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Eddy-Current Displacement

Transducer with

Extended Linear Range and Automatic Tuning

AbstractDesign details and measurement results of the eddycurrent displacement transducer with extended linear range and

automatic tuning are presented. The transducer is based on

resonant impedance inversion method of transfer curve

linearization where the displacement probe circuit is kept in

resonance by the resonance control loop. The transducer exhibits

extended linear range due to compensation of displacement

probe losses by a negative impedance converter (NIC) at the

transducer input. Particular attention is paid to the NIC design

and its temperature compensation. The new voltage controlled

NIC circuit is introduced which can be easily realized with a

standard commercial integrated circuit (LM 1496). Details of

the transducer's reference generator and the NIC control voltage

generator are presented too. The transducer's linear range

extends from 0.25 mm to 3.75 mm (approximately 44% of the 8

mm probe diameter) while maintaining non-linearity within

2% F.S. This is at least 75% improvement to the best

commercially available eddy-current displacement transducers

(80 mil ~2 mm linear range for 8 mm probe). Further

linearization could be achieved by post-linearization of the

detected signal.

Index TermsContactless displacement transducer, eddycurrents, resonant impedance inversion, probe losses

compensation, negative impedance converter (NIC), linear range

extension, automatic resonance tuning

I. INTRODUCTION

HE block-diagram of the eddy-current displacement

transducer with extended linear range and automatic

tuning is depicted in Fig.1. The initial design of this

transducer was introduced in [1], but without the probe losses

compensation, e.g. no extension of the linear range was

attempted. The detailed analysis of the transducer

performance was not presented in [1], as well. The transducer

consists of a probe and a signal-processing unit connected to

the probe via coaxial extension cable. The probe is a simple,

usually coreless coil placed in the tip of a suitable probe body.

The purpose of signal-processing unit is to excite the probe

with a high frequency current (1 MHz) and to detect the

voltage developed across the parallel tank circuit comprised

of the probe impedance (lossy inductance) and the total

parallel capacitance consisting of the cable capacitance and

the transducer input capacitance. The detected voltage is

resolved into the in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) components.

The

in-

Manuscript received

Darko Vyroubal is with the Polytechnic of Karlovac, Trg J.J Strossmayera 9,

47000 Karlovac, Croatia. (e-mail: darko.vyroubal@vuka.hr)

Target

Excitation

Current

Probe-Target

Coupling

V

i

Probe Coil

Preamp.

NIC

Tuning

Control

Z(d)

d

C

Probe-Target

Displacement

Excitation

Control

Signal-Processing Unit

In-Phase Detector

I-Demod.

Y0

I-LPF

Out Amp.

Z0

X0

0

Reference

Vo

90

X1

T

Y1

Q-Demod.

Z1

Q-LPF

Error Amp.

Quadrature Detector

Vt

extended linear range and automatic tuning. It is based on the block-diagram

introduced in [1]

displacement and is used for displacement transducing, while

the quadrature component is proportional to the resonance

detuning and is used by the automatic resonance control loop

to keep the tank in resonance. The physical basis of probe-totarget displacement transducing, as well as the probe

mathematical model are in more details described in [2].

II.THE EQUIVALENT INPUT CIRCUIT

The equivalent input circuit is comprised of the probe

equivalent impedance, Z(d) in parallel to the total

capacitance, C and parallel to the total input resistance, R.

The probe equivalent impedance model is developed in [2] as

a series lossy tank circuit above the series (current) resonance,

e.g. the reactance is inductive. The probe reactance, as well

as, the probe series resistance (probe losses) are sensitive to

probe-to-target displacement. The probe resistance is used for

displacement transducing in the signal processing unit. The

total parallel capacitance consists of the cable capacitance, CP

and the tuning capacitance, CT comprised of the preamplifier

input capacitance in parallel to the capacitance of the tuning

varicap diode. As the preamplifier input capacitance is very

low compared to the varicap capacitance, it can usually be

ignored. The total input resistance is comprised of parallel

connection of the negative resistance, RN of the negative

impedance converter (NIC) and the equivalent input

resistance, Ri of the preamplifier in parallel to the excitation

current generator. The equivalent input circuit diagram is in

Fig.2.

IM-08-901

Probe

Cable

Transducer

200

Req (simulation)

Req (hyperbola)

Req (measured)

CP

-jX r

CT

RN

Req [Ohm]

jX(d)

150

jX 0

Ri

Vi (d)

C

100

50

r(d)

R0

R0

Rr

0

0

Z Re Z j Im Z Z e j .

(1)

The circuit is in resonance when the impedance phase angle

equals zero, what makes the very parameter used by the

resonance control loop as the error signal. It is reasonable to

assume that the resonance control will exhibit small residual

error. e.g. residual . Considering as detuning measure,

one can resolve impedance in resonance by inspection of the

equivalent circuit

Z (d ) res

(2)

r 2 (d ) X 2 ( d )

; R R N Ri

.

r 2 (d ) X 2 (d )

r (d )

R

10

Fig.3 Comparison of measured [1] and simulated [2] total probe series loss

resistance to the interpolated hyperbola.

