Solar Sensor Resolution

  • Thread starter dacruick
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi there,

I am doing some research online trying to find a good site that explains to me how sensor resolution works. I have a very vague understanding right now and I was hoping someone could go through it with me. I'll give a bit of background as to the task I have.
I have a 4 quadrant sun sensor, and there is just a pinhole on top of it as to allow a collimated beam of light to enter. I want to tilt this sensor slightly in all directions, and find the smallest angle that the sun sensor can register.

What I want to know:

The resolution is simply the smallest change the sensor is able to detect.
I would like to compare it to the theoretical resolution of the sensor, but I don't know how to figure that out. I also would like to know what governs the resolution of a sensor, and what is the limiting factor in resolution. (is it the sensor itself, or is it the electronics)

There have been references to resolution as exponents of 2. why is that the case?

I'm sorry if this post isn't very well organized, any help at all would be appreciated.

Thanks,

dacruick
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
uart
Science Advisor
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There have been references to resolution as exponents of 2. why is that the case?
That's generally just a limitation of the electronics. Anything with a digital output will have a given number of bits (binary digits) of output. Say for example that a sensor has a 6 bit digital output then it's maximum resolution would typically be 1 part in 64 (64=2^6), as 2^6 is the number of binary codes you can make with 6 bits.
 
Last edited:
  • #3
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So it should never really be the electronics that limit the resolution. You should just make your electronic resolution so that it just covers the sensor output's accuracy.
 

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