An integrated circuit piezoelectric sensor
or ICP sensor
is a device used to measure dynamic pressure, force, strain, or acceleration. It contains a sensing element made of a piezoelectric
material, which converts mechanical strain into an electrical signal, and anelectronic circuit
to amplify this signal and transmit it to an external device.
ICP is an abbreviation of "integrated circuit piezoelectric", and is a registered trademark (no. 1,603,466 in the USA) of PCB Group, Inc., parent company of PCB Piezotronics
There is a similar non-proprietary standard called IEPE, which stands for "integrated electronics piezoelectric."
In an ICP sensor, the built-in electronics convert the high-impedance charge
signal that is generated by the piezoelectric sensing element into a usable low-impedance voltage
signal that can be readily transmitted, over ordinary two-wire or coaxial
cables, to any voltage readout or recording device. The low-impedance signal can be transmitted through long cables and used in dirty field or factory environments with little degradation. In addition to providing crucial impedance
conversion, ICP sensor circuitry can also include other signal conditioning features, such as gain, filtering, and self-test features.
The electronics within ICP accelerometers require excitation power from a constant-current regulated, DC voltage source. This power source is sometimes built into vibration meters, FFT analyzers, and vibration data collectors. A separate signal conditioner is required when none is built into the readout. In addition to providing the required excitation, power supplies may also incorporate additional signal conditioning, such as gain, filtering, buffering, and overload indication