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Sensors Magazine Announces Winners of the Best of Sensors Expo Awards

June 7, 2006 By: Sensor Contributor

Meryl Franzman

Rosemont, IL, June 6, 2006 - Questex Media Group LLC. today announced the recipients of the Sensors magazine “Best of Sensors Expo” Awards, honoring the most exciting new products on display at Sensors Expo & Conference, taking place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.

The editors of Sensors presented gold, silver, bronze, and honorable mention awards to 14 exhibitors in four categories:  Sensors; Sensor Components; Data Acquisition Products; Communications & Networking Products.  Exhibitors submitted new product nominations and entries were judged on the basis of potential impact, application, distinctiveness, timeliness, and availability.

This year’s panel of judges was comprised of the magazine’s editorial staff, members of the editorial advisory board, and industry experts, including Barbara Goode, Editor in Chief; Stephanie L. Henkel, Executive Editor; Melanie Martella, Senior Editor; Contributing Editors Tom Kevan, Ed Ramsden, and Wayne Manges; plus Deb Lickness, of John Deere and Strether Smith of Structural/Signal Analysis Consultants.

“This year’s pool of entrants was exceptionally sophisticated,” says Barbara Goode. “That made judging difficult—but it means a higher quality array of products for sensor buyers.”

The following is a list of award recipients, along with a description of their winning products:

Gold Awards
Category: Sensors
Aichi Steel Corporation: G2 Motion Sensor, integrates a three-axis magnetic sensor and a three-axis accelerometer, each with controller ICs, in tiny package. It determines the attitude of mobile devices relative to geomagnetism and gravity and also calculates other aspects of movement such as acceleration, translational speed and rotational speed. Previous products in this category have been relatively large and expensive, says Ed Ramsden. “If the price on this sensor matches its size, it could enable a flood of new applications.”

Category: Sensors
Melexis, Inc.:  MlX90316 Rotary Position Sensor IC, the subject of a Sensors magazine feature story in March 2006, is a novel CMOS Hall effect sensor that can sense all three magnetic flux density components at a single point, and provide noncontact position sensing in harsh environments—a feat not viable with other technologies. It is designed for contactless rotary position sensing, which is frequently required in automotive and industrial applications.

Category: Communications and Networking Products
Crossbow Technology:  MoteWorks MWS200A, a development platform that helps OEMs—in disciplines such as industrial automation and control, building automation, asset management, and environmental monitoring—to easily create complete wireless sensor networks, and thus focus on other aspects of product and system development. It is the first platform known to address all three tiers of wireless sensor networks:

* Device tier (operating system, mesh network stack, over-the-air-programming, cross development tools)

* Gateway tier (enterprise server gateway middleware)

* Client tier (visualization, analysis and management)

Category: Sensors
Solidica, Inc.: Solidica Chorus is a new ultra-rugged sensor that measures temperature, vibration, and three-dimensional acceleration, adds GPS/dead reckoning location data, and then transmits the data wirelessly to any ZigBee-compliant or 802.15.4 platform. All that functionality is impressive, but even more impressive is Solidica’s unique ultrasonic consolidation process, which embeds the sensors in a solid piece of metal, enabling operation in even the harshest environments.

Silver Awards
Category: Sensors
Airmar Technology Corp.:  Airmar WeatherStation, meets a growing need—among crop growers, construction companies, outdoor leisure centers, avionics and vehicle manufacturers, chemical and steel processing plants, and others—for real-time, site specific weather information. The unit calculates apparent wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, air temperature, relative humidity, dew point, and wind chill temperature. Optional internal compass and GPS allow calculation of true wind speed and direction as well.

Category: Sensors
Blue Road Research:  BRR Fiber Optic Readout System allows you to determine damage and strain gradients in any structure in which a fiber optic sensor can be embedded:  Composite propane and hydrogen tanks, repair bondlines, structural joints, and bridge panels, for instance. The system makes multi-dimensional measurements, allowing assessment across the thickness of a structure as well as along its surface.

