or virtual sensor
is a common name for software where several measurements are processed together. There may be dozens or even hundreds of measurements. The interaction of the signals can be used for calculating new quantities that need not be measured. Soft sensors are especially useful in data fusion
, where measurements of different characteristics and dynamics are combined. It can be used for fault diagnosis
as well as control applications.
Well-known software algorithms that can be seen as soft sensors include e.g. Kalman filters. More recent implementations of soft sensors use neural networks or fuzzy computing.
Examples of soft sensor applications