Flow rate sensor system

FIELD: food industry.

SUBSTANCE: ensuring a system of flow rate sensors for perception of a fluid medium flow indicative of strain in an aerosol generation system. The sensors system includes a sensitive circuit containing a sensitive resistor and a voltage output. The sensitive resistor is designed so that to enable detection of a fluid medium flow based on resistance measurement. The sensitive circuit is designed so that variation of the sensitive resistor resistance causes that of output voltage. The sensors system also includes a signal; generator designed so that to enable delivery of a control pulse signal to the sensitive circuit for the sensitive circuit power supply. Power is supplied to the sensitive circuit when the control pulse signal is high and is not supplied when the control pulse signal is low. The sensors system is designed so that enable operation in the first mode wherein no strain is expected or has not been detected (with the control pulse signal having the first frequency) and the second mode wherein strain is expected or has been detected (with the control pulse signal having the second frequency exceeding the first one).

EFFECT: ensuring an improved system of flow rate sensors suitable for aerosol generation.

14 cl, 5 dwg

 

The present invention relates to a system flow sensors. In particular, but not exclusively, the present invention relates to a sensor system flow system for the generation of aerosols. The present invention finds particular application as a sensor system flow rate for Smoking-room system, for example, electrically heated Smoking system.

Several documents of the prior art, for example, US-A-5060671, US-A-5388594, US-A-5505214, US-A-5591368, WO-A-2004/043175, EP-A-0358002, EP-A-0295122, EP-A-1618803, EP-A-1736065 and WO-A-2007/131449, open electric controlled Smoking system having a number of advantages. One of the advantages is that they significantly reduce the side flue stream, meanwhile allowing the smoker in his desire to temporarily stop and resume Smoking.

Systems for the generation of aerosols of the prior art may include aerosol forming substrate, one or more heating elements to heat the substrate to form an aerosol and a power source for supplying power to one or more heating elements. Systems for the generation of aerosols of the prior art can provide a pulse of energy to the heater to ensure the temperature range required for operation, and for releasing volatile is soedinenii for each puff. Many systems generate aerosols of the prior art include a flow sensor for the perception of the flow of fluid (such as air flow or stream of aerosol) in the generation of aerosols. The sensor may play an important role in managing the delivery of aerosol. When the flow sensor detects the flow of air, pointing to the absorption caused by the tightening of the user activated mechanism auralization, which may include a heating element or elements, or spray of any type, to provide aerosol for this torque. The flow sensor may be passive (i.e. mechanical) sensor or an active sensor.

Passive sensors typically include shifting the membrane and the electrical contact. The air flow created by the user when the suction moves the membrane, so that it applies to the electrical contact, which activates the mechanism of auralization. While the air flow is strong enough to keep the displacement of the membrane, the mechanism of auralization will remain activated. The advantages of passive sensor include the simplicity of the design, therefore, low cost and low power consumption. Active sensors are often based on the heat loss as a result of the fluid flow. This type of active sensor is often called is armoedemonitor. The sensor includes a resistor that is heated to a high temperature. When the flow cools the resistor, the subsequent decrease in temperature at a given power or increase power to maintain the set temperature indicates the flow rate of air. The resistor is usually a resistor, is based on a silicon microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The advantages of the active sensor include the fact that the heat loss is proportional to the flow velocity, so the sensor can be used to provide information about the characteristics of torque. Additionally, the sensor is not exposed to mechanical shocks during transportation and use.

As flow sensors provided in the systems generate aerosols of the prior art, including the above, have a certain number of disadvantages, the object of the invention is the provision of an improved system of flow sensors, suitable for system generation of aerosols.

According to the first aspect of the invention is a system flow sensors for the perception of the fluid flow, indicating a delay in the system generation of aerosols, and the sensor system is arranged to operate in the first mode, in which tightening is not expected or detected, and in the second mode, in which the tightening of idesa or detected, and containing: sensitive circuit containing sensitive resistor and the output voltage, and the sensing resistor configured to detect fluid flow based on the resistance changes with sensitive circuit is designed so that the resistance change of the sensing resistor causes a change in the output voltage; and a signal generator, configured to supply a pulse of the control signal S1the sensitive circuit for powering sensitive circuits, so that the sensor circuit is powered, when the pulse control signal S1is high, and not powered when the pulse control signal S1is low, and the pulse control signal S1has the first frequency f1in the first mode and the second frequency f2that is higher than the first frequency f1in the second mode.

Because the sensor system includes sensitive resistor included in the sensitive circuit which has an output voltage which is the differential voltage, high sensitivity, and can be detected small changes in flow. The use of the pulsed control signal S1means sensing circuitry does not receive power continuously, but eats only every time when the pulse control signal S 1is high, i.e. when the rectangular signal S1equal to 1, not 0. This significantly reduces the power consumption. The sensor system can be constantly active, which means that there is no need for a separate switch on/off. Frequency f1and f2can be selected to provide suitable sensitivity and power consumption. The sensor system can be used to obtain qualitative and quantitative information about the cigarette.

A signal generator for supplying a pulse of the control signal preferably contains a microcontroller, and a pulse signal is provided at one output of the microcontroller. If the signal generator contains a microcontroller, preferably a microcontroller programmed to control the values of f1and f2. In other embodiments, the embodiment of the signal generator for supplying a pulse of the control signal may be programmable electronic circuit of any type.

