High performance barometric pressure sensor BMP388 earmarked for CE drones

A high-performance barometric pressure MEMS sensor – suited to altitude tracking in consumer electronics (CE) drones, wearables, smart homes and other applications –has been launched by Bosch Sensortec.

“Together with Bosch Sensortec’s IMU and geomagnetic sensor, the BMP388 provides a comprehensive, high-quality sensor solution for drones,” says Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Bosch Sensortec. “By providing accurate measurement of altitude, orientation and heading, Bosch MEMS sensors make flying drones much easier, safer and more rewarding.”

The BMP388 delivers altitude stabilisation in drones, where accurate measurement of barometric pressure provides the essential altitude data for improving flight stability and landing accuracy.

In addition to drones, the BMP388 can provide a flexible, one-size-fits-all solution for increasing the accuracy of navigation and fitness applications in wearables and smart homes, for example by using altitude data to improve GPS precision or to determine floor levels inside buildings.

It can also improve the precision of calorie counting in wearables and mobile devices, for example by identifying if a person is walking uphill or downhill when using a step counter.

With temperature coefficient offset of 0.75 Pa/K between
-20 degrees C and 65 degrees C, the BMP388 can further improve the accuracy of altitude measurement over a wide temperature range. The new sensor provides low power consumption and a high level of design flexibility, combined in a compact LGA package measuring 2.0 mm x 2.0 mm x 0.75 cubic mm.

FIFO and interrupt functionality provide simple access to data and storage. This enables power consumption to be reduced to 2.7-microA at 1 Hz during full operation, while simultaneously making the sensor easier to use. Bosch states that tests in real-life environments have proven a relative accuracy of +/-0.08 hPa (+/-0.66 m) over a temperature range from 25 degrees C to 40 degrees C. The absolute accuracy between 900 and 1100 hPa is +/- 0.40 hPa over a temperature range from 25 degrees C to 40 degrees C.

The BMP388 will be available worldwide for Bosch Sensortec’s distributors in March 2018.

This new barometric pressure sensor is part of Bosch Sensortec’s sensor solution for drones, which includes the BMI088 Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for accurate steering and the BMM150 geomagnetic sensor for the provision of heading data.

The recently announced BMI088 is a 6-axis IMU, consisting of a triaxial 16-bit acceleration sensor with, according to Bosch, excellent performance, and a triaxial automotive-proven 16-bit gyroscope. Drones can take full advantage of the IMU’s vibration suppression and robustness and unmatched stability in dynamic conditions such as sudden temperature fluctuations.

The BMM150 is a low power and low noise triaxial digital geomagnetic sensor designed for compass applications. It is said to have a stable performance over a wide temperature range, which makes this geomagnetic sensor suitable for determining accurate heading for drones.


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