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Angle Sensor For Vehicle Steering Wheel

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000206864D
Publication Date: 2011-May-11
Document File: 6 page(s) / 124K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A vehicle wheel alignment service system having a set of sensors and a computer in communication with the sensors for receiving and processing data related to a vehicle alignment service procedure is further provided with an a steering wheel angle sensor for monitoring the actual angle of the vehicle steering wheel. During a vehicle wheel alignment service procedure, information on the steering wheel angle is utilized by the vehicle wheel alignment system to facilitate wheel alignment angle adjustment at any steered position of the vehicle wheels, to calculate a steering ratio for the vehicle, to identify a centered steering position, and numerous other steering related measurements.

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Angle Sensor
For
Vehicle Steering Wheel

May 11, 2011

ABSTRACT

  A vehicle wheel alignment service system having a set of sensors and a computer in communication with the sensors for receiving and processing data related to a vehicle alignment service procedure is further provided with an a steering wheel angle sensor for monitoring the actual angle of the vehicle steering wheel. During a vehicle wheel alignment service procedure, information on the steering wheel angle is utilized by the vehicle wheel alignment system to facilitate wheel alignment angle adjustment at any steered position of the vehicle wheels, to calculate a steering ratio for the vehicle, to identify a centered steering position, and numerous other steering related measurements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

  Existing Steering Wheel Angle (SWA) sensors have been around for many years. In one variation, transducers previously used in conventional wheel alignment sensors have been modified for use in a Steering Wheel Angle sensor but could only measure a relatively small change in

steering wheel angle, required cabled communication with an alignment sensor, and was limited to finding a level steering wheel.

  In another variation, Kemkraft Engineering Inc. offers a Steering Wheel Angle sensor that electronically measures steering wheel angle and torque, but which is not integrated with a vehicle wheel alignment system.

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  Sensor Development Inc. offers a Drift Pull Torque And Angle Sensor which attaches to a steering wheel and electronically measures both torque (+/- 10Nm) and steering wheel angle (+/- 20 degrees). Data is captured using an attached USB cable attached to a PC. As with the Kemkraft Engineering Inc. sensor, the device is not integrated with a vehicle wheel alignment system. A similar device is available from Romess.

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  A new Steering Wheel Angle sensor prototype has been developed by Hunter Engineering Company using an Analog Devices ADIS16209 360 degree MEMS sensor and an existing Hunter designed Zigbee radio-frequency (RF) board to communicate the steering wheel measurements back to an associated wheel alignment system console.

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  Although a MEMS Steering Wheel Angle sensor based on capacitive sensing seems to be the most practical approach to designing the sensor because of availability, size, and cost, there has historically been a problem with stability of the measurements during movement in other sensors using a similar MEMS device such as some conventional wheel alignment sensors. As the apparatus being measured is moved, the MEMS technology has a tendency to modulate like a spring, thus producing an undesirable, unstable measurement.

  An alternative to the MEMS based Steering Wheel Angle sensor is to design an image based sensor (camera) with associated active or passive target.

An active target could be one that emits light. Th...