Preferably, the system flow sensors further comprises a current source configured to supply a current of predetermined magnitude through the sensitive circuit, and the pulse control signal S1served on a current source. The power source specified value allows the use of sensitive sensitive resistor in the first circuit at a constant current, that provides a way of working that has the lowest energy consumption. Because the current source is fed through a pulse control signal S1the current source is not receiving power continuously, but eats only every time when the pulse control signal is high, which further reduces power consumption. The current source reduces the nonlinearity of the dependence of the output voltage sensitive circuit from the resistance of the sensing resistor. In a preferred variant embodiment of the current source is temperature-compensated current source. It is preferable, as it eliminates any change of the output voltage sensitive circuit when the ambient temperature. In one variant embodiment, the current source includes a voltage source, two transistors in a mirrored configuration and the input resistor.

Preferably, the system flow sensors further comprises a differential amplifier configured to amplify output voltage sensitive circuit. This is preferable because the output of the sensitive circuitry may be only a few mV. Differential amplifier preferably has low power consumption and high gain.

Preferably, the differential amplifier may be the disabled, when the pulse control signal S1is low, and can be turned on when the pulse control signal S1is high. This further reduces power consumption. Preferably, the output of the differential amplifier is proportional to the output voltage sensitive circuitry within the range of values of output voltage sensitive circuit, and is saturated when the output voltage sensitive circuits above or below range. That is, when the output voltage sensitive circuitry below the range, the output of the differential amplifier has a constant value; when the output voltage sensitive circuit above range, the output of the differential amplifier has a constant value; and when the output voltage sensitive circuit is in the range, there is a linear relationship between the output of the sensitive circuitry and the output of the differential amplifier.

Preferably, the sensor system operates in the second mode for a predetermined period of time after detecting the change in the output voltage sensitive circuitry indicating the tension, and operates in the first mode at all other times. Thus, when the detected torque or at a different point in time of the pulse control signal S1changes from the first frequency f1at a higher second frequency f2/sub> . This means that the maximum time for tightening, when the sensor operates in the first mode, isseconds. f1can be selected to ensure the right balance between power and sensitivity in the first mode. If tightening is detected when the sensor in the second mode, the maximum time for tightening isseconds. f2can be selected to ensure the right balance between power and sensitivity in the second mode. In one variant embodiment of the first frequency f1equal to 3 Hz and the second frequency f2equal to 22 Hz.

Preferably, the predetermined period of time during which the sensor operates in the second mode, after detecting a torque equal to the average time between puffs for a specific user. Additionally, the predetermined time period may be adaptive, so that it is continuously adjusted based on the moving average of previous periods of time between puffs. Alternatively, the predetermined time period may be a fixed value.

If the means for supplying a pulse of the control signal S1contains a microcontroller, preferably, the output voltage sensitive circuits provide input to the microcontroller. This can be done through the Ohm differential amplifier. Then, in one variant embodiment, when the input to the microcontroller indicates the detected torque, the microcontroller can change the pulse control signal S1at its output, with the first frequency f1at the second frequency f2.

Preferably, the signal S2served on other system components generate aerosols, and S2is high when the output voltage sensitive circuitry indicates the detected torque, and S2is low when the output voltage sensitive circuitry indicates that the tightening is not detected. If the means for supplying a pulse of the control signal S1contains a microcontroller, preferably the signal S2provide additional output of the microcontroller. Preferably, the output voltage sensitive circuit to provide the input of the microcontroller. Then, when the input to the microcontroller indicates the detected torque, the microcontroller is adapted to output a high signal S2and when the input to the microcontroller indicates that the tightening is not detected, the microcontroller is adapted to output a low signal S2. Other components of the system generating aerosols may include, but not limited to, the mechanism of auralization (which may be the mechanism of vaporization, by means of vaporization, fur the ISM spraying or by means of sputtering) the atomizer, a heating element and indicator tightening.

System flow sensors may further comprise means for adjusting the sensitivity of the sensor system, and means for adjusting the sensitivity contain one or more of: a variable resistor in a sensitive scheme; self-regulating scheme offset; and a signal generator for supplying a pulsed calibration signal SCthe sensitive circuit.

A variable resistor allows for adjustment to change the sensitivity of the sensor system. Preferably, the sensing resistor has an operating range of resistances (the range having a fixed value), and the adjustment of the variable resistor changes the position of the operating resistance of the sensing resistor, i.e. the lowest point of the operating range of resistances. This in turn affects the output voltage sensitive circuitry in the absence of torque, which affects the sensitivity of the system. In a preferred variant embodiment of the variable resistor adjust so that the operating resistance of the sensing resistor has a lower point near or slightly below zero. This provides the best sensitivity.

Self bias circuit can be used to change the sensitivity of the system is neither sensors. The bias circuit may be formed by connecting the output of the microcontroller with reinvestiruet input of the differential amplifier and connecting the output of the differential amplifier with the input of the microcontroller. The microcontroller can monitor the output of the VOUTdifferential amplifier and applying the voltage on non-inverting input up until VOUTnot equal to 0.

