Synchronism and Direction Detection in High-Resolution/High-Density Electromagnetic Encoders

Cristian Herrojo, Ferran Paredes, Ferran Martin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, electromagnetic encoders with synchronous reading and direction detection capability have been reported. Such structures are useful for the implementation of (i) displacement/velocity sensors and (ii) chipless-RFID systems based on near-field coupling and sequential bit reading. In the latter, synchronous reading and motion direction detection are a need in order to avoid false readings of the identification (ID) code, if the relative velocity between the reader and the encoder is not constant, and to read the correct ID code (rather than the inverse one), respectively. On the other hand, synchronous reading and motion direction detection, are essential to determine the encoder direction in displacement/velocity sensors, as well as to provide the absolute position of the encoder, provided that the whole encoder is encoded with the Bruijn sequence. In this paper, synchronous reading and direction detection in high-resolution/high-density electromagnetic encoders based on chains of linearly-shaped metallic inclusions are reported. To this end, it is necessary to add two chains of metallic inclusions to the one containing the ID code. In the reader side, three harmonic signals are necessary in order to generate the clock signals and to obtain the ID code. The reader consists of a microstrip line loaded with three pairs of open-ended folded stubs positioned face-to-face by their extremes. By displacing the encoder chains over the extreme of the stubs, at short distance, stub coupling is enhanced when a metallic inclusion lies on top of the stubs, and the frequency response of the reader is shifted towards lower frequencies. Thus, by injecting three (properly tuned) harmonic signals at the input port of the microstrip transmission line, three amplitude modulated (AM) signals are generated by tag motion at the output port of such transmission line, and the envelope functions contain the velocity, the ID code and the absolute position. The reported reader/encoder system exhibits superior space resolution and information density as compared to other similar systems based on synchronous reading.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number9201326
Pages (from-to)2873-2882
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Chipless-RFID
  • electromagnetic encoders
  • microstrip technology
  • microwave sensors


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