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Eddy current sensor simulation

Neven Bulic (Department of Automation and Electronics, Faculty of Engineering, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia)
Livio Šušnjic (Department of Power Systems, Faculty of Engineering, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia)



This paper aims to present a simulation concept and an experimental verification of a novel sensor design for the shaft position measurement based on the eddy current principle and the phase-shift measurement. The simulation method for the sensor characteristic determination is presented. Possible application of a new sensor type is theoretically presented, verified in simulation and compared with experimental results.


Sensor is based on the injection-locking phenomenon between coupled oscillators. Only one sensor per axis is used for position measurement. A pair of the sensing and reference oscillators in the sensor is electrically coupled via the coupling resistor. A change in the inductance for the eddy current sensor is simulated in the finite element method (FEM) software Flux and behavior of the sensor circuit is simulated in the SPICE simulator software LTSpice program. Finally, the simulation results are compared with the measurements conducted on the laboratory test rig.


A novelty in this approach is the usage of only one sensor per axis compared to the well-known differential measurement of the position that uses the opposite pair of the sensing oscillators in the same axis. A methodology for the sensor characteristic determination is presented and experimentally verified.


A new variation of a coupled-oscillator eddy current sensor design is introduced. A simulation approach for the characteristic determination of the sensors based on the weakly coupled oscillators and the injection-locking mechanism is presented.



Bulic, N. and Šušnjic, L. (2017), "Eddy current sensor simulation", COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, Vol. 36 No. 3, pp. 619-632.



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