X0

- probe intrinsic inductive reactance when not

influenced by the eddy-currents in the target, e.g. probe far

from the target.

Xr(d)- probe reflective capacitive reactance, result of eddycurrent losses in the target, displacement dependent.

X(d) - total probe inductive reactance, displacement

dependent.

R0

- probe intrinsic series loss resistance when not

influenced by the eddy-currents in the target, e.g. probe far

from target.

Rr(d)- probe reflective series loss resistance, result of eddycurrent losses in the target, displacement dependent.

r(d) - total probe series loss resistance, displacement

dependent.

Displacement, d [mm]

Z(d)

X C (d )

r 2 (d ) X 2 ( d )

.

r 2 ( d ) X 2 (d )

X (d ) r (d )

tan

R

(3)

The real part of the impedance then equals

Re Z (d )

Z ( d ) res

1 tan 2

(4)

and the in-phase voltage developed across the tank is equal to

the voltage drop on Re[Z(d)] produced by the excitation

current.

III. RESONANT IMPEDANCE INVERSION

By inspection of (2)

there follows that Re[Z(d)] is

displacement dependent through r(d), as well as through X(d).

Dependence of r(d) and X(d) on displacement was

experimentally established in [1] and theoretically analyzed

in [2]. The variation over the displacement range is for X(d)

some 10%, while for r(d) it is approximately 10:1. This is the

reason why r(d) is used for displacement transducing.

Comparison of measured [1] and simulated [2] r(d) (here

labeled Req as in [1] and [2]) to the interpolated hyperbola is

in Fig.3. From Fig.3 follows almost hyperbolic behavior of

r(d) ~ C/d over small to medium displacement range, while

for large displacements it is almost constant, masked by the

probe intrinsic series loss resistance R0. The total probe series

loss resistance, r(d) can be modeled as a series connection of

the probe reflective series loss resistance, Rr(d) which is

almost hyperbolic [1], [2] and the constant probe intrinsic

series loss resistance, R0. Introducing this model into (2)

gives

resonance tuning, maintained by the resonance control loop

Z ( d ) res

.

(5)

r 2 (d ) X 2 ( d )

A

2

2

Rr ( d ) B

r (d ) X (d )

Rr ( d ) R0

IM-08-901

A. Sensitivity to R N

Sensitivity to RN follows after partial differentiation of (2)

in

1.40E+04

Z1(RN=-4k)

Z2 (RN=-5k)

Z3 (RN=-7k)

1.00E+04

Z4 (RN=-10k)

Z5 (RN=-20k)

8.00E+03

Z6 (RN=-20M)

6.00E+03

Sensitivity

1.20E+04

4.00E+03

-2.00E+04

-1.80E+04

-1

-1.60E+04

-1.40E+04

-2

-1.20E+04

-3

2.00E+03

-8.00E+03

-6.00E+03

-4

0.00E+00

1

added by the NIC.

bigger than r(d) [1], [2] one can assume A and B in (5) almost

constant in respect to d. On the other hand R can be made

negative by proper adjustment of RN, canceling R0 in B and

making B in (5) to vanish. Then Z ( d ) res becomes almost

linear in d

A

A

Dd

.

Rr (d ) C

d

(6)

as Rr(d) is almost hyperbolic in respect to d, Rr (d ) C / d

and the linearization of the transducer is achieved through

resonant impedance inversion. The amount of negative

resistance RN added by the NIC is limited in order to keep the

total resistance of the input circuit positive (otherwise the

transducer would turn into oscillator). Simulation results for

various values of RN and r(d) as in [2], as well as for Ri = 10

k are in Fig.4. The linear range for RN = - 4 k is

approximately 1.5-5.5 mm, while for RN = - 20 M (almost

no negative conductance applied) it is 0.5-2.5 mm.

Application of the negative resistance has sigificantly

extended the linear range. The side effect is introduction of

approximately 1 mm of additional linear range offset from the

probe tip what can be easily accommodated for by displacing

the probe coil for this amount deeper into the probe body.

IV. SENSITIVITY

The transducer transfer curve is dependent on applied

negative conductance (Fig.4) and on the performance of the

resonance control, e.g. residual impedance phase error (4).

Both are prone to variation induced by many factors like

operating temperature, element tolerances, aging etc.

Sensitivities to RN and are analyzed in order to establish

transducer design constraints.

10

Displacement, d [mm]

10

Displacement, d [mm]

res

-4.00E+03

0

Z (d )

RN []

-1.00E+04

Fig.5 Sensitivity of

Z (d ) res

Z (d )

S RN

res

Z ( d ) res

Z (d ) res

.

