What Determines the Accuracy of a Pressure Sensor?

When choosing a pressure sensor for any application, the total error contribution is a crucial measure of accuracy. When calculating the total error, you need to refer to the sensor’s complete specifications to determine the specific errors.

For any given application, some of the published specifications can be discounted as they may not be important for that particular application. For example, if a sensor is only going to be used over half its specified temperature range, this may reduce the temperature error. Or if an auto-zeroing technique is to be used, then the null offset and null shift errors can be eliminated.

Typical errors include:

  • Null offset
  • Resolution
  • Full-scale output
  • Radiometric
  • Linearity
  • Operating temperature range
  • Hysteresis
  • Compensated temperature range
  • Repeatability
  • Aging

Each of these is covered in a separate Engineering Note.

Each error is normally specified as less than ±x% of span, as a maximum deviation of output values from best fit straight line. However, it can be difficult to compare or calculate the errors, as manufacturers tend to specify information in different ways.

Never be afraid to ask the supplier if you do not understand exactly how the information is presented.

Read more: Index to all of our Technical Notes on Pressure

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