Different Types of Sensors
We live in a World of Sensors. You can find different types of Sensors in our homes, offices, cars etc. working to make our lives easier by turning on the lights by detecting our presence, adjusting the room temperature, detect smoke or fire, make us delicious coffee, open garage doors as soon as our car is near the door and many other tasks.
Real-Time Application of Sensors
The example we are talking about here is the Autopilot System in aircraft. Almost all civilian and military aircraft have the feature of Automatic Flight Control system or sometimes called as Autopilot
An Automatic Flight Control System consists of several sensors for various tasks like speed control, height, position, doors, obstacle, fuel, maneuvering and many more. A Computer takes data from all these sensors and processes them by comparing them with pre-designed values.
The computer then provides a control signal to different parts like engines, flaps, rudders etc. that help in a smooth flight. The combination of Sensors, Computers and Mechanics makes it possible to run the plane in Autopilot Mode.
What is a Sensor?
The sensor as an input device which provides an output (signal) with respect to a specific physical quantity (input).
The term “input device” in the definition of a Sensor means that it is part of a bigger system which provides input to the main control system (like a Processor or a Microcontroller).
The simplest example of a sensor is an LDR or a Light Dependent Resistor. It is a device, whose resistance varies according to the intensity of light it is subjected to. When the light falling on an LDR is more, its resistance becomes very less and when the light is less, well, the resistance of the LDR becomes very high.
Different Types of Sensors
The following is a list of different types of sensors that are commonly used in various applications. All these sensors are used for measuring one of the physical properties of Temperature, Resistance, Capacitance, Conduction, Heat Transfer etc.
- Temperature Sensor
- Proximity Sensor
- IR Sensor (Infrared Sensor)
- Pressure Sensor
- Light Sensor
- Ultrasonic Sensor
- Smoke, Gas and Alcohol Sensor
- Touch Sensor
- Color Sensor
- Humidity Sensor
- Tilt Sensor
- Flow and Level Sensor
We will see about few of the above-mentioned sensors in brief. More information about the sensors will be added subsequently. A list of projects using the above sensors is given at the end of the page.
One of the most common and most popular sensors is the Temperature Sensor. A Temperature Sensor, as the name suggests, senses the temperature i.e. it measures the changes in the temperature.
A Proximity Sensor is a non-contact type sensor that detects the presence of an object. Proximity Sensors can be implemented using different techniques like Optical (like Infrared or Laser), Ultrasonic, Hall Effect, Capacitive, etc
Infrared Sensor (IR Sensor)
IR Sensors or Infrared Sensor are the light-based sensors that are used in various applications like Proximity and Object Detection. IR Sensors are used as proximity sensors in almost all mobile phones.
An Ultrasonic Sensor is a non-contact type device that can be used to measure distance as well as the velocity of an object. An Ultrasonic Sensor works based on the properties of the sound waves with a frequency greater than that of the human audible range.