R N

RN

RN

(7)

respect to RN. From (7) follows that the sensitivity is

dependent on d. It is plausible, as for small to medium d the

probe losses are mainly caused by eddy-currents in the target,

while for large d it is mainly caused by probe intrinsic losses

and RN. The sensitivity dependence on d and RN is in Fig.5.

As expected, sensitivity is the highest for large d and

maximum negative conductance applied. However, it is

reasonably limited to approximately 3. Such a sensitivity is

not prohibitively high, making the transducer construction

feasible by careful design.

B. Sensitivity to

Sensitivity to follows after partial differentiation of (4) in

respect to

Re Z (d )

Re Z ( d )

Z (d )

2 tan .

(8)

From (8) it is evident that the sensitivity to resonance

detuning could be quite large because , as well as, tan rise

rapidly with detuning if the tank quality factor, QT is at least

reasonably high (QT 10). Further assessment of sensitivity to

resonance detuning requires analysis of the resonance control

loop performance.

IM-08-901

The resonance control loop model is derived from Fig.1

and the clarification of in-phase and quadrature detection

process of the voltage across the tank as in Fig.6. Detectors

are simple switches followed by

In-phase detector

voltage. The varicap sensitivity to the tuning voltage is in (11)

[3], where CP is the tank parallel capacitance and Qp is the

probe quality factor, Q p ( d ) X (d ) / r ( d ) (not the total

tank quality factor, QT although QT Q P for low parallel

loading, e.g. high R ).

In-phase LPF

CV (Vt )

CVB

Quadrature detector

Quadrature LPF

1

VB

Vt

VB

(11)

T/2

X0(t)

X1(t)

Y1(t)

voltage VB, is the PN junction contact potential ( 0,7 V in

Si) and n is the exponent describing the varicap PN junction

type (n = 1/2 for abrupt junction, n = 1/3 for graded junction).

CV(Vt) is the change of the varicap capacitance at the varicap

bias voltage, VB relative to the control voltage, Vt - VB.

The tank impedance phase sensitivity to the varicap

capacitance is evaluated by analysis of the equivalent input

circuit in Fig.2

T/2

T/4

T/2

T/2

T/2

TT

Vi(d)

(d ) arctan

Vi(d)

Fig.6 The in-phase and quadrature detection of the voltage at the input of the

signal processing unit.

displacement and the residual phase error. The detected

quadrature component Y1 of Vi, is low-pass filtered producing

a DC voltage Z1

The control loop equation is derived from Fig.1 by

inspection. For steady-state phase error the loop equation

reads

CV Vt

0

CV

(13)

where 0 is the initial resonance detuning phase error.

Combining (9), (10), (11), (12) and (13), the resonance

control loop steady-state equation is derived

V (d )

Z1 (d ) i

sin .

(9)

(d ) 0

and amplified to the tuning voltage level

Vt (d ) K Vos

(10)

(12)

Vi(t)

Y0(t)

CV (d )

CVB

Q p (d )

C

1 P

CVB

V (d )

i

sin

Q p (d )

arctan

C P

Vi ( d )

K

IM-08-901

14)

The resonance control loop model based on (14) is in Fig.7.

Equation (14) is a trigonometric equation that was solved

numerically for various combinations of initial tank resonant

frequency detuning, error amplifier gain and offset. The

initial detuning phase error is proportional to the tank

resonant frequency detuning and the probe quality factor QP

for even smaller displacement the error decreases after

peaking. As the displacement gets even smaller, the tank

quality factor (QT) becomes very small due to heavy damping

by the eddy-currents. This results in smaller phase error for

the same frequency detuning () as the steepness of the tank

phase characteristic decreases for small QT. From Fig.8 it is

Phase detector

Phase detector curve

Comparator

Vt

Y1

=0

ref

Multiplier

Adder

Varicap diode

Comparator

Comparator

C

C

V

( C/C)

0 arctan 2 Q P (d ) ,

res

.

res

(15)

where is the relative resonant frequency detuning that was

in solution to (14) assumed to be limited to 10%. The total

equivalent amplifier offset voltage was assumed to be within

10 mV (rather conservative for modern operational

amplifiers). Solution to (14) was sought for minimum and

maximum negative conductance of the NIC applied (RN = 20 M and RN = - 4 k, respectively) and for low, medium

and high error amplifier gain (K = 10, K = 100 and K = 1000,

respectively). In Fig.8 there are limits of the residual phase

error. As could have been expected, the residual error gets

smaller as the control loop gain rises. The loop gain is

dependent on the amplifier gain, but as well as on the phase

detector sensitivity which is proportional to the voltage across

the tank. This voltage decreases due to increased damping by

eddy-currents as the probe gets closer to the target, resulting

in decrease of the loop gain. These effects contribute to the

low amplifier gain (K= 10) and the minimum negative

conductance

f [rad]

C/C( V)

