Interesting applications from the aerospace industry
In the aerospace industry, the need for extremely high reliability is self-evident. In addition, there are additional requirements due to the extreme environmental conditions: In wide temperature ranges, usually with rapidly changing temperatures, systems are often also exposed to high radiation levels – yet electronic systems and sensors must nevertheless function perfectly and with high performance levels.
MagnetoResistive sensors offer benefits with regard to resistance to temperature and radiation which enables the implementation of simple yet reliable systems.
Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity Mobility on Mars for over 10 years
Back in 2004, Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars to explore the surface and search for water, among other things. Scheduled to last 90 days, the mission was a complete success, as both rovers were able to demonstrate longevity and stamina, and sent back data from the surface of Mars to Earth for several years.
In 2012, the “big brother” Curiosity followed with a spectacular landing maneuver on the surface of Mars. As big as a small car, it accommodates a laboratory for analyzing rock samples and was also able to travel many kilometers on the surface in order to send impressive pictures back to Earth.
The sensor solution, which was integrated into the rover by NASA, is an AMR FixPitch sensor with a pole ring.
The sensor-field pole ring combination can be used on a wide range of measuring points (e.g. wheels, grippers, landing gear). What is important is the function of the antenna, which must be optimally aligned with the Earth to enable communication.
The sensors are used as bare-die without cover in order to avoid mechanical stress from large temperature changes (-130°C to +85°C) on the mounting technology.
Non-contacting, wear-free operating principle
Simple and radiation-resistant sensor technology based on the NiFe structures
Excellent performance for the control and positioning, despite simple sensors
Absolute encoder for satellite systems Radiation-tolerant angular encoder demonstrator
As part of a project with a well-known aerospace supplier, a 180° absolute measurement system was required for a multi-axis mechanism.
The first design of a demonstrator had to be radiation tolerant and had to have a measurement accuracy of 0.01°. In the preliminary stages, a few boundary conditions were defined by the project partner and the concept was selected on the basis of a magnetic pole ring as the measurement scale.
Based on 2 AMR FixPitch sensors, combined with a pole ring, an absolute angular measurement system was created including signal processing and digital interfaces for position information.
To achieve the the high accuracy requirements, the system also offers the option of external calibration as well as temperature calibration using error correction tables. Here, the data are determined and entered by a highly accurate external encoder in a calibration mode.
The pole ring is magnetized to an absolute coding (vernier) with two tracks for a measurement range of 180°.
Ariane launch vehicle Satellite transporters for the geostationary transfer orbit
Electromechanical thrust vectoring is to be implemented in the new upper stage of the European launching vehicle Ariane 6. This involves measuring high currents with as little loss of power as possible during current measurement.
Thrust vector controls are used to ensure the targeted alignment of the engines' jet blast. This allow the correct flight path to be achieved and maintained and ensures the stabilization of the rocket during the launch phase, thus preventing tilting.
The function is electromechanical – so drives and a current measurement are required.
Our standard current sensor concept was selected in collaboration with the customer.
The current sensor, consisting of AMR sensors and supporting magnets, is integrated into a ceramic package.
Shock-resistant chip, suitable for start phase of the carrier rocket
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