Epson Toyocom Corporation's U.S.-based Timing Products Division has announced the development of an extremely small, high-performance quartz crystal atmospheric pressure sensor that employs an original pressure-sensing structure using QMEMS technology. The new sensor has a cubic volume of only 12.5 cc and weighs just 15 grams yet is accurate to within 10 Pa, or about 1/10,000 of one bar, and boasts a resolution of 0.1 Pa. Commercial development is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2009.
In the past, pressure sensors have generally had to trade off performance for smaller size, and those for high-performance applications tended to be larger. Epson Toyocom's new crystal pressure sensor, however, provides both high accuracy and high resolution in a diminutive package, thanks to an extremely stable oscillating frequency provided by the tuning-fork crystal unit, which serves as a pressure-sensing element, and to a newly developed original pressure-sensing structure made possible by QMEMS technology.
The performance and features of the new pressure sensor will greatly aid device designers in their efforts to reduce the size and improve the performance of devices for a variety of meteorological and security applications. Among the applications will be:
- Accurate measurement of barometric pressure in meteorological observations
- Measuring differences in elevation (in approximately one centimeter increments) using barometric pressure
- Detecting slight changes in internal pressure resulting from the opening and closing of inside doors and windows.