There are many types of sensors required to operate under harsh conditions. In the marine industry for example, apart from requiring sensors that can withstand rigorous applications, sensors also need to perform while fully or partially submerged in water. These sensors are typically found in reservoirs, fluid storage tanks, and hydraulic systems. These submersible sensors need to withstand a variety of environmental factors including mechanical shock, vibration, and extreme temperature. The ability to resist the impact of these factors allows for efficient operation under such conditions.
A submersible sensor needs to have superior design and high-quality electronic components to operate in harsh conditions. Many modern sensors produce high accuracy performance with the help of various design and engineering techniques. These robust sensors need to perform for millions of actuations while submerged underwater, consistently.
What is the purpose of a submersible sensor?
Submersible sensors detect changes in pressure and convert this data into an electrical output. Depending on how the sensor was designed, the electrical output may be continuous; hence, a submersible sensor continually delivers a steady stream of information into various control systems.
For marine navigation, submersible sensors can be installed in many areas of a ship. These sensors help in enhancing the performance of the ship’s propulsion; they also manage and measure temperatures, and oil or gas systems. Submersible sensors used in marine applications can withstand the vibration on vessels, but, at the same time, still provide accurate readings and maintain optimum sensitivity to essential measurement parameters.
Technologies used in manufacturing submersible sensors
Manufacturing technology is crucial in developing modern submersible sensors suitable for harsh marine conditions. There are three technologies manufacturers use today to fabricate sensors that offer optimum performance for rugged applications:
- CVD or Chemical Vapour Deposition. CVD is the process of manufacturing submersible sensors using high-specification techniques to produce sensors that are not only compact but also capable of making accurate measurements. This technique also allows manufacturers to lower production costs while at the same time mass-produce high-quality sensors.
- Sputtered Thin-Film Technique. The primary advantage of this technology is the production of durable and sensitive sensors which can operate in conditions directly surrounded by fluid. This method ensures that sensors are more versatile and suitable for robust applications.
- Sophisticated electronics using ASIC. This is one of the critical elements in the success of producing submersible sensors used in the marine industry. Most modern submersible sensors used today have integrated signal conditioning, which only made possible through the use of ASIC technology.
These advanced techniques in manufacturing submersible sensors have solved many of the issues and concerns faced by engineers. It is also possible to use standard submersible sensors directly sourced from the manufacturer without needing to make any customisation or modification to the installation. The marine industry is also evolving, and with the help of these advanced submersible sensors, it is able to meet the demands and maintain the quality of process and services inherent to the sector and other sectors that are directly integrated with them.