World’s smallest seismic sensor for the Internet of Things

Louise Davis

Omron Electronic Components Europe has launched what it believes is the world’s smallest seismic sensor to trigger the shutdown of potentially hazardous or easily damaged systems in the event of an earthquake.

The D75 is specifically designed for the growing number of autonomous IoT systems by providing high precision measurement of spectral intensity.

This allows it to reject impulse vibration noise and only respond to genuine seismic activity.

The surface mountable module measures 9.8 x 10.9mm and includes its own internal memory and I2C interface, allowing it to be readily integrated into IoT devices.

Potential applications include smart electricity and gas meters, wireless sensors, industrial control panels, electricity distribution panels, fire-prevention systems, home appliances such as heaters and gas stoves, chemical plants, expressways, bridges, tunnels, roads and many more.

The low power consumption of just 90 microAmps standby and 300 microAmps when processing, allows the D7S to be readily integrated into battery powered systems.

“Earthquakes are extremely common around the world. On average, 50 earthquakes strike each day, or about 20,000 a year,” said Fabrizio Petris, Senior Business Development Manager of Omron Electronic Components Europe.

“Many are weak enough to go unnoticed but some are catastrophic. We can’t always predict when a catastrophe will strike. Using the new sensor, designers can make systems safer and minimise the risk of secondary damage after earthquakes by safely shutting off and stopping hazardous devices. The sensor can also help determine damage by mapping seismic intensity and providing building collapse information.”

A key feature of the sensor is its ability to distinguish between genuine seismic activity from an earthquake or from some other source.

When an earthquake strikes, the D7S uses Omron’s spectral intensity (SI) value calculation algorithms to distinguish between seismic activity and other movement.

The sensor includes a 3-axis accelerometer, and on the basis of the resulting measurements, calculates the SI value to assess the magnitude of the earthquake.