Project results
Aug
24
2018

How a stunning air pressure sensor explains Productive4.0

by Ralf Hartmann on behalf of the Productive4.0 consortium

Innovation is not an end in itself; new techniques and hands-on solutions that are generated within the project must be well exploited, communicated and integrated in digital reference and sales & marketing platforms, so they can be scaled up for widespread use. The following example makes this abundantly clear.

A new device which is suitable for all kinds of applications that have to do with height determination was presented by Hans Ehm from Infineon during the first project review last July. With an online ping pong match he demonstrated the stunning effects of an extremely sensitive digital pressure sensor: He moved a virtual racket simply by lowering or lifting the sensor.

 

Unmatched precision

Based on the surrounding atmospheric pressure which increases the lower you get, the sensor is able to measure the height position of objects to the precise centimetre. Catching the difference in air pressure, it can also tell you how tall a person is. The pressure from head to toe could range between 1015,003 hPa (Hektopascal) and 1015,001 hPa, for example showing that the person is 180 cm tall.

With an overall operation range from 300 hPa to 1200 hPa, you could take precise measurements from way below sea level up to approx. 9000 meters which is higher than the top of Mount Everest. At the same time, the sensor under the label of “DPS310” can measure the temperatures at any point in between.

Altimeters and pressure sensors in general may be an old hat, but the DPS310 with its unmatched precision opens new areas of application. It can be used for indoor navigation indicating the exact height position in buildings like multi-storey car parks, in drones taking care of flight stability and height control, in weather stations for better local forecasts, or it could show your precise position when climbing or hiking in the mountains. These are only a few examples of an open spectrum.

 

Translating innovations into exploitable systems

But for all that, high tech must be translated into various applications. This is where Productive4.0 comes in – because the data must be transferred to the internet, if only to locate objects or persons according to their height position on the Smartphone connecting sensor information with GPS. Industrial purposes in turn require a data transfer to the cloud through frameworks like Arrowhead aiming at digital reference platforms and ultimately at smart and interacting systems, much like Google.

It only takes a few affordable chips and sensors to build a basic application. But in order to assemble them into exploitable systems, it takes IoT enabling components provided in work package 3. Once the sensor information are communicated to the local cloud with Arrowhead (work package 1), they can be used for simulations at ping pong level or even real big use cases like the ones in work package 8 and 9. The necessary parts including detailed assistance will be offered on the open sales platform “Solution Finder” in work package 7.

This is what Productive4.0 is about and how innovations are brought to live in the Internet of Things. Or, to put it in the words of Hans Ehm: “Like a dandelion the sperm are sent out to let the European digital meadows bloom”.

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