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Variohm Eurosensor has supplied angle sensors that provide rotary position feedback for actuators used on the steering and ride stabilisation control system on unmanned marine vehicles.

ASV designs and constructs unmanned marine vehicle systems for commercial and military applications, providing solutions for tasks such as hydrographic surveys, surface surveillance, gunnery training and mine hunting.

When optimising the design of its ASV 6000 coastal class semi-submersible vehicle, ASV selected Novotechnik GL series hollow-shaft potentiometric angle sensors from Variohm Eurosensor.

The sensors provide rotary position feedback as an intrinsic part of in-house designed actuators used for the steering and ride stabilisation control system.

The ASV 6000 was developed for hydrographic survey and surveillance work in shallow coastal waters and is operated remotely via a continuous GPS communications link.

With an overall length of 6m, the semi-submersible operates just below the water surface and carries a payload capacity of 300kg for sonar equipment, computers, sensors, winches and camera equipment.

Its diesel propulsion systems allow a range of 400 miles at four knots.

The relatively shallow submersion requirement for the ASV 6000 meant that actuators specifically for subsea use, operational at much greater depths, were massively over-engineered and consequently very expensive.

Other commercially available actuators either did not provide angle position feedback or were not waterproof.

As well as to drive down associated costs, the decision to build the actuators also allowed ASV to manage the design within a considerably space-restricted area on the vessel, freeing up space for payload equipment.

The hollow-shaft GL series angle sensor is fitted directly on the actuator motor shaft, reducing the overall assembly length compared to rear shaft-mounted variants with couplings.

ASV chose commercially available brushless servo motor technology for the steering and ride control actuators and fitted a sealed waterproof casing around each complete assembly, encasing the motor and angle sensor, as well as including connectors for motor power, commutation and sensor feedback.

The GL series angle sensors offer high-resolution potentiometric output, which presents the steering and pitch angular positions as a proportional voltage output through a zero to 340 electrical range to the ASV-designed control system.

With independent linearity to +/-0.25 per cent, the steering and ride stabilisation capability for the vehicle is more than sufficient.

The robust and durable shaft-mounted GL sensor has a long pedigree of challenging angle position feedback applications such as auto sports, construction equipment and agricultural machinery.

The range is supplied in four nominal sizes, suitable for shaft diameters from 6mm to 30mm.

The compact one-piece assembly is designed for easy installation and is housed in an anodised-aluminium casing with a slotted ball bearing for maximum support.

The conductive plastic resistance element and precious metal multi-finger wiper assembly combine for a long life of more than 10 million movements.

Variohm Eurosensor

Founded in 1974, Variohm Eurosensor has been the leading single source supplier of sensors and associated electronic systems for over 40 years.
Variohm’s product portfolio includes sensors and transducers for; position, pressure, temperature and load. With a technical sales support team ready for new challenges, Variohm can ensure that the most suitable sensor will be selected for applications in any industry.

Based in Towcester, Northamptonshire, Variohm Eurosensor has been the leading single source supplier of industrial sensors and associated electronic systems since 1974.

With a technical sales support team, receiving regular product training, Variohm has the structure and financial strength to deliver technical support and quality service along with expert up-to-date advice on their entire product portfolio. Variohm’s ability to design, develop, source and deliver a vast range of sensor solutions means that the sales support team is able to work with customers throughout their entire project, enabling customers to influence how their products work.

Variohm’s aim is to provide an efficient, cost effective, flexible service to customers, irrespective of their size, business or geographical location.

Variohm Eurosensor are part of the Variohm Holdings Group. Variohm Holdings as an entity can provide products to suit any sensing application in any industry and is eager to use it’s combined knowledge and skills to solve new applications.

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Variohm Eurosensor’s range of products monitor: –Position, Load, Pressure and Temperature

Position sensors include rotary and linear sensors, cable extension transducers and inclination sensors. Available in various contacting and non-contacting technologies, including Hall effect, incremental and absolute encoders and laser measurement.

Load and force sensing; load cells from 1g to 1000t capacities, available in a wide range of mechanical sizes and designs to suit all applications. High speed bagging controllers, torque transducers to measure both dynamic and static loads, with various mounting and electrical connection options.

Pressure transducers and switches to measure absolute, differential and gauge pressure up to 5000 Bar. These sensors are available is a wide range of outputs and also standard and customised housing options, with IP ratings up to IP69K.

Thermistors and probes offering a wide temperature measurement range, with excellent interchangeability and stability which are also space and flight approved or medically approved where appropriate. Custom and bespoke solutions are available and many are manufactured or modified on site.

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