The Key Applications Of Infrared Sensors

Infrared sensors are mostly used in wireless technology. They are used to detect surrounding objects and obstacles. An example of an infrared sensor is the IR sensor which detects and emits IR radiation to detect obstacles or objects within a specific range. The features that make infrared sensors efficient are motion and heating sensory features.

What Is An Infrared Sensor?

Infrared sensors are instruments used to sense particular characteristics from a surrounding. They achieve this through detecting or emitting infrared radiation. They also have capabilities of measuring the heat emitted by the characters they are detecting of an object in motion.

Notably, infrared technology is not only found in the industries but the day to day activities. For instance, televisions use infrared detectors to interpret signals from the remote. While some LDR sensors are used for outdoor lighting systems, other passive infrared sensors are used for motion detection. The benefits of infrared sensors are based on their simple circuitry, low power requirements, and their portable features.

Types of Infrared Sensors

There are two common types of infrared sensors. These are the active and passive infrared sensors which are further subdivided into two. These include:

  • Quantum infrared sensors have a faster response speed and higher detection performance. Also, their photosensitivity mainly depends on the wavelength. For the quantum infrared sensors to obtain accurate measurements, they have to be cooled.
  • Thermal infrared sensors use infrared energy as heat. The photosensitivity of the thermal infrared sensors is independent of the wavelength being detected. These types of infrared sensors don’t require cooling but have low detection capabilities and slow responses.

How the Infrared Sensors Work

The infrared sensors are governed and work based on three physics principles. These principles include:

  • Planck’s radiation law states that any object whose temperature is not equal to absolute zero emits radiation.
  • Stephan Boltzmann’s law states that the total energy that is emitted by a black body at all wavelengths is related to the absolute temperature.
  • Wien’s displacement law states that objects with different temperatures emit spectra at different wavelengths.

The Advantages of Infrared Sensors

The infrared sensors are used as sorting devices, imaging devices, remote sensing, and missile guidance, among other day-to-day applications. They have various advantages, which include:

  • The infrared sensors are used to detect objects in the surrounding area. Therefore they don’t need contact with the thing for detection.
  • The infrared sensors are not affected by oxidation or corrosion.
  • They have a robust noise immunity.
  • There is no data leakage in the infrared sensors due to beam directionality IR radiation.
  • The infrared sensors can detect motion in the presence or absence of light with the same reliability.
  • Their low power requirement and portability make them suitable for most electronic gadgets such as telephones and laptops.

The Disadvantages of Infrared Sensors

Since infrared sensors detect objects based on wavelengths, they can be affected by specific environmental barriers. Here are some of the disadvantages of infrared sensors.

  • They can get blocked by common objects.
  • They have a limited range.
  • They have a slow rate of transmission of data.
  • They can be affected by environmental conditions such as rain, dust, fog, and pollution.
  • They require a line of sight.

The Applications of Infrared Sensors

The IR sensors have found their application areas in modern equipment. Some of the sensors are named according to the application they are used in. Some of these infrared applications include:

Proximity Sensors

The proximity sensors are used to find the distance of objects in phones. These use a particular law or principle called reflective indirect incidence. After reflecting on a specific thing, the transmitter transmits the radiation to the receiver. The distance is then calculated based on the amount of intensity of radiation the receiver gets.

Item Counter

The item counter uses the direct incidence method to count the items. There is constant radiation maintained between the receiver and the transmitter. When the object cuts the radiation, the thing is detected, and there is an increase in the count. Also, the exact count is then displayed on the display system.

Burglar Alarm

A burglar alarm is one of the most common and widely used infrared sensor applications. It also uses the direct incidence method as used in the item counter.

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