0.60

0.40

K = 10, RN = - 20MW, f

0.20

=f

0max,

0.00

K = 1000, RN = - 4kW, f

-0.20

0min <

f 0< f

0max,

0min,

-0.40

K = 10, RN = - 20MW, f

-0.60

0

=f

6

10

Displacement, d [mm]

Fig.8 Residual phase error limits bounded by amplifier gain and negative

conductance applied at the input.

applied (RN = -20 M), but is almost negligible for high gain

(K= 1000) and the maximum negative conductance (RN = - 4

k). Although the very high amplifier gain would best suit

the phase error constraint, the amplifier upper frequency limit

IM-08-901

0.25

0.20

0.15

0.10

f 0=f

0max,

Vos= -10 mV

f 0=f

0max,

Vos= 0

f 0=f

0max,

Vos= 10 mV

RN = - 20 M

f 0=0, Vos= 0

0.05

0.00

-0.05

-0.10

-0.15

-0.20

f 0 =f

f 0 =f

0min,

f 0 =f

0min,

Vos= - 10 mV

0min, Vos= 0

Vos= 10 mV

f 0=0, Vos= 10 mV

-0.25

e.g. zero residual phase error.

VI. THE NEGATIVE IMPEDANCE CONVERTER

There have been many NIC circuits introduced but none of

them possesses possibility of easy adjustment by either dc

voltage or current controlled by a potentiometer, or in a case

of series production, generated by a digital/analog converter

(DAC). This is important if the transducer is to be calibrated

digitally with the adjustment and calibration data stored in

the Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS). The new

voltage

Detected In-phase voltage, Z0 [V]

application, the resonance control loop response should be

tailored accordingly. For instance, if the transducer is to be

used for monitoring vibration of the high speed gas turbine,

the measurement bandwidth should extend to at least several

kHz. Then the resonance control loop bandwidth should be at

least ten times wider, extending to at least 10 kHz. The

amplifier with the closed loop gain of 60 dB (K = 1000) and

the bandwidth of more than 10 kHz is just the limit that can

be achieved with standard operational amplifiers. It would be

worth exploring if the moderate amplifier gain (K = 100)

would be sufficient for somewhat greater, but still acceptable

14

K = 10, f 0 = f 0max

K = 10, f 0 = 0, K = 100, f

K = 10, f 0 = f 0min

12

10

0max

RN = - 4k

RN = - 20 M

4

2

Vos= -10 mV

f 0=f

0max,

Vos= 0

f 0=f

0max,

Vos= 10 mV

RN = - 4 k

0.05

f 0=0, Vos= 0

0.00

-0.05

-0.10

-0.15

f 0=f

0min,

Vos= - 10 mV

f 0=f

0min,

Vos= 0

f 0=f

0min,

Vos= 10 mV

f 0=0, Vos= 10 mV

1

10

Displacement, d [mm]

Fig.10 Residual phase error for maximum negative conductance applied at the

input (RN = - 4 k) and the medium error amplifier gain (K = 100).

phase error details for medium amplifier gain. The error

peaks to approximately 0.2 rad at rather small displacement

of 0.5 mm what can be considered the lower edge of

transducer operating range. For large displacement the error

drops below 0.1 rad even for small negative conductance

applied. For more

negative conductance applied the error is even smaller. The

effect of residual phase error on transducer transfer curve is in

Fig.11 and Fig.12. The effect of residual phase error on

transducer transfer curve is observable for low error amplifier

gain, K = 10 while for medium gain, K = 100 it is negligible.

This proves right the assumption that the gain of 40 dB would

be sufficient, making the trade-off between the gain and the

bandwidth easier. In Fig.12 is the deviation of the transducer

Z0

D

0.15

0max,

10

0.0

-0.1

f 0 = 0, all cases

K = 10, RN = -4k,f 0 = f

0max

K = 10, RN = -4k, f 0 = f

0min

-0.2

[V

]

0.20

f 0=f

Displacement, d [mm]

D

etectedIn-phasevoltagedrop,

0.25

<f

10

Fig.9 Residual phase error for almost no negative conductance applied at the

input (RN = - 20M) and the medium error amplifier gain (K = 100).

-0.25

Displacement, d [mm]

-0.20

<f

0.10

0min

-0.3

-0.4

K = 10, RN = -20M, f 0 = f

0max

K = 10, RN = -20M, f 0 = f

0min

-0.5

0

4

5

6

Displacement, d [mm]

10

Fig.12 Deviation of the transducer transfer curve from the curve for ideal

resonance tuning.