Pulsed calibration signal SCis used to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor system. Preferably, on each pulse of the calibration signal SCadjust the width of each pulse of the pulse control signal S1. This adjustment is preferably adapted to change the proportions of each pulse signal S1during which can be detected by a change in the output voltage sensitive circuitry, indicating the cigarette. Pulsed calibration signal SCcan be done in such a way that he has the pulse on every x-th pulse of the pulse control signal S1working or at the first frequency or the second frequency. x is any suitable value, for example, 1000. Alternatively, pulsed calibration signal Sc can be performed in such a way that it has a pulse each time a pulse control signal S1perekluchaet is the first frequency to the second frequency, or in other appropriate points in time. If the means for supplying a pulse of the control signal S1contains a microcontroller, preferably a pulsed calibration signal Sc provide at the output of the microcontroller.

Sensitive resistor may be a resistor, based on silicon MEMS. In another variant embodiment of the sensing resistor may be part of the sensor based on silicon MEMS. The sensor may further comprise a reference resistor.

Sensing circuitry may include a Wheatstone bridge having a first branch and a second branch, and the output voltage is the difference between the voltage in the first branch and the voltage of the second branch.

According to the second aspect of the invention provides a system for generating aerosols for receiving aerosol forming substrate, the system includes a system of flow sensors for the perception of the flow of fluid in the system generation of aerosols, pointing to the tension, and the system flow sensors corresponds to the first aspect of the invention.

System generation of aerosols can be electrically heated by the system generation of aerosols. System generation of aerosols may be the Smoking-room system. Preferably, the system is portable. Preferably, the system includes a housing on which I receive aerosol forming substrate and designed to be grasped by the user.

Forming the aerosol substrate may contain containing tobacco material (substance)containing volatile compounds to the aroma of tobacco, which are released from the substrate when heated. Forming the aerosol substrate may further comprise a driver aerosol. Forming an aerosol of the substrate may be a rigid substrate, a liquid substrate, the gaseous substrate or a combination of two or more of solid, liquid or gaseous.

If the aerosol forming substrate is a liquid substrate system for generating aerosols may contain a mechanism auralization in contact with the source of liquid substrate. The mechanism of auralization may contain at least one heating element for heating the substrate to form an aerosol; and a heating element can be activated when the system is generating aerosols detects the flow of fluid, indicating the cigarette. Alternatively, the heating element may be separate from the mechanism of auralization, but it is reported to him. At least one heating element may contain a single heating element or more than one heating element. The heating element or elements may be of any suitable form for the most effective heat forming the aerosol subst the ATA. The heating element preferably contains an electrically resistive material.

The mechanism of auralization may include one or more Electromechanical elements such as piezoelectric elements. The mechanism of auralization may include elements that use electrostatic, electromagnetic or pneumatic effects. System generation of aerosols can contain camera condensation.

In use, the substrate may be contained completely within the system generate aerosols. In this case, the user may take out of the mouthpiece system of generation of aerosols. Alternatively, in use, the substrate can be partially contained within the system generate aerosols. In this case, the substrate may form part of the individual parts, and the user can drag directly from the individual parts.

System generation of aerosols may contain a power source. The power source may be a lithium-ion battery or one of its variants, for example, lithium-ion polymer battery or Nickel-metal hybrid battery or Nickel-cadmium battery, a super capacitor or a fuel cell. In alternative embodiments, the system generating aerosols may contain a schema that is charged by an external charger at what Astok and adapted to provide power for a given number of puffs.

According to a third aspect of the invention provides a method of controlling the system flow sensors for the perception of the flow of fluid, indicating a delay in the system generation of aerosols, and the sensor system is arranged to operate in the first mode, in which tightening is not expected or detected, and in the second mode, in which tightening is expected or detected, and the method comprises the stages: served pulse control signal S1the sensitive circuit to supply power to sensitive circuit, so that the sensing circuitry receives power when the pulse control signal S1is high and does not receive power, when the pulse control signal S1is low, and the sensing circuit includes a sensing resistor and the output voltage, and the sensing resistor configured to detect fluid flow on the basis of changes in resistance of the sensing resistor, and sensing circuitry is designed so that the resistance change of the sensing resistor causes a change in the output voltage; and switch system sensor between the first and second modes of operation, and the pulse control signal S1has the first frequency f1in the first mode, and has a second is the frequency f 2that is higher than the first frequency f1in the second mode.

The system management flow sensors with pulse control signal S1means sensing circuitry does not receive power continuously, but only when S1is high. This significantly reduces the energy consumption, since f1and f2can be selected for the required sensitivity.

In one variant embodiment, the phase shift of the sensor system between the first and second modes of operation includes switching the sensor system from the first mode in which the pulse control signal S1has the first frequency f1in the second mode, in which the pulse control signal S1has a second frequency f2when the detected torque. Tightening find through changes in the output voltage sensitive circuit. Alternative or additionally, the phase shift of the sensor system between the first and second modes of operation includes switching the sensor system from the first mode in which the pulse control signal S1has the first frequency f1in the second mode, in which the pulse control signal S1has a second frequency f2when the expected delay based on the habits of the user. The point in time at which it is expected tightening, the can is to be predicted based on the habits of the user. For example, the sensor system can be switched from the first mode to the second mode in one or more cases of: after a preset period of time after the previous torque and at a given point in time during the day. A specified period of time may be the average period of time between puffs user, and can thus be adapted so that it is continuously regulated on the basis of the moving average time between puffs. Alternatively, the predetermined time period may be a constant value. This is preferable because if the sensor system operates in the second mode to the torque, the response time will be much shorter.

Preferably, the method includes applying a pulse of the control signal S1at the second frequency f2within a specified period of time after detecting the change in the output voltage sensitive circuitry indicating the tension, and the supply of the pulse control signal S1at the first frequency f1at all other times.

