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Development of a Magneto-Resistive Angular Position Sensor for Space MechanismsMagnetic microsystems in the form of magneto-resistive (MR) sensors are firmly established in automobiles and industrial applications. They are used to measure travel, angle, electrical current, or magnetic fields. MR technology opens up new sensor possibilities in space applications and can be an enabling technology for optimal performance, high robustness and long lifetime at reasonable costs. In some science missions, the technology is already applied, however, the designs are proprietary and case specific, for instance in case of the angular sensors used for JPL/NASA's Mars rover Curiosity [1]. Since 2013 HTS GmbH and Sensitec GmbH have teamed up to develop and qualify a standardized yet flexible to use MR angular sensor for space mechanisms. Starting with a first assessment study and market survey performed under ESA contract, a very strong industry interest in novel, contactless position measurement means was found. Currently a detailed and comprehensive development program is being performed by HTS and Sensitec. The objective of this program is to advance the sensor design up to Engineering Qualification Model level and to perform qualification testing for a representative space application. The paper briefly reviews the basics of magneto-resistive effects and possible sensor applications and describes the key benefits of MR angular sensors with reference to currently operational industrial and space applications. The key applications and specification are presented and the preliminary baseline mechanical and electrical design will be discussed. An outlook on the upcoming development and test stages as well as the qualification program will be provided.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hahn, Robert
(Hoch Technologie Systeme Coswig, Germany)
Schmidt, Tilo
(Hoch Technologie Systeme Coswig, Germany)
Seifart, Klaus
(Hoch Technologie Systeme Coswig, Germany)
Olberts, Bastian
(Sensitec GmbH Lahnau, Germany)
Romera, Fernando
(European Space Agency. European Space Research and Technology Center, ESTEC Noordwijk, Netherlands)
Date Acquired
June 30, 2016
Publication Date
May 4, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: 43rd Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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