RC Type Fibre Optic Displacement Sensor

Reflectance Compensated RC Type Sensor

RC Models are good for single axis measurements as well as for measurements to object moving past the sensor.

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Operating Principle

These are reflective type transducers based upon detecting the intensity of reflected light.  RC Model sensors have a pair of fibreoptic detectors in the sensor tip.  Light reflected off a target follows two separate paths back to the electronics where a ratiometric calcuation provides the distance measurement which is independent of varying surface reflectance i.e. reflectance compensated.

The RC type fibre optic sensors are a family of very high performance non-contact displacement sensors. With resolutions, down to 0.01µm and measuring ranges from 50µm to 2.5mm and a 200KHz + frequency capability. Their rugged construction and compact size means they are suitable for measurements inside of mechanisms, submerged in fluids and hostile environments. The sensors can measure to any surface that reflects light even if the surface reflectivity changes. The sensors are suitable for applications where the target is moving past the sensor such as a rotating shaft or moving sheet.

Model No Total Operating Range


Resolution 100Hz Resolution 20kHz (standard) Resolution 200kHz Tip Diameter
  mm >mm µm µm µm mm
RC19 0.76 0.30 0.15 0.3 0.6 0.81
RC20 1.30 0.56 0.13 0.8 1.5 0.81
RC22 3.00 0.80 0.60 2.5 5.0 0.81
RC25 0.76 0.18 0.03 0.2 0.4 4.75
RC32 2.00 0.75 0.25 1.0 2.0 1.27
RC60 3.20 1.00 0.30 1.7 3.9 1.83
RC62 2.00 0.75 0.25 0.9 1.8 4.75
RC63 4.00 1.20 0.70 2.0 4.0 4.75
RC90 9.00 2.30 0.60 4.0 8.0 7.925
RC100 5.10 2.20 0.80 1.8 3.2 3.18
RC171 12.70 3.80 1.30 5.6 11.0 4.75
RC190 25.40 4.00 3.00 7.0 14.0 7.925
RC290 40.00 10.00 15.00 68.0 136.0 7.92
  • Very compact measuring tip down to 0.81mm diameter means sensor can be placed inside mechanisms
  • Fibre optic principle means complete insensitivity to magnetic fields and high voltage electrical fields; can be used where inductance or capacitance sensors do not work
  • Rugged construction, for use in all types of difficult environments such as vacuum, high pressure, cryogenic temperatures, high temperatures, in fluids or explosive atmospheres
  • High frequency capability 200kHz +
  • High resolution down to 0.08µm
  • Measurement independent from surface reflectivity
  • 0-5 VDC analogue output
  • Bearing/rotor dynamics
  • Commutator profile
  • Deformation studies
  • Rotor runout
  • Turbine blade growth/flutter
  • Vibration studies
  • Thermal growth
  • Distance to glass
  • Hard disc thickness
  • Ultrasonic vibration

The standard sensor package provides a stainless steel sensor tip, a 3 foot long fiberoptic cable sheathed with PVC over steel monocoil and DC-20kHz bandwidth amplifier or DMS signal processing unit as one integral unit with the fiberoptic cable potted into the electonic enclosure.

Many options are available whereby the sensor tip, fiberoptic cable and/or the sensor electronics can be customised. Several options can be combined into one unit, but note - it should be realised that certain combinations of options are not achievable for all models. For example, it is not reasonable to expect to achieve high frequency response when combining replaceable tips with long fiberoptic cables and dark targets. Please contact us for clarification on allowable configurations.

Option Code For DMS Feature
Temperature stabilized amplifier minimizes long term drift
Replaceable tip configuration - In-line connector (not available for D6 or RC12)
Replaceable tip configuration - Sensor bulkhead connector (not available for D6 or RC12)
Connectorises sensor system with single channel vacuum passthru hardware for 10E-7 Torr (not available for D6, D12 or RC12)
Bv3 Yes Single channel Ultra-High vacuum passthru flange for all RC models (not available for RC12) 
Bvf Yes Multichannel high vacuum passthru assembly for 10E-7 Torr (not available for D6, D12 or RC12)
Bvw Yes Weldable single port vacuum passthru D models require 2; RC models require 3
C1 - C10 Yes Sheathing material options for fiber optic cables
D Yes Reflectance dependent output
E Yes Standard cable lengths are 3 feet. For lengths exceeding 3 feet, specify Option E and give total cable length, 49 feet maximum (15m)
Fv1 & Fv2 Yes Solid section on fiberoptic for low vacuum passthru, 10E-4 Torr max
G1 No Equips sensor with an additional output, DC coupled with 10x gain and adjustable DC offset
G2 No Equips sensor with an additional output, AC coupled with 10 gain
H1 No Provides D models with a high bandwidth amplifier, DC - 200kHz
H2 No Provides D models with a high bandwidth amplifier above 200kHz. Bandwidths up to 1.5MHz (some models) can be specified
H3 No Provides RC models with a high bandwidth amplifier, DC - 200kHz. Bandwidths up to 350kHz can be specified.
+Hn No Designating +H1 or +H2 or +H3 provides a sensor amplifier with two outputs: standard DC - 20kHz and a wideband output
L No Equips sensors with a low bandwidth amplifier, DC - 100kHz. Bandwidths as low as 10Hz can be specified
+L No Equips a sensor amplifiers with two outputs: standard DC - 20kHz and a low frequency output, DC - 100Hz
M No Digital display - DC volts
N No Low noise amplifier - The amplifier is optimized to operate with highly reflective targets only. This cuts noise floor in half, thereby doubling resolution (for RC sensors only)
O No Provides an adjustable 0 to -4 VDC offset control. This feature is used to eliminate the DC offset from the sensor output, thereby increasing readout resolution
P No Polynomial curve fit for operation in non-linear ranges
Q No Quick disconnect AC power adaptor and BNC output connector
R Yes Ambient light rejection - These devices operate with continuous light emission. Standard units are subject to ambient light pickup. In environments where background light is a problem, Ambient Light Rejection can be included by specifying Option R. Ambient light pickup can be 50 to 100 times smaller when Option R is used (not available for model D6 or D12)
S Yes Side-viewing sensor tip
T1 - T9 Yes Custom sensor tips
V No Provides sensor amplifiers with 0 - 10 volt analog output
W Yes Window probe for high pressure or vacuum
Z No Additional output with linear range spanning 0 - 5 volts
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