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Switching frequency in the sensor technology context

What is meant by switching frequency?

Definition: The switching frequency is the maximum number of switching operations of a sensor per second. Put more generally, one can say: The switching frequency is a measure of how often the sensor switches on and off per second. The switching frequency is given in Hz (= 'per second'). Switching frequencies vary greatly from sensor to sensor. The following table provides some typical values:

Switching frequency sketch
The maximum number of switching operations is determined by means of a rotating serrated wheel with specifically sized, shaped and positioned sections that are alternatingly raised and recessed. The recesses must be twice as long as the leading edges of the raised sections. The raised sections have rectangular profiles. The sensor to be tested is placed in front of the test gear at a distance S of half its nominal switching distance Sn. The wheel is accelerated and the threshold frequency is determined at which the sensor just continues to switch. This is then referred to as the switching frequency.


Sensor type
Switching frequency
Inductive sensor
200 ... 300 Hz
Capacitive sensor
5 ... 20 Hz
Photoelectric sensor
200 ... 1500 Hz
Laser sensor
1 ... 35 Hz
Ultrasonic sensor
1 ... 15 Hz
Magnetic sensor
3000 ... 10000 Hz
"The switching frequency is the maximum number of switching operations of a sensor per second."

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