Aerospace applications provide a complex combination of requirements for sensors. The need for extremely high reliability as well as resistance to a tough operating environment with a very wide operating temperature range are just some of the demands leading to the increasing use of MR-based sensors in the aerospace field.

Typical Applications

  • Integrated encoder for micro-motor in Mars Lander 


Application Example: Incremental encoder in the motors of the mars rovers "Spirit" & "Opportunity"


The position of motors for the wheels and robotic arm must be measured. After a flight time of 6 months the sensors must function for at least 3 months after landing on Mars.

Key Specifications

Resolution: 32 sine/cosine periods/revolution
Temperature range: -120 °C up to +20 °C

Solution from Sensitec

Series production processes are used to manufacture a customer-specific sensor element. Special electronics have been designed in order to avoid damage due to cosmic radiation and the tough environmental conditions on Mars.

Why use MR sensor technology?

  • Resistant to dust, oil and humidity
  • Resistant to strong temperature changes
  • Insensitive to cosmic or nuclear radiation
  • Very low current consumption
  • Note: Spirit and Opportunity were still functioning as of May 2007, more than 3 years after having landed in January 2004



Technical Information about our MR sensors and MR sensor technology can be found HERE.

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