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This paper presents a smart capacitive angle sensor suited for automotive and industrial use. To comply with tough constraints of such applications in terms of environmental conditions, unit costs, and physical size, a fully integrated solution is mandatory. However, the limitations and capabilities of a single mixed-signal integrated circuit have considerable impact not only on the hardware architecture of the digital and analog system components, but also on the feasible measurement algorithm. A thorough investigation of all major nonlinear effects leads to an accurate system-level model of the sensor which is used to design a robust and reliable fully integrated sensor system capable of handling signal offset and amplitude variations. In addition, the proposed system recognizes and reacts on electromagnetic disturbances. Measurements taken from a final prototype comply with the simulation results.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2005