IM-08-901

Fig.13, the ac dynamic current through Z is proportional to

the V/Z ratio (presuming VBE of transistors Q5 and Q6, as well

as the biasing sources VB and IB are constant). This current

flows into emitters of Q5 and Q6 and eventually develops the

collector currents of Q5 and Q6. Transistor pairs Q1-Q2 and

Q3-Q4 steer the Q5 and Q6 collector currents into the NIC

input currents I01 and I02. Distribution of the Q5 and Q6

collector currents between I01 and I02 is controlled by the

control voltage Vc. If one of the input ports is grounded, the

corresponding input current is sunk into ground while the

other input current loads the signal voltage source, V

connected to the input. As the loading current is proportional

to V/Z, the whole circuit loads the signal source with an

impedance proportional to Z. The factor of proportionality

depends on the level and polarity of Vc and the input

admittance of the circuit can be varied in the range 1/Z to

1/Z. The circuit can be adjusted either as a positive impedance

converter (PIC, e.g positive loading impedance) or as a NIC.

Fig.13, for instance IE1 is the emitter current of Q1.

Combining (16) to (21), the expressions for the NIC input

currents result in (22) and (23). Differentiating (22) and (23)

in respect to V, the NIC dynamic input admittance follows in

(24) and (25). In this process one of the NIC ports is assumed

grounded and differentiation is performed on the other port

current in respect to V. For instance, while deriving Y01 the

port 2 is grounded and I02 flows into ground and while

deriving Y02 the port 1 is grounded and I01 flows into ground.

Assuming the matched transistors in the circuit (plausible if

the integrated circuit realization of the NIC is presumed),

(24) and (25) can be further simplified by approximation

1 2 3 4 5 6

I 01

Vc

1 5 1 e VT 3 6 1 e

1 e

Vc

VT

In respect to Fig.13 the following relations hold

I E3

(18)

1 e

Vc

VT

1 e

I

Z

Vc

VT

I B.

Vc

VT

(16)

(17)

Vc

1 5 1 e VT 3 6 1 e

V V BE 6 V BE 5

IZ

.

Z

I E1

Vc

VT

Vc

VT

1 e

(22)

I C5

1 e

V

c

VT

I E2

I C5

1 e

Vc

VT

I 02

I C6

1 e

Vc

VT

I E4

I C6

1 e

V

c

VT

I C5 5 I E5 5 I Z I B .

I C6 6 I E6 6 I Z I B .

Vc

VT

Vc

VT

I

Z

I B.

Y01

dI 01

dV

1 e

(24)

Vc

1 5 1 e VT 3 6 1 e

(21)

where base currents of Q5 and Q6 are neglected and

k T

VT

is the voltage equivalent of absolute temperature

q

T , k is the Boltzman constant and q is the elementary electric

charge, is the transistor common-base current gain, VBE is

the transistor base to emitter voltage , IC is the transistor

collector current and IE is the transistor emitter current.

I 02 I C 2 I C 4 .

(23)

(20)

I 01 I C1 I C 3 ;

Vc

VT

e

4

6

V

Vc

1 e VT 1 e VT

2 5 1 e

(19)

Vc

VT

e

4

6

V

Vc

1 e VT 1 e VT

2 5 1 e

V

c

VT

1 e

Vc

VT

Vc

VT

1 .

IM-08-901

Y02

dI 02

dV

Vc

VT

e

4

6

Vc

V

c

1 e VT 1 e VT

2 5 1 e

Vc

VT

The Y02 curve is the mirror image of Y01 mirrored around the

Vc axis.

1 .

In the first approximation (26) and (27) are temperature

dependent mainly due to the temperature dependent argument

of the exponential function. However, this is not the only

temperature dependent factor. Transistor common-base

current gain is also temperature dependent, but also

dependent on the transistor collector current that might also

be temperature dependent by design. Therefore, the Y01 or Y02

is a complex function of temperature. In order to derive this

function, is first expressed in terms of , the transistor

common-emitter current gain that is usually cited in

transistor's data sheet, / 1 . Substituting it for

in (26) or (27) and differentiating in respect to T, the input

admittance sensitivity to temperature follows in (28). In (28)

there are factors that are technology dependent, e.g

/ / T - the transistor common-emitter current gain

(25)

Y01 2

e

e

Vc

VT

Vc

VT

(26)

1 1

.

Z

1

1

0.8

T = - 20 C

0.6

T = + 20 C

0.4

T = + 60 C

0.2

0

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

-0.8

-1

-100

-80

-60

-40

-20

20

40

60

80

100

Fig.14 The NIC input admittance (Y01) normalized to 1/Z relative to the NIC

control voltage Vc.

0.020%

T = - 20 C

T = + 20 C

T = + 60 C

0.010%

Y01

Y01

2

T

1

0.000%

-0.010%

2

-0.020%

-100

-80

-60

-40

-20

20

40

60

80

100

the NIC control voltage Vc.

Y02 2

e

e

(27)

transistor common-emitter current gain dependence upon

collector current, as well as, the factors that are design

dependent, e.g I C / I C / T and Vc / Vc / T . These

design dependent factors give freedom of proper adjustment

for temperature compensation of the NIC input admittance.

The transistor rises (12)%/C for most transistors and by

some 10%/mA of collector current. The temperature

sensitivity of is much more uniform than the collector

current sensitivity which varies much more with transistor

types.

