Computing That Serves

Multi-Track Hybrid Absolute Encoders

Kristian Sims
MS Thesis Proposal
Tuesday, March 6th at 3:00 pm                                  
In 3350 TMCB
Advisor: Kevin Seppi

Digital position encoders are electro-mechanical sensors that measure linear or angular position by reading a moving pattern. We seek to make a digital encoder that is simple to build and scalable to physically large projects. Traditionally, absolute encoders require n-channel patterns to distinguish n2 positions, but this becomes costly when high resolution is desired. Many designs have been described that offer a simpler mechanical design, with fewer pattern tracks and fewer channels, but all of these require multiple read heads to be placed along the length of a track. This is particularly disadvantageous when making an encoder that is very large or when assembly allows limited precision. We propose a novel encoder that provides the absolute position measurement but only has one head per track, so the sensor unit is small and easy to align. Using this design, we can build extremely large input devices like sliders and knobs without delicate mechanical components.