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 TE Connectivity

  • Altitude Meter

  • Created: Jun 22, 2015

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An altitude meter is a measuring instrument used to gauge the height of an object. This project measures the altitude based on the atmospheric pressure, the higher the altitude the lower the atmospheric pressure. A pressure altimeter is mostly found in most aircraft, skydivers, hikers and mountain climbers together with other navigational tools like maps and GPS receiver.

The MS5806 sensor consists of a piezo-resistive sensor and a sensor interface IC. Its main function is to convert the uncompensated analogue output voltage from the piezo-resistive pressure sensor to a 24-bit digital value for the temperature of the sensor. This new generation of high resolution altimeter sensors with SPI and I2C bus interface are optimized for altimeters and variometers with an altitude resolution of 20cm. It provides a precise digital 24 Bit pressure and temperature value and different operation modes that allow the user to optimize for conversion speed and current consumption. It can also be interfaced to any microcontroller. The communication protocol is simple without the need of programming the internal registers of the device.

The circuit shown is the interface of the MS5806 sensor to the microcontroller through I2C mode. This can be developed by a maker to suit its desired design. Additional display and user interface can be installed in the microcontroller’s I/O ports. The altimeter module combines highly sensitive pressure sensors with temperature sensors. By correlating the data from these two sensors, it’s possible to determine barometric pressure, altitude, changes in height, rate of climb and descent, and other useful information. Applications include rocketry, unpiloted aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, robotics, weather stations, ballooning, and other uses involving calculating altitude, air pressure, height, or changes in temperature.