Implementation of a self-controlling heater

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1973 - Science - 13 pages
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Temperature control of radiation sensors, targets, and other critical components is a common requirement in modern scientific instruments. Conventional control systems use a heater and a temperature sensor mounted on the body to be controlled. For proportional control, the sensor provides feedback to circuitry which drives the heater with an amount of power proportional to the temperature error. It is impractical or undesirable to mount both a heater and a sensor on certain components such as ultra-small parts or thin filaments. In principle, a variable current through the element is used for heating, and the change in voltage drop due to the element's temperature coefficient is separated and used to monitor or control its own temperature. Since there are no thermal propagation delays between heater and sensor, such control systems are exceptionally stable.

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