Preferably, the method further comprises the step signal S2other components in the system generation of aerosols, and the signal S2is high when the output voltage sensitive circuitry indicates that the observed delay, and the signal S2is low when the output voltage. who enoy schema specifies that delay is not detected. The signal S2can be used to activate one or more of: mechanism of auralization, sprinklers, heating element and indicator tightening.

The method may further comprise the step of adjusting the sensitivity of the sensor system containing one or more of: periodic adjustment of the resistance of the variable resistor in a sensitive circuit; providing a self-regulating scheme offset; and applying a pulsed calibration signal SCthe sensitive circuit.

The method may further comprise the step of delivering aerosol to the user depending on the characteristics of the torque detected by the sensing circuit. The signs described in relation to one aspect of the invention may be also applicable to another aspect of the invention.

The invention will be further described, solely as an example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a sample embodiment of a sensor system according to the invention;

Figa shows the signal GP2 of figure 1;

Fig.2b shows the signal VOUTof figure 1 in the absence of torque;

Figs shows the signal VOUTof figure 1 when the detected torque;

Figure 3 shows an alternative layout of the sensitive circuitry of figure 1, in the form of bridge measured the I resistance;

Figure 4 shows how it can be installed setpoint relaxation; and

Figure 5 shows one method of operation of the sensor system of figure 1.

A suitable sensor for use in the sensor system of the present invention may contain silicon substrate, a membrane made of silicon nitride on the substrate and two platinum heating element on the membrane. Two heating elements are resistors, one acting as both the actuator and the sensor, and the other as a reference. This sensor is preferred because it provides a fast response of the sensor. Of course, could be used other suitable sensors. During operation there is a change in resistance of the sensing resistor due to cooling of the adjacent fluid flow. This resistance change is a result of heat losses.

Sensitive resistor can be used at a constant temperature, then measure increased the required heating energy, and it provides an indication of the fluid flow. Alternatively, the sensing resistor can be used at a constant heating power, in which case low temperature provides an indication of the fluid flow. Alternatively, the sensing resistor may be used with a constant that is om, what will be described below with reference to figures 1 and 3, in which case the changes in the balance of the sensitive circuitry provides an indication of the fluid flow.

Figure 1 shows a sample embodiment of a sensor system according to the invention. The system 101 of the sensor of figure 1 includes sensitive circuit 103, the source current of a specified value in the form of a current mirror 105, a differential amplifier 107 and a signal generator for supplying a pulse of the control signal S1in the form of a microcontroller 109 and the control transistor 111.

The system 101 of the sensor of figure 1 includes sensitive circuit 103. Sensing circuitry 103 includes resistors R1, R4and variable resistor RVin the left branch and the resistors R2, R3and sensitive resistor RSin the right branch. The sensing resistor RSis sensitive resistor sensor, such as described above, the sensor or other suitable sensor type. RVis an adjustable resistance and can be used to establish a given point relaxation (for example, in the absence of airflow in the system), which will be further discussed below. Alternatively, to install a given point relaxation can be used self bias circuit. In this variant embodiment the output of the microcontroller can is to be connected with reinvestiruet input differential amplifier (not shown in figure 1) and V OUTthe differential amplifier may be connected to the input of the microcontroller. The microcontroller can be used to monitor the output of the VOUTdifferential amplifier and the supply voltage at the non-inverting input of differential amplifier up until VOUTnot = 0.

The measured voltage VDIFFis a measure of the difference (in this example, the difference between the V2in the right branch B and V1in the left branch (A). When sensing circuitry 103 is in equilibrium, the ratio of resistances in the left branch,that is equal to the ratio of resistances in the right leg,that results in VDIFF=V2-V1is equal to zero. As soon as RSis cooled by the fluid flow, changing the resistance RSthat leads to a change in voltage in the right branch B and a non-zero value for VDIFF.

One can easily show that for the sensitive circuitry 103 of figure 1:

(1)

if RV+R4=R1and RS+R3=R2then

Measurement difference VDIFFprovides an indication of the fluid flow, which causes a change in resistance RS. Since VDIFFis a measure of the difference can be made very precise measurements, which even for small changes of the fluid flow and, therefore, resistance. Configuration allows you to record information such as the volume and intensity of torque. Note from Equation (1)that VDIFFnonlinear depends on sensitive resistance RS.

In the variant embodiment of figure 1, the power source specified value has the form of a current mirror 105, which contains two transistors T1and T2in a mirrored configuration, resistor RREF. Current IMat T2must be equal to IREFat T1(which is also the current passing through the sensitive scheme 103). And:

VS=RREFIREF+VBE

Therefore:

(2)

Nonlinearity in sensitive scheme (see Equation (1) and (2) above) is compensated by a current mirror. It is preferable, as it is found that the system nonlinearity which is compensated thus, the nonlinearity in two times less than the nonlinearity in the system is compensated by the change in the voltage. Thus, current mirror 105 in the variant embodiment of figure 1 reduces the nonlinearity of the system.

Current mirror 105 may have any suitable configuration. The current mirror can be placed on the high voltage sensitive circuit 103, and not between the sensing circuit and ground, as shown in figure 1. Instead of T1and T 2could be used transistors of any suitable type, including PNP transistors, NPN transistors and CMOS transistors. Possible alternative layout of the current source. The sensor system must work correctly in the appropriate temperature range, and the current mirror 105 compensates for any temperature change. Other temperature-compensated current sources are also available. If the external temperature varies, the output voltage sensitive circuit, VDIFFwill be affected by the change , which can lead to inaccurate work or dimensions. T1and T2must have the same electrical characteristics and should be placed close to each other and equally mounted to minimize any temperature differences between them.

