MSC Technical Sessions

TS4A: Innovations in Precision Voltage Dividers


March 22, 2018 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

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Voltage dividers are commonly used with Electronic Voltage References, typically 10 V or 1 V, to calibrate voltage references, voltage meters, and voltage sources.  One application is to divide down the reference voltage to create very accurate lower voltages (e.g. from 1 V to 1 mV via 1:10, 1:100 and 1:1000 ratios).  Another use of voltage dividers is to allow comparison from a secondary voltage source to an Electronic Voltage Reference by reducing the secondary’s voltage level to that of
the Electronic Voltage Reference.

This presentation will show the progression of voltage dividers from the early 1950’s through the variations available today.  Different designs will be presented for voltage dividers, along with a description of manufacturing issues and operational challenges.  For example, today the lowest uncertainty voltage dividers require a lengthy calibration process before use and typically can meet their best uncertainties for only an 8-hour operational period.  The calibration and operational process is either 100% manual, or requires very expensive and complex standards as well as time-consuming and complicated procedures.

The presentation will provide insight into newly developed and patent pending technology/designs that overcome many of the issues that have plagued the limitations of precision voltage dividers as well as solutions to operational, and automation of these standards.