Position, Displacement, and Level

Chapter

Abstract

The measurement of position and displacement of physical objects is essential for many applications: process feedback control, performance evaluation, transportation traffic control, robotics, security systems, just to name the few. By position, we mean determination of the object’s coordinates (linear or angular) with respect to a selected reference. Displacement means moving from one position to another for a specific distance or angle. In other words, displacement is measured when an object is referenced to its own prior position rather than to an external reference.

A critical distance is measured by proximity sensors. In effect, a proximity sensor is a threshold version of a position detector. A position sensor is often a linear device whose output signal represents a distance to the object from a certain reference point. A proximity sensor, however, is a somewhat simpler device, which generates the output signal when a certain distance to the object becomes essential for an indication. For instance, many moving mechanisms in process control and robotics use a very simple but highly reliable proximity sensor, the end switch. It is an electrical switch having normally open or normally closed contacts. When a moving object activates the switch by a physical contact, the latter sends a signal to a control circuit. The signal is an indication that the object has reached the end position where the switch is positioned. Obviously, such contact switches have many drawbacks, for example, a high mechanical load on a moving object and a hysteresis.

Keywords

Fatigue Titanium Quartz Dust Microwave 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San DiegoUSA

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