Category: Data Acquisition Products
National Instruments:  NI CompactDAQ, is a USB-based modular data acquisition system designed for use on the benchtop, in the field, and on the production line. One-fourth the size of other data acquisition instruments, NI CompactDAQ combines the plug-and-play simplicity of high-speed USB with the performance and flexibility of modular instrumentation to provide fast and accurate measurements in a simple, affordable system. It can simultaneously stream high-speed analog input, analog output, digital input, and digital output over a single USB connection.

Bronze Awards
Category: Communications and Networking Products
Ember Corporation:  Ember EM260 network processor enables OEMs to embed ZigBee wireless networking capabilities into their products using their choice of microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics, Amtel, Texas Instruments and others.

Category:  Sensor Components
Leister Technologies, LLC./Axetris:  IRSource is a micromachined IR source with a compact package, no mechanical moving parts, a long lifetime, and a blackbody spectral distribution. It enables the growing number of safety and environmental applications require gas sensors with high reliability and high sensitivity.

Category:  Sensors
Raztec (NZ) Ltd.:  Raztec Series 3 Hall Effect Current Transducer, detects current and interfaces directly to a microcontroller's I/O port.

Category: Data Acquisition Products
Measurement Computing:  USB-5203, a low-cost, 8-channel temperature measurement module supports four different sensor types (thermocouples, RTDs, thermistors, and semiconductor devices) and logs data to a CompactFlash memory card.

Category:  Sensors
Ashcroft, Inc.:  Xmitr with LZT Sensor is a pressure gauge that works (with a noncontact displacement sensor) by measuring the tip travel of a Bourdon tube. “The goal was to combine a non-contact displacement sensor and pressure gauge into an instrument that would cost less to manufacture,” says Ashcroft; at $99 it is less expensive than equally capable instruments by at least a factor of two.

Honorable Mentions
Category:  Sensors
Honeywell:  HMC1043 3-Axis Magnetic Sensor is an extremely tiny (3 by 3 by 1.4mm) three-axis surface mount sensor array designed for low-field magnetic sensing. Its low cost makes it ideal for consumer electronics such as wireless phones, GPS receivers, and watches.

Category: Data Acquisition Products
Tekscan, Inc.:  Wireless ELF System is Tekscan’s impressive FlexiForce sensor—used for grip force measurement, garment pressures, safety assessment and other applications—empowered with the ability to measure remotely using a USB-compatible receiver.

Best of Sensors Expo award winners will be featured in the July issue of Sensors Magazine and on Sensors web site at www.sensorsmag.com.

About Sensors Expo & Conference
Sensors Expo & Conference is the leading sensor event in North America exclusively focusing on sensors and sensor-integrated systems. The conference program is dedicated to exploring the most up-to-date innovations in sensor technology including physical sensors, sensor networks, biosensors, MEMS/nanotechnology, instrumentation & controls, intelligent systems, machine-to- machine communication, wireless sensing and IT technology. Sensors Expo & Conference identifies cutting-edge trends, explores them in an information-packed conference program and reflects those trends throughout the exhibit floor with new product announcements, application presentations, technology focused tours, and a showcase of hundreds of products and services.

Sensors Magazine
Sensors Magazine is the premier publication dedicated to sensors, supporting technologies, and their applications.  Serving an audience of 195,000 spanning print, online, and e-mail newsletters, Sensors’ integrated media offer greater access to targeted news, analysis, and technical information surrounding sensors and related technologies.  Reaching high-tech professionals in the sensing community, including product and system design engineers, production engineers, and managers, Sensors delivers focused news, trends, and product reviews in the areas of:  Process Industries; Automotive; Electronics and Computers; Machine Manufacturing; Aerospace, Military, and Homeland Security; Specialty Markets; and Wireless and M2M.

About Questex Media Group LLC.
Sensors Magazine and Sensors Expo & Conference are produced by Questex Media Group LLC. (www.questex.com), a global, diversified business-to-business integrated media provider, headquartered in Newton, MA.  Questex serves multiple industries including technology, beauty, travel, hospitality, leisure, home entertainment, industrial and specialty services through a range of well-established, market-leading publications, events, interactive media and integrated marketing services.  The company’s properties include 23 trade publications, 50 websites, 25 conferences and tradeshows.  Questex has more than 400 employees in offices throughout North America, South America, Asia and Europe.

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