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Compact low-power high-sensitivity angle sensor

Lockerbie, N.A. and McDonald, N.J. and Weston, R.G. (2004) Compact low-power high-sensitivity angle sensor. Review of Scientific Instruments, 75 (4). pp. 988-995. ISSN 0034-6748

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We present the design of a compact battery-powered optical angle sensor, together with the first results obtained using the prototype measuring system. The output of the sensor is proportional to cos 2 over a full 360°, where is the (possibly static) angle of rotation from a designated zero orientation. Over the more limited range of approximately ±20° the measured angular sensitivity is in excess of 70 mV/°, corresponding to an angular resolution of ±0.01°. Although the cos 2 dependency was created in order to meet the requirements of a dynamical quadrupole measuring instrument, this sensor could be useful in applications which require a highly sensitive, yet compact, contactless, measurement of rotation, over (say) ±20°.