Vc

VT

Vc

VT

1 1

.

Z

1

admittance is voltage controlled by Vc and could be adjusted

in the range 1/Z to -1/Z, depending on the value and polarity

of Vc. The Y01 control curve is in Fig.14. It is non-linear and

temperature dependent due to temperature dependence of VT.

Vc

VT

IC

I C

IC

I C

T

Vc

VT

Vc

Vc

1

.

T

T

Vc

e

VT

2

(28)

For this reason the transistor collector currents, e.g bias

current IB in the design of the transducer is maintained

constant, supplied by the temperature stable current source.

The remaining positive temperature dependence, e.g.

/ / T can

be

compensated

by

Vc / Vc / T 1 / T

generated from the temperature dependent reference voltage

with the positive temperature coefficient somewhat smaller

than 1/T. Assuming average transistor current gain 100

would best compensate the overall NIC temperature

IM-08-901

resulting NIC temperature coefficient for c = 0.9 is in Fig.4.

The resulting temperature coefficient is very small for Vc

equal to approximately 50 mV. By careful selection of Z that

would require fine adjustment of Vc around 50 mV, the NIC

input admittance could be made virtually temperature

independent. The temperature stable NIC input admittance

would then fully comply with the transducer stability

constraints. Allowing non-ideal temperature compensation

leading to the NIC input admittance temperature coefficient

constrained to 0.01%/C, the transducer temperature

constant current source of 0.5 mA for biasing collector

currents of transistors in U1 (e.g. IB in Fig.13). The nice touch

is the use of the Zener diode 1N3029B (D1). It is reverse

biased, but always below its breakdown voltage (24 V). The

bias is controlled by the tuning control voltage Vt. The diode

exhibits considerable capacitance (100-500 pF) that is varied

by Vt, thus it is used as a varicap. The commercial varicap

diodes with the capacitance in that range are otherwise not

easy to find.

The reference signals for in-phase and quadrature detection

are square-wave signals X0 and X1, [1]. X1 is lagging behind

X0 by quarter period (/2). The frequency of X0 and X1 is

stable in order to avoid the variable probe excitation

Z ( d ) res

Z ( d ) res

frequency

that would affect the transducer sensitivity due to

ST

SR

S TRN 3 0.01%/ C 0.03%/

C

N

change in the eddy-current losses in the target with varying

frequency, e.g

Z ( d ) res

with the sensitivity to RN , S R

bound to 3, (Fig.5).

coefficient, S TZ ( d ) res would then in the worst case be limited

to

+2.5V

X0

D

Vt

Sd

+SIG

Vss

GAIN

NC

GAIN -OUT

-SIG

NC

BIAS -CRR

+OUT

NC

NC

+CRR

4

5

6

7

14

13

-5V

U5B

9

To Demod

"0"

Sd

X0

Q

CLK

Q

Rd

11

U5C

12

10

13

RST

U7B

4025

"0"

4013

fo

Sd

X1

Q

CLK

4025

Rd

"0"

12

4013

11

"0"

+5V

10

9

Vdd

Vc (0 -100 mV)

LM1496

-2.5V

4013

4025

Vi

U1

CLK0

Sd

Rd

"0"

CLK

fo

Probe In

"0"

U5A

f o /2

Rd

4013

U6B

CLK

+5V

Tuning

+5V

U7A

"0"

U6A

Excitation

14

Vdd

14

Vdd

14

-5V

U5

+2.5V

+5V

$86Fig.17 The

transducer.

CLK0

U6

7

Vss

U7

7

Vss

Vss

-5V

CLK1

X0

reference generator

of the prototype eddy-current

displacement

RST

X1

-2.5V

+2.5V

The NIC structure in Fig.13 can be identified in the circuit

of the standard commercially available integrated balanced

modulator/demodulator circuit LM1496. The input section of

the prototype transducer was therefore designed around

LM1496 and is presented in Fig.16. U1 is configured as the

NIC in Fig.13. Resistor R1 corresponds to Z. For the best

performance it should be stable, high precision metal-film

resistor. The rest of the components around U1 are not

critical. U2A, U2B, Q1, Q2 and the passive components

connected correspondingly are used for proper biasing of U1.

Q3 is the probe signal buffer, where U2C is used for Q3

emitter biasing at zero volts in order to remove any dc offset

from Vi that could compromise detection process. U2D and

CLK0

CLK1

RST

X0

X1

0

0.2

Time/Secs

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.2

1.4

1.6

1.8

200nSecs/div

reference signal generator.

generator circuit is in Fig.17. U5A and U5B create the clock

generator. The clock frequency is crystal-controlled by X1. If

less accuracy is sufficient, X1 could simply be omitted and the

frequency will be determined by R18, C12 and C13. All of the

IM-08-901

10

frequency at their Q outputs is half the frequency at their

CLK inputs. U6A is simply used as the clock frequency

divider by 2 if it would be necessary to select the lower

operating frequency by reposition of the jumper J1. U5C is

used for generating the proper reset signal (RST) to flip-flops

U7A and U7B. Without this provision, U7A and U7B initial

set-up would be random at power-up, leading to possibly

wrong sequence, e.g. X0 lagging behind X1 instead vice

versa. The waveforms of the reference generator are in Fig.18

emphasizing the correct signal sequence.

