IEEE P1451.6 Terms and Definitions

What is IEEE 1451?
The IEEE 1451 is a growing family of standards responsible for the development of Smart Sensors. IEEE 1451 involves developing technology for a seamless connection between smart sensors and networks. This technology is standardized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a world-wide professional non-profit organization with over 360,000 members.

Read more about the IEEE 1451 working groups on the NIST IEEE 1451 website.


What is IEEE P1451.6?
The Proposed IEEE 1451.6 Standard is a developing standard that combines IEEE 1451 and Intrinsically Safe (IS) technologies for a CANopen network. 

Review the IEEE 1451.6 model here.


TEDS: A Transducer Electronic Datasheet (TEDS) is a table of parameters that identify a transducer on a EEprom interrogation by external electronics. IEEE 1451.4 defines the TEDS contained on a sensor.


Intrinsically Safe: IS, is a condition of safety in a hazardous environment, such as in areas where explosive gasses or other flammable items exist. Any intrinsically safe instrument must not cause any type of ignition in any form under normal operation. In case of failure, it must not produce any form of 'hot spots'.

Review the IS presentation here.

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Sensor: an electronic device that produces electrical, optical, or digital data derived from a physical condition or event.

Data produced from sensors is then electronically transformed, by another device, into information (output) that is useful in decision making done by 'intelligent' devices or individuals (people).


Actuator: a mechanical device that accepts a data signal and performs an action based on that signal.


Transducer: an electronic device that transforms energy from one form to another.
(Examples: microphone, thermometers, antenna). For the purpose of this standard, a transducer is a sensor and/or actuator.

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Smart Sensor: a single device that combines the full process of this data collection to the final stage of information output. Smart sensors do not make judgments on the data unless it is out of range.


CAN: Controller Area Network (CAN) is a network protocol that was first developed in 1986, by Robert Bosch, and is documented in ISO 11898 and ISO 11519. It is a bus topology of embedded microcontrollers that connects devices, sensors and actuators in systems for real-time control applications. Unlike Ethernet networks, each data message contains a unique identifier that is broadcast to all network nodes. The nodes use the identifier to determine the message's priority for bus access. The CAN protocol prevents data collisions and allows for an uninterrupted transmission. 

More technical information on CAN can be obtained from the CiA website.


CANopen: a higher level of the CAN protocol. CANopen was "designed for motion-oriented machine control networks, such as handling systems." It is currently used in medical, transportation, maritime electronics, and many other fields. 

More technical information on CANopen can be obtained from the CiA website.


CiA: CAN in Automation (CiA) is the international users and manufacturers group that supports and develops CAN-based protocols. The representatives of CiA support the standardization of CAN protocols at national and international levels. 

Read more about CiA here.

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