Bosch launches altimeter for drones

January 12, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Bosch Sensortec GmbH has launched the BMP380 pressure sensor, which can be used to measure barometric pressure and relative height to an accuracy of 50cm.

The BMP380 comes in a package measuring 2.0mm by 2.0mm by 0.75mm, and is one third smaller than the previous generation BMP280 (see Bosch shrinks MEMS altimeters ).

The BMP380 is aimed at gaming, sports and health management, as well as indoor and outdoor navigation. By measuring barometric pressure, the sensor enables drones, smartphones, tablets, wearables and other mobile devices to accurately determine altitude changes, in both indoor and outdoor environments.

The sensor is more accurate than its predecessors, covering a wide measurement range from 300 hPA to 1250 hPA. Tests in real-life environments have verified a relative accuracy of +/-0.06 hPa (+/-0.5m) over a temperature range from 25°C to 40°C. The absolute accuracy between 300 and 1100 hPa is +/- 0.5 hPa over a temperature range from 0°C to 65°C.

Pressure and temperature data can be stored in the built-in FIFO of 512 byte. The new FIFO and interrupt functionality provide simple access to data and storage. This greatly improves ease of use while helping to reduce power consumption to only 2.0µA at 1Hz during full operation.

The sensor will be available for special customers in the 2Q17.

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