IX. THE NIC CONTROL VOLTAGE GENERATOR

In section VI. it was established that the NIC control voltage

should be variable in the range 0-100 mV with the

temperature

coefficient

(tempco) of approximately

0.9 1 / T . The PN junction exhibits tempco of 1/T. To

achieve

the

required

As described in section I., the transducer demodulation

section is designed as the set of in-phase and quadrature

synchronous demodulators. In contrast to widely used peak

detectors for this purpose, the synchronous demodulation

provides for averaging which can be very useful for

suppression of spike-like interference signals that might arise

from the residual magnetism in the observed target (the

standard problem in monitoring rotational machinery).

Synchronous detection is performed with simple switches and

RC averaging of the switch output voltages. The demodulator

section circuits are in Fig.20. Switches U8A and U8D

comprise the in-phase detector, while the switches U8B and

U8C comprise the quadrature detector. Low-pass filtration

(averaging) is accomplished by simple RC low-pass filters

made of R19/C14 and R26/C15, respectively. U9A and U9B

are the output amplifier and the phase-error amplifier,

+5V

Vi

Vo

U3

1

2

3

4

NC

NC

Vin

NC

Temp Vout

GND TRIM

X0

8

7

+2.5V

To out

buffer

X0

REF02

-2.5V

Vt

XDCRLINADJ

COMP

TEMPCO

ERRCOMP

Vos

RESONANCE

+2.5V

X1

To varicap

X1

Vc

Vos

+2.5V

10%

18

Vout [V]

8%

16

Vnom [V]

6%

14

DSL [% F.S.]

4%

12

2%

10

0%

-2%

-4%

-6%

-8%

[%F.S.]

Attenuation could be achieved by adding some temperature

stable voltage to the temperature dependent voltage with

tempco of 1/T. The control voltage generator based on this

idea is in Fig.19. The voltage reference REF02 (U3) is used

with U4B, RN2A, RN2C, RN2E and RN2G to create the

symmetric temperature stable reference voltages 2.5V. The

REF02 Temp output voltage equals 630 mV (PN junction

forward voltage) referenced to 2.5V, but with tempco of

+1/T. Some temperature stable voltage adjusted with R16 is

added to it derived from the 2.5V supplies. The resultant

voltage with proper tempco is attenuated by R17, driving the

difference amplifier comprised of U4C, RN3C, RN3D, RN3E

and RN3F. The U4C output voltage is the required Vc

referenced to ground, adjustable in the range 0-100 mV,

having the right tempco.

20

-2.5V

generator.

-10%

0.0

0.5

1.0

1.5

2.0

2.5

3.0

3.5

4.0

4.5

5.0

Displacement, d [mm]

curve.

R25, while the output offset is fine-adjusted by R21. Vos

generated in the NIC control voltage generator compensates

the resonance tuning error due to the U9B offset.

IM-08-901

XI. MEASUREMENT RESULTS

The prototype transducer was assembled according to

design details in Figs. 16, 17, 19 and 20. After optimization

of adjustments with R17 (linearity), R15 (residual resonance

error), R21 (output offset) and R25 (sensitivity), the

transducer transfer curve was obtained as in Fig.21. The NIC

control voltage was adjusted to 27.5 mV, somewhat less than

the value for ideal tempco compensation (~ 50mV). Further

careful selection of R1 (Fig.16) could move the optimal NIC

control voltage to approximately 50 mV, what would result in

near-ideal temperature compensation. From Fig.21 it is

apparent that the transducer linear range extends from 0.25

mm to 3.75 mm with the probe diameter of 8 mm [1,2], while

maintaining non-linearity contained within 2% F.S. The

industry standard transducer with the same probe diameter

and non-linearity [12] has the linear range of 80 mils (2 mm).

The achieved improvement is at least 60% without postdetection linearization. It could be further improved with

post-linearization. The transducer temperature coefficient was

not measured exactly due to non-availability of the

temperature chamber. However, some rough tests were

performed by local heating of LM1496 and REF02. The

compensating effect was observed as the heating of LM1496

lowered the output voltage while heating of REF02 increased

it.

XII. CONCLUSION

Design constraints of the eddy-current displacement

transducer have been carefully analyzed. It is proved that

application of the negative conductance at the transducer

input can compensate the intrinsic probe losses that mask the

eddy-current damping at large displacement [1], [2]. In that

way the resonance impedance inversion method of transducer

linearization [1] is made feasible, liberating the transducer

circuit of post linearization. The transducer linear range is by

application of the negative conductance expected to be almost

doubled compared to results achieved by various authors

using other methods [4]-[9]. It is emphasized that the proper

resonance tuning is essential for the method to be effective.

