New Barometric Pressure Sensors for Drones and Other Applications

Bosch Sensortec released the new digital barometric pressure sensor BMP388 that boasts the best-in-class temperature coefficient offset (TCO) between 20 and 65 °C. The BMP388 also features low-power and low-noise design that offers accurate measurement of altitude over a broad temperature range based on proven sensing principles. The sensor is housed in a small compact 10-pin LGA package with metal-lid. The footprint measures 2.0 x 2.0 mm2 and maximum 0.8 mm height. The sensor consumes as low as only 3.4 µA at 1 Hz and 2.0 µA in sleep mode, which makes it very suitable for battery powered applications. The BMP388 is suitable for a measurement range between 300 hPa and 1250 hPa with a typical relative accuracy of ± 8 Pa (equivalent to ± 0.5m) in the range from 700 hPa to 900 hPa at 25 to 40 °C.

BMP388 supports I2C and SPI interfaces for easy system integration. The low power feature enables three power modes, sleep, normal and forced to improve power efficiency. The forced power mode supports a single measurement according to the programmable selection. When the measurement is finished, the sensor enters the sleep mode and results are accessible. A new measurement will not be performed until the forced mode is selected (forced) again.

The BMP388 includes a new 512 bytes FIFO buffer that supports low power and prevents data loss in non-real-time systems.

When performing environmental pressure measurement, the results are always subject to many nuisance condition or short-term changes, caused by slamming of a door or window, or wind blowing into the sensing element. To prevent these disturbances in the sensor output data, the BMP388 is designed with an internal IIR filter that effectively reduces the bandwidth of the output signals and greatly improves the accuracy of measurements.

BMP388 Functional Block Diagram

Bosch Sensortec BMP388 Barometric Pressure Sensor Functional Block Diagram

Typical applications of BMP388 include:

  • Altitude stabilization in devices;
  • Vertical velocity indication (rise/sink speed);
  • Internet of Things (IoT);
  • Weather forecast;
  • Enhancement of GPS navigation accuracy (time-to-first-fix improvement, dead-reckoning, and slope detection);
  • Indoor navigation and localization (floor detection, elevation detection);
  • Outdoor navigation, leisure, and sports applications;
  • Healthcare applications (spirometry);
  • Fitness applications like enhancement of calorie detection;
  • AR and VR applications;
  • Context awareness;

Targeted devices:

  • Flying toys;
  • Drones;
  • Handsets such as mobile phones, tablet PCs, and GPS devices;
  • Navigation systems;
  • Portable healthcare devices;
  • Home weather stations;
  • Watches;
  • White goods;
Bosch Sensortec BMP388 Barometric Pressure Sensors measure Barometric pressure and altitude

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