Performance evaluation of Honeywell silicon piezoresistive pressure transducers for oceanographic and limnological measurements
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Simultaneous calibrations of three temperature-compensated piezoresistive ruggedized precision 'absolute' pressure transducers (Honeywell model PPTR0040AP5VB-BD), which have been designed specially for long-term coastal oceanographic and limnological measurements, have been carried out at four differing temperatures (10 degrees, 20 degrees, 30 degrees, and 40 degrees C) to evaluate their suitability for such applications. The full-scale pressure range of these shallow water absolute pressure sensors is approx. equal to 2800 hPa (equivalent to water depth of approx. equal to 18 m). Measurement results have been used to examine the transducers' performance indicators, such as zero-point offset, accuracy, linearity, hysteresis, temperature sensitivity, and slope. Differing piezoresistive ruggedized precision absolute pressure transducers (PPTRs) exhibited differing zero-point offset values, ranging from 2 to -79 hPa. Temperature sensitivity of zero-point offset was approx. equal to 0.3 hPa over the temperature range 10 degrees-40 degrees C. The mean hysteresis over the full-scale absolute pressure range (approx. equal to 2800 hPa) varied from approximately 2 to 8 hPa over the temperature range 10 degrees-40 degrees C. The slope of the least squares-fitted linear graph (taking the mean of ascending and descending pressures) was close to the ideal value of unity (deviation from 1 over the temperature range 10 degrees-40 degrees C was in the range of -0.001 to +0.005). Linearity was excellent, its mean over the entire pressure range being between approx. equal to -0.006% and 0.008% of full-scale (FS) over the above temperature range. The worst performance was exhibited at input pressures below approx. equal to 1500 hPa. Zero-point offset has played a significant role in deteriorating the accuracy of the PPTR, the mean accuracy (within approx. equal to 0.1% and -5%) having been exhibited by those transducers having offsets of 2 and -79 hPa, respectively. The mean accuracy exhibited temperature sensitivity of approx. equal to 1% in the range 10 degrees-20 degrees C and negligible sensitivity beyond 20 degrees C. Use of a calibration equation significantly improved the mean static accuracy obtainable from the PPTR, to between -0.04% and 0.01% of FS. Evaluation results have indicated that a suitably calibrated temperature-compensated Honeywell PPTR provides an alternate cost-effective means for pressure measurements for coastal oceanographic and limnological studies.
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