Turning to the specific placement of the current mirror 105, on the one hand, if the temperature difference between T1and T2because the two transistors have the same potential (VBEthrough their transitions base-emitter voltage, VBEremains constant. This means that if two transistors is at different temperatures, the current through T1differs from the current through T2to support the VBE. On the other hand, if you change the outside temperature so that equally affects T1and T2that is OK through both transistors is changed equally to maintain the V BEconstant.

System sensors 101 also includes a differential amplifier 107 at the output of the sensitive circuitry 103 for amplifying the output voltage VDIFF, which is typically only a few millivolts. Figure 1 uses the amplifier AD623, produced by Analog Devices, Inc., Massachusetts, USA. This amplifier uses less than 0.5 mA and has a gain of up to 1000. However, it could be replaced with any suitable differential amplifier. The amplifier 107 is connected to the voltage VSpower, and the gain of the amplifier is set by the resistor RGin accordance with the following:

(3)

Thus, for a gain of ≈1000, RGset to 100 Ohms.

Equation (3) is applicable only for a specific range of VDIFF. On either side of this range, the amplifier will be saturated. In one example, if VDIFF= 0 V, VOUT= 1,5 Century If VDIFF< -1,5 mV, VOUTsaturated at 0 C. If VDIFF> +1.5 mV, VOUTsaturated in the 3rd Century In the range of 1.5 mV < VDIFF< +1.5 mV Equation (3) is applicable, i.e. the relationship is linear with a gradient equal to the gain, which is equal to approximately 1000 if RGset to 100 Ohms.

System sensors 101 also includes a microcontroller 109 and managing transistor is 111. In one variant embodiment, the microcontroller has an input GP0 and outputs GP2 and GP4. Sensing circuitry 103 and the current mirror 105 are the largest consumers of energy in figure 1. To reduce power consumption sensing circuitry 103 and the current mirror 105 does not receive power continuously, and the start pulse control signal S1from the microcontroller 109. The pulse current IREFserved on a current mirror 105 and the sensitive circuit 103 in accordance with the signal S1output GP2 microcontroller 109 through the control transistor 111. The control transistor 111 behaves as a switch conductive when the signal on GP2 is high. Width and pulse frequency is controlled by the microcontroller 109. In this variant embodiment the output of the VOUTconnected to the input GP0 microcontroller to convert the digital output of the differential amplifier. Output GP0 track, and the width and frequency of the pulse signal GP2 can be properly adjusted. In the variant embodiment of figure 1, the microcontroller 109 is a CMOS 8-bit microcontroller with Flash memory series PIC12f675, produced by Microchip Technology, Inc., Arizona, USA. The microcontroller has a supply port, ground and six ports GP0-GP5 input/output (I/O), including four ports for analog-to-digital conversion max is education. It can function with 3 C. of Course, there may be used any suitable microcontroller.

Figa shows a single rectangular pulse signal at the output GP2 microcontroller (S1). Fig.2b shows how the signal GP2 affects the signal at VOUTin the absence of torque. Figa shows the voltage dependence of the time for GP2. Fig.2b shows the voltage dependence of the time for VOUT. Graphics on Figa and 2b shown are not to scale. Each pulse signal GP2 on Figa divided into three phases, denoted by f, g and h on Figa. These phases will be discussed below. The signal at VOUTon Fig.2b divided into five phases labeled a, b, c, d and e on Fig.2b.

In the phase of a signal GP2 0 Century. It to pulse. Therefore, the sensitive circuit 103 is not receiving current. Through the sensing resistor RSno current flows, so it has the ambient temperature. Output (output signal) sensitive circuitry 103, VDIFFrepresents 0, which gives the output of the VOUTin 1.5, as discussed above.

In the phase b signal GP2 equal 3rd Century Now sensitive circuit 103 is supplied current, which means that the temperature of RSbegins to rise. The output of the VDIFFthe sensitive circuitry 103 is increased to more than 1.5, which means that the output VOUTthe amplifier saturated during the 3rd Century

In phase with tempera is ur R Scontinues to grow, and it starts to reduce the output of the sensitive circuitry 103. VDIFFfalls below the saturation level of 1.5 mV, so the output VOUTamp get a linear response. Therefore VOUTlinearly decreases with VDIFFwith increasing temperature, RS.

In phase d, the temperature of RSrose enough so that VDIFFbecomes less of 1.5 mV, and the output VOUTthe amplifier is again filled, this time at 0 C.

In phase e, the pulse GP2 ends, so the voltage GP2 is again at 0 C. the Current is no longer served on the sensitive circuit 103, which means that the output VDIFF0, which gives the output of the VOUT1.5 In the same way as in phase A. Temperature RSreduced before the next pulse.

In this system delay can be detected during phase with VOUT, i.e. within the linear response of the differential amplifier. In the traditional layout sensitive circuit 103 is positioned so that its equilibrium VDIFF=0 is achieved when the resistance of the heater of the sensor has reached a constant temperature at zero flow. At constant current, this means the supply of current to the sensor for a long period of time, sufficient resistance heater sensor has reached an equilibrium temperature. This means high power consumption Yes the Chica. In this variant embodiment of the invention reduce power consumption of such control pulses that the resistance of the heater cannot or can hardly reach its equilibrium temperature.

