that the ac tacho-generator is different from the alternator, because the output frequency of an alternator increases if its speed increases whereas the tacho-generators does not. If the ac tacho-generator is reversed then the phase of the output is inverted. Thus, the following outputs would be obtained from a tacho-generator that was energised from a 24 V, 400 Hz supply: 500 rpm, clockwise = 500 rpm, anti-clockwise = 200 rpm, clockwise = 1000 rpm, anti-clockwise = 5 V, in-phase with supply. 5 V, anti-phase with supply. 2 V, in-phase with supply. 10 V, anti-phase with supply.

The tacho-generator is used in Rapier systems to enable the computer to monitor the speed of rotation of the launcher in azimuth. (See Figure Eleven.)

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Conversion between Celsius and Kelvin: Kelvin Temperature = Celsius Temperature + 273 Celsius Temperature = Kelvin Temperature - 273 The degree sign is NOT used with Kelvin temperatures. Resolver: Two outputs, S1 and S2. Arbitrary reference point: when the rotor is parallel to S1 then the angle is zero and: emf from S1 emf from S2 = = V Cos V Sin

The angle is clockwise. Negative values of this angle arise when the rotor is turned anti-clockwise.


ou can find out more about the devices that are described in this handout by using an Internet Search Engine, such as Google, and searching for the name of the device. All these devices are used in civilian systems and their manufacturers include much technical data in their sales material.

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1. A material to be used as a detector of infra-red (heat) radiation must : a. have a large number of free electrons. b. operate at a high temperature. c. be made from a material that does not allow electrons to pass though. d. have electrons that can be released by infra-red photons.

6. The potentiometer shown in Figure STQ 1 is being used to monitor the position of an object that can rotate. As drawn, the object is oriented horizontally, to the left. In this position, the output from the potentiometer will be: a. +15 V b. 15 V c. Zero Volts. d. +5 V

2. When a photon detector is used at low light levels then integration is often used. This process: a. b. c. d. cools the system. accumulates the signal over a period of time. gives a faster response over a shorter time. makes the electrons move faster.

7. One advantage of using a strain gauge instead of a potentiometer to determine the position of an object is that the strain gauge has: a. b. c. d. a bigger output. the ability to rotate over 360 no moving parts. no need for amplification.

3. When a component that is sensitive to light is shown in a circuit diagram then it can be identified by the: a. b. c. d. circle around the symbol. square around the symbol. two arrows pointing at the symbol. two arrows pointing away from the symbol.

8. A strain gauge sensor, when used to determine the position of an object is suitable for objects that: a. b. c. d. move through small distances. move through large distances. rotate continuously. do not move quickly.

4. The potentiometer shown in Figure STQ 1 is being used to monitor the position of an object that can rotate through a maximum angular range of: a. b. c. d. 270 180 90 360

9. A device that can be used to determine the orientation of an object at any angle would be a: a. b. c. d. potentiometer. strain gauge. tacho-generator. resolver.

10. In Figure STQ1, to make the output zero, rotate by: 5. When a strain gauge sensor is bent or twisted then the affect on its electrical properties is to: a. b. c. d. increase its frequency. increase its resistance. decrease its wavelength decrease the induced voltage. a. b. c. d. 90, clockwise. 45, clockwise. 180. 45, anti-clockwise.


Input Shaft +15 V

Figure STQ 1

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1.There must be enough energy in a photon (d) 2. Integration accumulates the electrons (b) 3. Light-sensitive when two arrows towards (c) 4. Potentiometers limited to about 320 (a) 5. Strain gauges increase resistance (b) 6. By proportion, output is 5 V (d) 7. Strain gauge has no moving parts (c) 8. Strain gauges sensitive to small movements (a) 9. Resolver can do full 360 (d) 10. 45, clockwise - mid point of track. (b)
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-15 V


11. The diagram of Figure STQ2 shows a resolver oriented at 45 to the vertical. In this position: a. coil S1 has maximum output and coil S2 has zero. b. coils S1 and S2 have equal, but not zero, outputs. c. coil S1 has zero output and coil S2 has maximum output. d. both coils have zero output.

16. A sensor that would be suitable for measuring the azimuth of a rotating antenna would be a: a. b. c. d. potentiometer. strain gauge. inductosyn. synchro transformer.

12. In the diagram of Figure STQ2, which shows a resolver, if the rotor were turned another 45 clockwise then: a. b. c. d. the voltage from coil S1 would increase. the voltage from both coils would increase. the voltage from coil S2 would become zero. the voltage from coil S1 would become zero.

17. A dc tacho-generator produces + 5 V when turned at 1 000 rpm in a clockwise direction. If this device is turned at 500 rpm in an anti-clockwise direction then its output voltage would become: a. b. c. d. 2.5 V +2.5 V 5 V +5 V

13. When the rotor of a synchro transformer is correctly aligned then its output voltage is: a. b. c. d. zero. in-phase with the supply. in anti-phase with the supply. a maximum value.

