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This paper describes the design, fabrication, simulation, and experimental results of an improved miniaturized two-axis sun sensor for industrial applications, created by adapting a technology used previously in satellite applications. The sensor for each axis is composed of six photodiodes integrated in a crystalline-silicon substrate and a layer of cover glass, which is used to protect the silicon and to hold the windows. The high precision is obtained by the subdivision of the field of view, which is ±60°, with a resolution of 0.1°. Each region is controlled by an independent high-precision solar sensor. The sensor can be used for sun-tracking applications in a photovoltaic system, heliostat concentration plants, and lighting applications.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2012