Figs shows the signal at VOUTwhen the detected torque. Figs shows the voltage dependence of the time for VOUT. Again, the graph on Figs shown are not to scale. When tightening the resulting flow of fluid causes a shift in the slope of the VOUT(phase C) to the right. The shift value of the slope proportional to the flow velocity. When the displacement of the slope to the right signal on the VOUTultimately takes the form of a control signal to GP2, shown in Figa. This is shown in Figs. Signal GP2 is reduced to zero before the start of the slope in phase with, or simultaneously with it. The tightness of find just before the end of the pulse GP2. If the signal at VOUTdigitized through GP0), if its value is above the threshold, the tightening suppose detected. It is therefore important that VOUTwas equal to zero in the absence of any fluid flow and to measure.

Figure 3 shows an alternative layout for the sensitive circuitry 103 in the form of configuration 303 Wheatstone bridge, including sensitive resistor RS. The four sides of the Wheatstone bridge includes resistors R1, RV(the left branch A'), R2and (R3+ RS) (the right branch B'), respectively. Again, RVis an adjustable resistance and is used for determining the set point of the Wheatstone bridge. Bridge circuit arrangement is preferred because it allows to detect small changes in resistance of the sensor. Additionally, this scheme reduces changes caused by changes in ambient temperature.

Figure 4 shows how a variable resistance RVor self bias circuit can be used to establish a given point relaxation sensitive circuitry 103 or bridge 303 for measuring resistance and sensitivity adjustment of the sensor system. As described with reference to phases b, C and d on Fig.2b, the resistance RSsensor increases with the power-up values determined by the width of the pulse signal GP2 generated by the microcontroller 109. RVor self bias circuit can be used to determine at what voltage level does this change RSand this is illustrated in Figure 4.

The range of values that can be used with RSwith changing temperature, shown in Figure 4 in the form of a range 401. The impact of adjustment RVor use self-regulating with the volumes offset is intended to offset the range 401 along a diagonal line, as shown by arrow 403. The specified point relaxation is the point at which you have placed the change in the voltage RS. The offset range 401 RSalong the diagonal line in figure 4 corresponds to the offset of the tilt in phase with VOUTon Fig.2b left or right. The best sensitivity is achieved when the range 401 begins at zero or slightly below zero in figure 4, which corresponds to the location of the slope in phase with VOUTat the end of the pulse GP2 on Fig.2b or directly in front of him.

Figure 5 shows one alternative embodiment of the method of operation of a scheme of arrangement of figure 1. The upper third of Figure 5 shows the voltage dependence of the time for GP2 (S1). The Central third of Figure 5 shows the voltage dependence of the time for VOUT(corresponding GP0). The lower third of Figure 5 shows the voltage dependence of the time to exit VCTRLmicrocontroller (corresponding to the signal S2on GP4). The graphs in figure 5 are shown not to scale. As already discussed, to minimize power consumption sensing circuitry 103 or bridge 303 Wheatstone and current mirror 105 are fed pulsed control signal S1on GP2. One rectangular pulse GP2 is shown in Figa. The left side of Figure 5 shows the signal in the first mode. The right side of Figure 5 shows the signal in the second mode.

L is the first side of Figure 5 shows the way, when the tightening is not detected, and the signal operates in the first mode. Pulse frequency when the signal in the first mode, in this variant embodiment is 3 Hz, i.e. the pulse is approximately every 330 MS. This frequency provides a good compromise between sensitivity and power consumption. The width of the pulse GP2 in this variant embodiment is equal to 12.1 MS. Consequently, the voltage VOUThas the form shown on the left in Figure 5. Note that each pulse of the VOUTin the lower half of the left side of Figure 5 has the shape shown in Fig.2b, but the pulse shape is shown only schematically in figure 5. On the left side of Figure 5, the tightening was not found, therefore the pulse shape similar to the form shown in Fig.2b, and not the form shown in Figs.

The right side of Figure 5 shows the way to work, when tightening detected, and the signal operates in the second mode. Tightening detected at the moment 501 time. As can be seen in the middle third of the right side of Figure 5, the tightening detected, since the lower portion of the pulse VOUT(the bottom of the slope in the phase (C) has a higher value. This corresponds to a displacement of the slope of phase with the right flow of the fluid, so that the slope is cut off before reaching the phase d of the return signal GP2 to 0 C. When the detected torque in the moment 501-time detection on the input GP0 switches the signal S2 output GP4 from 0 to 1, so what is included VCTRLas shown in the lower third on the right side of Figure 5. Detection input GP0 also causes a change in the frequency of the pulse GP2, and the system begins to operate in the second mode. Of course, the signal change on GP2 can also be used to control other circuits, for example, the mechanism of auralization, sprinklers, heating element and indicator tightening. Now, in this variant embodiment, the frequency of the pulse GP2 in the second mode is equal to 22 Hz, i.e. a pulse is approximately every 45 MS, as shown in the upper third of the right side of Figure 5. Note that the pulse width remains the same as in the first mode, i.e. 12,1 MS in this variant embodiment. Note that the lower portion of the signal VOUTcorresponds to the dotted curve indicated by 503. This curve is the profile of the torque, since the degree of inclination of the VOUT, slide to the right, proportional to the flow velocity. When the lower portion of the signal at VOUTincreases, the flow velocity increases from zero to its maximum value, and when the lower portion of the signal at VOUTdecreases from its maximum value to zero, the flow velocity decreases from a maximum value to zero.

