July 19, 2011 AT 12:00 am

HOW TO TUESDAY – BMP085 Sensor Tutorial

Fetch-12

This tutorial is for our new BMP085 Barometric Pressure sensor. We show how to wire it up to your microcontroller, read the current pressure and temperature from the chip. We also show how to calculate altitude and weather-corrected altitude.

The BMP085 is a basic sensor that is designed specifically for measuring barometric pressure (it also does temperature measurement on the side to help). It’s one of the few sensors that does this measurement, and its fairly low cost so you’ll see it used a lot. You may be wondering why someone would want to measure atmospheric pressure, but its actually really useful for two things. One is to measure altitude. As we travel from below sea level to a high mountain, the air pressure decreases. That means that if we measure the pressure we can determine our altitude – handy when we don’t want the expense or size of a GPS unit. Secondly, atmospheric pressure can be used as a predictor of weather which is why weathercasters often talk about “pressure systems”

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