EYE on NPI – Renesas FS1015 Air Velocity Module #Digikey #EYEonNPI @RenesasGlobal @DigiKey @Adafruit

This week’s EYE ON NPI (video) can measure the air-speed velocity of an unladen European swallow – it’s the Renesas FS1015 Air Velocity Module, a nifty sensor that can measure air-speed velocity up to 15 meters/second.

What’s interesting about this sensor is it does not use an impeller like many flow sensors we’ve seen or air cups like a wind-speed sensor. Instead, there’s a MEMS thermopile sensor that can detect flow across it and generate a signal to indicate wind speed.

The FS1015 looks like it’s a next-generation version building off of the IDT FS1012 which also uses the same technology but is designed for liquid or gas. So if you want a similar version of this sensor but with a barbed tubing connection, check out the FS1012/FS2012. Both of these families of sensors use a silicon-carbide covered sensor with no cavities or moving parts, so there’s less risk of clogging or mechanical wear.

Compared to the earlier FS1012, the FS1015 module is mountable with 5 pins, and has both analog and digital I2C output, making it great for use with just about any microcontroller or microcomputer board. There’s also mounting ears for quick attachment. The pins are 0.1″ spacing so they’re easy to use with a cable extender or plugged into a perf/breadboard. There are two models, both have 12-bit digital output, but one ranges up to 7.5m/s and the other is 15m/s, so pick which one gives you the range and resolution best matching your expected setup.

The I2C digital interface is simple and reliable: the sensor continuously measures the air speed, and when requested, will send 5 bytes of data over I2C on address 0x50. Three bytes are CRC/checksum, and two bytes make up the 12-bit reading. We were able to whip up an Arduino demo to read the air speed in 5 minutes – just request 5 bytes every 10 ms and plot it out!

For quick, reliable and easy-to-interface air-speed velocity sensing, the Renesas FS1015 Air Velocity Module will do a great job without the risk of a mechanical failure. It’s easy to add to any system with I2C or analog inputs, and has a nice enclosure design to boot. Best of all, it’s in stock right now at Digi-Key! Order today and Digi-Key will ship it out faster than a swift, so that you can be integrating it by tomorrow afternoon.

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