In this variant embodiment the system is properly calibrated; this can wee the et of the curve 503, which only reaches but does not exceed the high values of VOUT. This is equivalent to the range 401 RSin Fig. 4, beginning at zero or slightly below zero, and the slope of phase with VOUTlocated at the end of the pulse GP2 or directly in front of him. This calibration can be achieved by changing RVor circuit bias, as discussed above with reference to Figure 4, or an alternative method of calibration, which will be discussed below.

At time 505, when no changes are detected again at VOUTthe output of the VCTRLreturns to 0 C. the Pulse GP2 remains at a second frequency equal to 22 Hz, within a specified period of time after detecting the torque at point 501 of time until 507 time, when he returns to his first frequency of 3 Hz. This period 501-507 time can be either set in advance or may be based on the habits of the user. For example, the time period could correspond to the average time period between two puffs.

Thus, during the first mode, when the frequency of the pulse GP2 is equal to 3 Hz in the worst case, the time for the first tightening is approximately 330 milliseconds. If the tightening is done during the second mode, when the frequency of the pulse GP2 is 22 Hz, the maximum response time is much faster, and in the worst case, the time for tightening is adapted is sustained fashion 45 MS.

The signal VOUTthat is the tension, can be recorded and can be used to extract various data. For example, from the signal VOUTcan be recorded average total time for tightening. This corresponds to a time period from 501 to 507 figure 5. Also, the slope of the curve 503 can be used to calculate the strength or intensity with which the user makes a puff. Also, from the profile 503 tightening over the time period from 501 to 505 may be determined by the amount of tightening. Also, from the signal VOUTcan be obtained the average period of time between puffs (although note that for simplicity, figure 5 shows only one puff).

This information may be submitted to the microcontroller, and it allows for a greater degree of flexibility in the work. For example, from the registered time between puffs, the microcontroller can adjust the period of time during which the GP2 remains at a high frequency (from 501 to 507) in accordance with the habits of the user. As an additional example, the device could automatically switch from low-frequency pulse GP2 in the high-frequency pulse GP2 at the time when it is expected the next puff, based on the habits of the user. This will reduce the response time, i.e. the time for tightening. As an additional example, the force with which uses the user makes a puff can be registered and used to control the delivery of an aerosol, for example, the drive mechanism auralization or heating element to suit the user.

The method, shown in Figure 5, can be implemented in software on a microcontroller. First, the software enables and initiates the microcontroller. Next, the software performs electronic stabilization. At the completion of these processes, the microcontroller can be used to generate pulses on GP2 and read response at VOUT. If VOUTdoes not exceed 0.1, the tightness was not detected, in which case set the first pulse signal S1in GP2, in this case 3 Hz. The microcontroller continues to generate pulses with the first pulse frequency and to read the response to VOUTbefore the discovery of tightening.

If VOUTmore than 0.1 V, the tightening was discovered, in which case it starts a countdown timer. This corresponds to the point 501 of time in figure 5. The output of the VCTRLthe microcontroller on GP4 (S2) is set to a high value, and set the second pulse signal on GP2, in this case 22 Hz. The microcontroller generates pulses at the second frequency in GP2 and reads the response to VOUT. If VOUTmore than 0.1 V, the food is still fixed, in which case the pulse S1on GP2 is still applied to the second frequency, and the output VCTRLmicrocontroller for GP4 (S2) remains high.

If VOUTdoes not exceed 0.1, delay no longer detected. This corresponds to the moment 505 time figure 5. In this case, a low VCTRL. Then, if the countdown timer is not zero, the period of time during which the pulse GP2 should remain at a high frequency, has not yet expired, i.e. the moment 507 time figure 5 has not been reached. In this case, a pulse signal S1on GP2 remains at a high frequency.

If the countdown timer is not zero, the period of time during which the pulse GP2 should remain at a high frequency, has expired, i.e. the moment 507 time figure 5 is reached. In this case, a pulse signal S1on GP2 is returned to the first low frequency.

As discussed above, the system sensitivity can be set by adjustment of RVor supply voltage on non-inverting input of the differential amplifier as long as the output of the amplifier VOUTnot equal to 0 C. Another way is to use the calibration signal SC. Pulse calibration signal SCcan be generated periodically, for example every x pulses (for example, 1000 pulses) signal S1in GP2, or every time is when the signal GP2 is changed from the second mode (22 Hz) in the first mode (3 Hz). Again referring to Figa, the calibration pulse is used to maintain a constant period of time for phase d, i.e. when VOUTequally IMPRESSIVE. If you use the calibration pulse, the width of the pulse GP2 is no longer fixed, but is variable. The pulse GP2 is divided into three phases f, g and h, as shown in Fig. 2A. During the calibration phase f, which has a constant duration (in one variant of embodiment 6 MS), the signal GP2 remains high at 3, regardless of the signal at VOUT. In phase g see the signal at VOUTand while VOUTremains higher than 0 (as in phase b or C - see Fig.2b), the signal GP2 remained high during the 3rd Century as soon As the signal at VOUTreaches 0 In (phase d - see Fig.2b), recorded time, and is set to fixed duration (in one variant of embodiment 300 µs) time period for phase h for GP2, which corresponds to the phase d to VOUT. During calibration, in this variant embodiment, if VOUTreaches 0 V after the total pulse duration (f+g+h), 14 ISS, tightening suppose detected.