The residual resonance tuning error is governed by

performance of the resonance control loop. The non-linear

loop equation was solved for various parameter values that

affect it. The phase error amplifier gain is indicated as the

main constraint for the resonance tuning quality. It is proved

that the moderate gain of 40 dB is sufficient, making

deviation of the transducer transfer curve from the curve for

ideal resonance tuning negligible, while at the same time

providing adequate loop bandwidth for typical transducer

application (e.g. vibration monitoring). The prototype eddycurrent displacement transducer was designed according to

the design constraints developed. The most critical detail, e.g.

the new NIC is designed with topology that corresponds to

the industry standard integrated circuit LM1496. The

achieved temperature stability of the transducer is excellent.

The displacement probe losses compensation by the NIC

negative conductance and the automatic tuning into

resonance resulted in extention of the transducer linear range,

now covering range 0.25 mm to 3.75 mm (3.5 mm),

approximately 44% of the probe diameter (8 mm) , what is at

least 75% improvement to the best standard industrial grade

commercially available transducer (80 mil ~ 2 mm) [12].

11

Further extension of the linear range could be achieved by

post-detection linearization. The transducer could be easily

integrated in the IC form would the serial production be

decided upon.

REFERENCES

[1] D. Vyroubal and D. ele, Experimental Optimization of The Probe for

Eddy-Current Displacement Transducer, IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., Vol.

42, pp 995-1000, December 1993.

[2] D. Vyroubal, Impedance of The Eddy-Current Displacement Probe The

Transformer Model, IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., Vol. 53, pp 384-391,

April 2004.

[3] M.H. Norwwod and E. Shatz, "Voltage Variable Capacitor Tuning A

Review", Proc. IEEE, Vol. 56, pp 788-798, 1968.

[4] G.A. Girgis et al., "Measurement of Mechanical Vibration Using EddyCurrent Transducers and Simple Digital Demodulation Techniques", IEEE

Trans. Instrum. Meas., Vol. 35, pp 135-140, February 1988.

[5] K.D. Anim-Appiah and S.M. Riad, "Analysis and Design of Ferrite Cores for

Eddy-Current-Killed Oscillator Inductive Proximity Sensors", IEEE Trans.

Magnetics, Vol. 33, pp 2274-2281, May 1997.

[6] Q. Li and F. Ding, "Novel Displacement Eddy-Current Sensor with

Temperature Compensation for Electrohydraulic Valves", Sensors and

Actuators A, Vol. 122, pp 83-87, July 2005.

[7] D.J. Sadler and C.H. Ahn, "On-chip Eddy-Current Sensor for Proximity

Sensing and Crack Detection", Sensors and Actuators A, Vol. 91, pp 340345, 2001.

[8] P. Arpaia et al., ANN-Based Error Reduction for Experimentally Modeled

Sensors, IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., Vol. 51, pp. 23-30, February 2002.

[9] T. Mizuno et al., "Extending the Linearity Range of Eddy-Current

Displacement Sensor with Magnetoplated Wire", IEEE Trans. Magnetics.,

Vol. 43, pp 543-548, February 2007.

[9] T. Mizuno et al., "Extending the Linearity Range of Eddy-Current

Displacement Sensor with Magnetoplated Wire", IEEE Trans. Magnetics.,

Vol. 43, pp 543-548, February 2007.

[10] M. Jagiella et al., "Progress and Recent Realizations of Miniaturized

Inductive Proximity Sensors for Automation", IEEE Sensors Journal, Vol.

6, pp 1734-1741, December 2006.

[11] S. Fericean and R. Droxler, "New Nonconducting Inductive Analog

Proximity and Inductive Linear Displacement Sensors for Industrial

Automation", IEEE Sensors Journal, Vol.7, pp 1538-1545, November

2007.

[12] "Bently-Nevada" proximity transducer data sheet, available at:

www.gepower.com/prod_serv/products/oc/en/bently_nevada/sensor_trans.htm

B.Sc.E.E.(1970), M.Sc.E.E.(1974) and Ph.D (1985) in electronic engineering

with the major in electronic instrumentation and measurement, all from the

University of Zagreb, Croatia. From 1970 till 1995 he was employed with the

ENiN Institute, a subsidiary of Jugoturbina Corp.. In this period he

participated in design and implementation of electronic instrumentation for

diagnostics and monitoring of large machinery. From 1996 till 1998 he was

employed with ABB - Power Plants Ltd. where he was involved in design of

automation systems for power plant control. Since 1998 he has been employed

with Polytechnic of Karlovac, Croatia as a full professor and Vice Dean in charge

of lecturing and research. His main field in teaching covers electrical

engineering, electronic measurement and automatic control. His research interest

is in electronic instrumentation and sensors. Dr. Vyroubal has published some 30

papers in the related fields.

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