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Sensor readout detector circuit

United States Patent

*** EXPIRED ***
August 11, 1998
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A sensor readout detector circuit is disclosed that is capable of detecting sensor signals down to a few nanoamperes or less in a high (microampere) background noise level. The circuit operates at a very low standby power level and is triggerable by a sensor event signal that is above a predetermined threshold level. A plurality of sensor readout detector circuits can be formed on a substrate as an integrated circuit (IC). These circuits can operate to process data from an array of sensors in parallel, with only data from active sensors being processed for digitization and analysis. This allows the IC to operate at a low power level with a high data throughput for the active sensors. The circuit may be used with many different types of sensors, including photodetectors, capacitance sensors, chemically-sensitive sensors or combinations thereof to provide a capability for recording transient events or for recording data for a predetermined period of time following an event trigger. The sensor readout detector circuit has applications for portable or satellite-based sensor systems.
Chu; Dahlon D. (Albuquerque, NM), Thelen, Jr.; Donald C. (Bozeman, MT)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
08/ 806,950
February 26, 1997
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DEAC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.