In the normal mode, the overall width of the pulse GP2 is equal to f+g+h. Time g, which was recorded during calibration, is now used to calculate the total duration of the pulse. This method of calibrating the system to install sensitivity is lnasty very advantageous for the following reasons. Firstly, adjustable resistance RVmay be replaced by a fixed resistor. Secondly, automatic calibration occurs every time when the pulse calibration signal SChas the momentum. This means that there is no need to manually configure any component in the system, either during production or during maintenance because the system will configure itself automatically for the best sensitivity. The time window selected in this variant embodiment, from 6 MS to 14 MS, high enough to prevent any changes of the ambient temperature and the response of various electronic components, but could be selected from any suitable time window.

1. System flow sensors for the perception of the fluid flow indicating a tightening in the system generation of aerosols, and the sensor system has a capability to operate in the first mode, in which tightening is not expected or detected, and in the second mode, in which tightening is expected or detected, and containing:
sensitive circuit containing sensitive resistor and the output voltage, and the sensing resistor configured to detect a fluid flow indicating the tension, on the basis of resistance changes, and the sensing circuit is designed so that the changing resistance of the sensing resistor causes a change in the output voltage; and
the signal generator, configured to supply a pulse of the control signal S1the sensitive circuit for powering sensitive circuits, so that the sensing circuitry receives power via the signal S1when the pulse control signal S1is high, and does not receive power, when the pulse control signal S1is low, while the pulse control signal S1has the first frequency f1in the first mode and the second frequency f2higher than the first frequency f1in the second mode , and the signal generator is configured to switch from the first mode to the second mode when the tightening is expected or detected by the sensor circuit.

2. System flow sensors according to claim 1, additionally containing a current source configured to supply a current of predetermined magnitude through the sensitive circuit in which the pulse control signal S1served on a current source.

3. System flow sensors according to claim 1 or 2, additionally containing a differential amplifier adapted to amplify the output voltage sensitive circuit.

4. System flow sensors according to claim 3, in which the output of the differential amplifier is proportional to the output voltage sensitive circuitry within the range of values of the second output voltage sensitive circuit and saturated, when the output voltage sensitive circuit is lower than or higher than the range.

5. System flow sensors according to claim 1, further containing a means for adjusting the sensitivity of the sensor system, and means for adjusting the sensitivity contains one or more of:
variable resistor in a sensitive scheme;
self-regulatory schemes offset; and
a signal generator for supplying a pulsed calibration signal SCthe sensitive circuit.

6. System flow sensors according to claim 1, in which the sensing circuitry includes a Wheatstone bridge having a first branch and a second branch, and in which the output voltage is the difference between the voltage in the first branch and the voltage of the second branch.

7. System generating aerosols for receiving aerosol forming substrate, the system includes a system of flow sensors for the perception of the fluid flow in the system generation of aerosols, indicating the tension, and the system flow sensors according to any one of the preceding paragraphs.

8. System generation of aerosols according to claim 7, further comprising:
at least one heating element for heating the substrate to form an aerosol;
in which the system flow sensors is configured to activate the heating element when the system docciafredda perceives the flow of fluid, pointing to the cigarette.

9. The way to control the system flow sensors for the perception of the fluid flow indicating a tightening in the system generating the aerosol, and the sensor system has a capability to operate in the first mode, in which tightening is not expected or detected, and in the second mode, in which tightening is expected or detected, and the method comprises the steps:
serves pulse control signal S1the sensitive circuit for supplying power to a sensitive circuit, so that the sensing circuitry receives power via the signal S1when the pulse control signal S1is high, and does not receive power, when the pulse control signal S1is low, and the sensing circuit includes a sensing resistor and the output voltage, and the sensing resistor configured to detect fluid flow indicating the tension, on the basis of changes in resistance of the sensing resistor and the sensing circuit is designed so that the resistance change of the sensing resistor causes a change in the output voltage; and switch system sensor between the first and second modes of operation, this pulse control signal S1has the first frequency f1 in the first mode, and has a second frequency f2that is higher than the first frequency f1in the second mode, when the tightening is expected or detected by the sensor circuit.

10. The method according to claim 9, in which the phase shift of the sensor system between the first and second modes of operation includes switching the sensor system from the first mode in which the pulse control signal S1has the first frequency f1in the second mode, in which the pulse control signal S1has a second frequency f2if the detected tightening.

11. The method according to claim 9 or 10, in which the phase shift of the sensor system between the first and second modes of operation includes switching the sensor system from the first mode in which the pulse control signal S1has the first frequency f1in the second mode, in which the pulse control signal S1has a second frequency f2when the expected delay based on the habits of the user.

12. The method according to claim 9, further containing the step signal S2other components in the system generation of aerosols, and the signal S2is high when the output voltage sensitive circuitry indicates that the observed delay, and the signal S2is low when the output voltage sensitive circuitry indicates that tightening not found.

13. JV the property according to claim 9, optionally containing phase sensitivity adjustment of the sensor system containing one or more of:
periodic adjustment of the resistance of the variable resistor in a sensitive scheme;
providing a self-regulating scheme offset; and
the flow pulse of the control signal SCthe sensitive circuit.

14. The method according to claim 9, further containing the step of delivery of the aerosol to the user depending on the characteristics of the torque detected by the sensing circuit.



 

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