18. An ac tacho-generator produces 8 V at 200 Hz when turned clockwise at 200 rpm. When its signal is 2 V at 200 Hz and in anti-phase with the original then it is being turned: a. b. c. d. clockwise at 800 rpm. anti-clockwise at 200 rpm. anti-clockwise at 50 rpm. anti-clockwise at 100 rpm.

14. When a synchro transformer is used to determine the error in a control system then the direction of the error is obtained from the signals: a. b. c. d. phase. frequency. amplitude. current.

15. An inductosyn differs from a resolver in that the inductosyn has: a. b. c. d. thousands of magnetic poles. only one pair of magnetic poles. stator coils set at right-angles to each other. only one set of slip rings.


c - a ly V upp s

Figure STQ 2

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11. At 45, both are equal & non-zero 12. Zero V when a stator coil at 90 to rotor 13. Zero V when synchro rotor at zero point 14. Phase of signal indicates direction 15. Many poles on inductosyn track 16. Inductosyn good for continuous rotation 17. Halve & reverse polarity to 2.5 V 18. Reduce by four times & reverse direction
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(b) (d) (a) (a) (a) (c) (a) (c)

Teaching Objectives


Teaching Objectives


E.04.01 Describe the principles and operation of heat and light sensors
E.04.01.01 E.04.04.01 E.04.04.02 E.04.04.03 Photo-diode, photo -transistor, Photo -conductive cell (CdS), Photo -Electric cell, IR Detector. More current, less resistance, generate s an EMF. E.04.04.04 E.04.04.05 E.04.01.02 E.04.01.03 E.04.01.04 E.04.01.05 E.04.01.06 Describe the meaning of the term integration time. E.04.05.01 State the effect on a detector of the arrival of photons to which it is sensitive. Name common devices used in military equipment that detect photons and recogn ise their circuit symbols. State that thermal energy in the detector is a source of free charge hence explain the need for cooling. State that the detector should have very little free charge in the absence of photons. Describe how the energy of a photon causes the production of free charge in a detector.

E.04.04 Describe the principles and operation of Synchros

Describe the construction of a synchro and its electrical connections.

Describe how changes in the orientation of the rotor produce changes in the electrical output.

Convert shaft orientation to electrical output and vice versa.

State that the electrical signal is processed through a phase-sensitive rectifier and identify the outputs.

Quote examples of equip ment that uses synchros.

E.04.05 Describe the principles and operation of the Inductosyn E.04.02 Describe the principles and operation of potentiometer and strain gauge position sensors (dc)
E.04.02.01 E.04.02.02 E.04.02.03 E.04.02.04 State that a strai n gauge is made from a material such as copper/nickel alloy, whose resistance increases when it bends, twists or stretches. State that the current through a strain gauge decreases under strain and can be used to measure small movements. State that the output from a strain gauge requires amplification to be usea ble. Quote examples of equipment that uses strain gauges and potentiometers to measure position. E.g. Strain gauge Jav/HVM aiming unit. Potentiometer gyros in missiles. State that a potentiometer is limited to about 320 of rotation. Increase due to change in dimension and atomic state. E.g. from 120 to 120.02 for a bend of a few degrees. Convert angle to voltage and vice -versa given a diagram of a potentiometer and shaft. Describe how a dc potentiometer can be used to provide a voltage dependent upon the angular position of a shaft. E.04.05.02 E.04.05.03 E.04.05.04 E.04.05.05

Describe the construction of an inductosyn and its electrical connections

Describe how rotation of the shaft produces an electrical output. Describe the need for a reference point.

Describe two methods of providing a reference point.

N & N-1 tracks or reference marker.

Quote examples of equipment that uses an inductosyn.

E.g. surveillance radar, Rapier, to determine azimuth.

E.04.06 Describe the principles and operation of common meteorological sensors

E.04.06.01 E.04.06.02 E.04.06.03 E.04.06.04 E.04.06.05


Describe the principle of operation of the cup, hot -wire and pitot -tube anemometers.

Describe how a resolver may be used with a wea ther vane for wind direction measurement

E.04.02.06 E.04.02.07

Describe the operation of a thermistor and capacitive temperature sensors.

Describe the operation of an aneroid barometer capsule. Describe the operation of a humidity sensor.

E.04.03 Describe the principles and operation of resolver position se nsors (ac)
E.04.03.01 E.04.03.02 E.04.03.03 E.04.03.04 Describe the construction of a resolver and its electrical connections. Describe how changes in the orientation of the rotor produce changes in the electrical output. Convert shaft orientation to electrical output and vice versa, using sine & cosine ratios. State that the electrical signals are processed through a phase-sensitive rectifier and identify the outputs. Quote examples of equipment that uses resolvers. E.g. elevation measu rement, Rapier


E04 Sensors.QXD



23 Jul 04