What is a sensor?
Sensor refers to the component or device that converts the collected information into a signal that the equipment can process. Human beings will act based on the information obtained by sight, hearing, smell, and touch. The same is true for equipment, which will be controlled or processed according to the information obtained by sensors. The signals (physical quantities) collected and converted by sensors include temperature, light, color, air pressure, magnetism, speed, acceleration, etc., which use the material changes of semiconductors. In addition, there are biosensors that utilize biological substances such as enzymes and microorganisms. There are many types of sensors, about 30,000 or more. To fully understand the sensor, almost all manufacturing categories must be crossed, and the difficulty is like identifying the stars in the sky.
Common sensor types are: temperature sensor, humidity sensor, motion sensor, pressure sensor, infrared sensor, light sensor, ultrasonic sensor, etc.
1. Temperature Sensor
As the name suggests, it is a kind of sensor used to detect the temperature, which is widely used in mobile phones, computers, automobiles, and industries and so on.
2. Humidity Sensor
It senses the relative humidity that is a ratio of water vapor in the air to the maximum possible at the same temperature. It is widely used in cold-chain transportation and warehouse.
3. Motion Sensor
It is used to detect and measure the physical movement of people and objects in real-time, normally, the motion sensor is embedded into some electronic devices such as the game machine, smart TVs, etc.
4. Pressure Sensor
It can measure the pressure of air or liquid and display it in units like Pascal, Bar, and PSI. The common applications of the pressure sensor include the aerospace industry, automobile and medical industries.
5. IR Sensor
6. Light Sensor
The light sensor can meter the relative distance to the light source by measuring the illuminance. It has the function of controlling the brightness of the lights, and is also widely used for security purposes. For instance, when we ship some expensive items, by using the light sensor, we can know if the container is open and when it is open to track the real-time situation of them.
7. Ultrasonic Sensor
It can emit ultrasonic sound waves to measure the distance of the object, and it can transform the reflected sound signal into the electrical signal as well. The applications of the ultrasonic sensor include self-parking, automobile anti-collision and so on.
Common Applications of Sensors
1. Automobile Industry
There are different types of sensors applied in a car, such as the oxygen sensor that can gauge the proportion of oxygen in the exhaust gases emitted from the engine, the speed sensor that can measure the rotational speed of the crankshaft in revolutions per minute, and the temperature sensor to detect the temperature in the car. In addition, the IR sensor is also used in the automobile industry, which can help the driver to park and avoid the occurrence of collision.
2. Industrial Manufacturing
You can easily find the temperature and humidity sensors in a workshop or a factory, as many products need to be fabricated under a specific environment with suitable temperature and humidity. On the other hand, the temperature of the machine also needs to be monitored as the over high temperature may cause the failure of the machine. The humidity and temperature sensors help to monitor the temperature and humidity in real-time, moreover, they can alarm people if the temperature and humidity are way too high or too low.
The aviation industry is another industry that utilizes the sensor frequently. Sensors can measure the pressure of the engine and the speed of the oil& fuel quantity, airspeed and so on, they can ensure flight safety by helping the pilot to manage the operation and deal with some emergency conditions.
4. Medical Industry
Many medical and health care devices that we use in daily life are equipped with sensors, which help doctors to diagnose and cure patients. For example, we have sensors to measure the breath and the oxygen concentration level of the patients to help doctors to monitor their situation, and we use the blood pressure monitor to check if our blood pressure is normal.
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