New AS6040 flow sensor from ScioSense is compatible with any host microcontroller, may be paired with wide range of ultrasonic transducers, and includes on-chip processor to calculate calibrated flow-rate measurements.
ScioSense, a manufacturer of integrated environmental and flow sensors, today released into volume production the AS6040, a low-power ultrasonic flow converter optimized for gas meters which is easy to integrate into system designs and is compatible with almost any host microcontroller. The sensor is also suitable for the measurement of the rate of flow of water. The introduction of the AS6040 provides a new, easier way for manufacturers to take advantage of the superior characteristics of ultrasonic flow measurement in metering applications.
Compared to traditional mechanical gas flow sensors, an ultrasonic flow measurement system based on the AS6040 offers:
- •Longer operating lifetime and stable measurement outputs over lifetime
- •Higher sensitivity to low flow rates enables leakage detection.
- •More precise and accurate measurement of flow rates
The AS6040 ultrasonic flow converter with integrated 32-bit CPU core includes all the functions required to drive a pair of external ultrasonic transducers, and to convert the two streams of time-of-flight measurements to a calculation of the rate of flow of gas in a spool piece (tube) of known dimensions.
The AS6040, which is based on proven ScioSense ultrasonic flow sensor technology, includes a new high-voltage charge pump supplying an output of up to 17.8V output to drive external transducers, generated from a battery power supply. It also includes an integrated programmable gain amplifier offering gain settings ranging from 2V/V to 132V/V. These features enable the AS6040 to reliably detect ultrasonic signals in any gas flow measurement application.
The AS6040 is easy to integrate into gas meter designs, because it gives the designer a wide choice over features such as:
- Spool piece (tube) shape, size and material
- Transducer type and frequency
- Host microcontroller – the AS6040 includes an SPI compatible with almost anymicrocontroller
ScioSense helps accelerate system development by supplying example code to run in the AS6040’s CPU which can finally support full flow conversion The device can also be configured to supply raw time-of-flight measurements for conversion in the host controller.
The AS6040 is intended for operation in meters with a minimum 15-year lifetime. Its ultra-low power consumption means that it can operate on a battery power supply. Operating current is extremely low – for a time-of-flight measurement of 178μs, operating current is typically just 15μA at 5.6V when sampling at 8Hz.
Norbert Breyer, product marketing manager for ultrasonic flow converters at ScioSense, said: ‘Design flexibility is the hallmark of the AS6040 ultrasonic flow converter. It allows meter designers to use their choice of host microcontroller, to design the spool piece (tube) the way that suits their design, and to pick the transducer which best fits their application and budget. Whatever choices they make, the AS6040 will be easy to design into the system and will provide accurate measurement outputs in any meter set-up.’
The AS6040 is available immediately in production volumes. An evaluation kit, the AS6040-QF_DK, is available for purchase directly from ScioSense or from authorized distributors.