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Title: Capacitive proximity sensor

A proximity sensor based on a closed field circuit. The circuit comprises a ring oscillator using a symmetrical array of plates that creates an oscillating displacement current. The displacement current varies as a function of the proximity of objects to the plate array. Preferably the plates are in the form of a group of three pair of symmetric plates having a common center, arranged in a hexagonal pattern with opposing plates linked as a pair. The sensor produces logic level pulses suitable for interfacing with a computer or process controller. The proximity sensor can be incorporated into a load cell, a differential pressure gauge, or a device for measuring the consistency of a characteristic of a material where a variation in the consistency causes the dielectric constant of the material to change.
Inventors:
 [1]
  1. (Aiken, SC)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
869327
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) SRS
Patent Number(s):
US 5315884
Contract Number:
AC09-89SR18035
Research Org:
WESTINGHOUSE SAVANNAH RIVER CO
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
capacitive; proximity; sensor; based; closed; field; circuit; comprises; oscillator; symmetrical; array; plates; creates; oscillating; displacement; current; varies; function; plate; preferably; form; pair; symmetric; common; center; arranged; hexagonal; pattern; opposing; linked; produces; logic; level; pulses; suitable; interfacing; computer; process; controller; incorporated; load; cell; differential; pressure; gauge; device; measuring; consistency; characteristic; material; variation; causes; dielectric; constant; change; proximity sensor; displacement current; load cell; dielectric constant; process control; differential pressure; pressure gauge; process controller; sensor based; symmetrical array; pulses suitable; circuit comprises; closed field; field circuit; common center; current varies; /73/324/