What Is A Smart Sensor?

Smart sensor is considered as a device which is able to acquire input from the physical environment and then make use of the built-in computer resources in order to perform different kind of predefined function whenever a specific input is detected. Then it does processing of the data before it passes it on.

Through the use of Smart sensors we are able to have more accurate and more efficient collection of environmental data and information with less troubling noise in the information that has been accurately recorded. The smart sensor devices have their usage for controlling and monitoring of different kind of mechanism in different kind of environment which includes smart grid, battlefield reconnaissance, exploration and a wide variety of science application.

The smart sensor is considered as one of the important and significant elements in the internet of things. We are encountering more and more advancements in the technology and witnessing an environment where we can imagine anything and it also includes the ability to transport the data over the internet or other channel. one of the Other applications of the smart sensors devices is that they are used as the components of a wireless sensor network in which there are nodes involved which can go to the thousand numbers and each of those nodes are interlinked with one of other sensors and also the individual actuators.

At the very lowest level smart sensor is made up of sensor, a microprocessor and communication technology which could be of any kind. The resources to process data must be the significant part of the physical design. Any sensor which only transports data for the remote processing will not be deemed as a smart. Sensor smart sensor can also be encapsulated with variety of other kind of components along with the primary sensors these components can be transducers, amplifiers, excitation control, analog filters and compensation.

Smart sensor also encapsulates software derived elements which become which gives functionality to the sensor to perform conversions on data to process information and to communicate with other external devices.

Sensors can be found everywhere. Sensors can be found in our homes, offices or shopping centers or even in hospitals. Sensors are also encapsulated in smart phones and sensors are one of the significant things for the internet of things. They have been here for a long time and if I talk about a little bit of history the first thermostat was available in the market in the late 1800s and the infrared sensors have been here since late 1940 but with the utilization of the internet of things the sensors are approaching new level of advancements.

As I have mentioned above the sensors are termed as a kind of devices which have the ability for the detection of different metrics and then they respond to changes which are occurring in the environment. These inputs can be acquired form number of sources like light temperature, motion and pressure. Sensors give out valuable information and if sensors are encapsulated within a network they are able to transmit data with other connected devices and all the systems that are involved.

Sensors are also playing a great part for many of the businesses that are operating today. Sensor have the ability to notify of any upcoming warning so that bigger problems can be avoided and the potential problems can be solved so they do not cause any harm on a bigger scale which leads to a business becoming more productive and also reduces the amount of resources wasted. The data which is acquired from the sensors can be used in a large variety of ways it helps a business owner to look into current trends and also make valuable decisions by looking at the evidences.

Sensors have their availability in every kind and every size there are some sensors which are built to serve some specific purpose. They allow us to take control and analyze different kinds of sources of data. There are many kinds of smart sensors and there are many great ranges of applications however some of the most popular Ones I am listing down below.

Humidity Sensors

The first one on the list are humidity sensors these are the types of sensors which can do measurement of the amount of water vapor which is present in the atmosphere of air or any other gases. The humidity sensors have their presence in heating vents and air conditioning systems in both industries and homes. Humidity sensors are also available in other places like hospitals Metrology station for the prediction of weather conditions.

Pressure Sensors

The second one the list are pressure sensors. A pressure sensor is the one which is able to detect changes in gases and liquid whenever the pressure is changed. The pressure sensor detects those changes and then transmits the data to the connected system. The pressure sensors have their usage in the leak testing which can happen due to the decay. Pressure Sensors are also have their usage whenever we are manufacturing water system so that the drops in pressure can be noted.

Proximity Sensors

Other ones are called proximity sensors. Proximity sensors have great uses whenever we need anon-contact detection of objects that are present in the environment. The proximity sensors give out electromagnetic fields of beams of radiation which could be infrared. Proximity sensors are also used in different kind of interesting cases as well like they also have their applications in the retail in which a proximity sensor is able to detect the motion which is happening between the customer and a product the person is interested in. so the user can be given alert of any discounts of offers of the products which are situated near the sensor .proximity sensor also installed near the parking lots of the malls, stadiums and airports so that they can notify about the availability of the parking. They have also their uses in the Assembly lines of chemical, food and other kind of industries.

Level Sensors

The other ones are called level sensors. Level sensors have their uses for the detection of substances which can include liquid powder and granular materials. There are many industries which make use of the level sensors like oil manufacturing industries, water treatment industry and food manufacturing industries. Level sensors are also used by the waste management system as the level sensors have the ability for the detection of level of waste in a Dumpster or a garbage can.

Temperature Sensors

Temperature sensors are responsible for the measurement of the amount of heat energy in a source which allows them to detect temperature changes and then perform conversions of these changes. There are the machines which are used in the manufacturing and they need environmental and device temperature to be maintained at the predefined level. The same goes for the agriculture industry where the soil temperature needs to be at a specific level in order to support the growth of crops.


Now comes the accelerometers. Accelerometers have the ability for the detection of the object acceleration. Acceleration can be defined as the rate at which the velocity of an object changes with respect to the time. Accelerometer also have the ability for the detection of changes associated with the gravity. The applications of the accelerometer are the smart pedometers and monitoring driving plates. Accelerometers also have their uses as anti-theft protection as it alerts the system if the object has been moved from its original position.

Function Of Signal Conditioning Circuit In Smart Sensors & Types Of Signal Conditioning Circuits

Signal conditioning is termed as the manipulation of the analogue signal in a way that it conforms to the requirements of the next level for the further processing. If I talk about the analogue to digital Converter application the signal conditioning make use of the voltage or current limiting and anti-aliasing filtering.

in a similar way, in the control engineering application it is quite common to have a sensing stage which is made up of a sensor, a signal conditioning state where the intensification of the signal is done and processing stage which is done by the ADC and Microcontroller.

Usually operational amplifier are used to carry out the amplification of the signal in the stage of the signal conditioning. However in some of the transducer which kind of feature will come inherent for instance in Hall Effect sensors. There are different Types Of Signal Conditioning Circuits which are designed for a large variety of purposes. These are used for

  • Filtering
  • Amplification
  • Excitation
  • Linearization
  • Electrical isolation
  • Surge protection

Signal conditioning also plays an important role for acquiring of the signal at a particular stage specially when there is an involvement of many inputs or outputs between the PLC controller and the outside world. They also have these usage for the isolation of possible electrical hazards. 

6th Aug 2020 Furqan Ali

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