Position sensors for industrial applications based on electromagnetic encoders

Ferran Paredes*, Cristian Herrojo, Ferran Martín

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Optical and magnetic linear/rotary encoders are well‐known systems traditionally used in industry for the accurate measurement of linear/angular displacements and velocities. Recently, a different approach for the implementation of linear/rotary encoders has been proposed. Such an approach uses electromagnetic signals, and the working principle of these electromagnetic encoders is very similar to the one of optical encoders, i.e., pulse counting. Specifically, a transmission line based structure fed by a harmonic signal tuned to a certain frequency, the stator, is perturbed by encoder motion. Such encoder consists in a linear or circular chain (or chains) of inclusions (metallic, dielectric, or apertures) on a dielectric substrate, rigid or flexible, and made of different materials, including plastics, organic materials, rubber, etc. The harmonic signal is amplitude modulated by the encoder chain, and the envelope function contains the information relative to the position and velocity. The paper mainly focuses on linear encoders based on metallic and dielectric inclusions. Moreover, it is shown that synchronous electromagnetic encoders, able to provide the quasi‐absolute position (plus the velocity and direction of motion in some cases), can be implemented. Several prototype examples are reviewed in the paper, including encoders implemented by means of additive process, such as 3D printed and screen‐printed encoders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2738
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021


  • Electromagnetic encoders
  • Microstrip technology
  • Microwave sensors
  • Motion control
  • Position sensors


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