Ideal for critical linear displacement measurements, the Microminiature LVDT delivers high performance in a tiny package. Advanced materials and electronics have resulted in a rugged, fast, and sensitive instrument, capable of submersion in aqueous environments. The Microminiature LVDT features micron- to-sub-micron resolution, linear analog output, flat dynamic response to kHz levels, and very low temperature coefficients. Its free-sliding cores are extremely lightweight and utilize flexible, elastic, bio-compatible alloys to provide resistance to kinking and permanent deformation.

Where to Buy?
U.S. International OEM

List Price:


High Performance

  • Micron resolution with large stroke/size ratio
  • Frictionless design for robust use over millions of cycles
  • Suitable for use in harsh fluids and environments

Ease of Use

  • World’s smallest linear displacement sensor
  • Plug and play usability
  • Easily customized to suit specific requirements
  • Signal conditioning options for any application

Electrical Specifications Obtained using DEMOD-DVRT® with 800 Hz low pass filter at constant temperature

Linear Stroke Lengths ±1.5 mm, ±3 mm, ±4.5 mm (standard)
±.075 mm (high resolution)
±1% Peak (typical)
(±2% max) with straight line
0.2% RMS with multi-segment
0.1% RMS with polynomial
Sensitivity DEMOD output/sensor range
Signal to noise 2000 to 1 (with filter 3 dB down at
800 Hz, standard); 600 to 1 (unfiltered) noise measured peak to peak
Resolution 1.5 µm for 3 mm stroke
3.0 µm for 6 mm stroke
4.5 µm for 9 mm stroke
300 nm for high resolution version
Frequency response 800 Hz standard, 20 kHz optional
Temperature coefficient offset 0.0029%/ °C (typical) span 0.030%/ °C (typical)

Mechanical Specifications

Overall body length

11.3 mm for 3 mm stroke
18.7 mm for 6 mm stroke
26.8 mm for 9 mm stroke
11.3 mm for high resolution version

Outside diameter

1.5 mm (standard version) 1.8 mm (high resolution)

Housing material

smooth 316 stainless steel;

4-40, 6-32 & 8-32 400 series stainless steel imperial threaded body options

M3x0.5-6g,  M3.5x0.6-6g, & M4x0.7-6g 400 series stainless steel metric threaded body options

Attachment method

threaded body


45 cm, multi stranded, shielded, stainless steel reinforced, Teflon insulated


keyed 4-pin Lemo, polyolefin relief

Operating temperature

-55 to 175°C

Core weight

3 mm: 0.06 g, 6 mm: 0.07 g, 9 mm: 0.07 g, 1.5 mm: 0.06 g

Core material

0.020” diameter super elastic NiTi alloy, 00-90 thread optional

Cable diameter

0.036 “



As an example. here is the Quick Start Guide for the M-DVRT-9:

Page 7 refers to the Slope and Offset that you will need to enter into the Smart Motherboard software.

In the Smart Motherboard software, click Tools.

Click Configuration and the Configuration screen appears.

Select the appropriate channel (remember that each channel, i.e., each DVRT and DEMOD –DVRT signal conditioner card in the Smart Motherboard is calibrated separately) by checking the Channel check box.

Select the Linear Radio Button.

Enter the Slope and Offset in the number scroll boxes.

Select None in the Peak Detect drop-down.

Change the Units from Volts to mm (for millimeters) by wiping through with your mouse.

Click File.

Click Save As Default.

Click File.

Click Return and you are ready to sample in millimeters.

If you are using the standard cable type supplied with the DVRT sensors, 20 feet is the maximum for M-DVRT and MG-DVRT, and 60 feet is the maximum for S-DVRT, SG-DVRT and NC-DVRT. If you require longer cable lengths, LORD MicroStrain® can provide custom cables of lower resistance.

No, carbon fiber has not been shown to pose a problem.

In most cases, MicroStrain calibrates every DVRT with its accompanying electronics and provides a detailed calibration certificate. The certificate provides 3 methods of calibration and all the particulars including formulas to resolve voltage into engineering units.

  • Standard Least Squares Linear Fit provides a simple mathematical method to convert sensor output to displacement and delivers reasonable accuracy.
  • Polynomial Fit provides a more mathematically intensive method to convert sensor output to displacement and in turn delivers a high degree of accuracy. A possible drawback to some users of this method may be that it can not accurately report measurements beyond its stroke length (i.e., over-stroking).
  • Multi-Segment Linear Fit provides the most mathematically intensive method to convert sensor output to displacement, delivers a high degree of accuracy and is not subject to the drawback of over-stroking.
  • Body length to stroke ratios for DVRTs are typically 2.5 to 1 as compared to 6 to 1 for LVDTs.
  • Microminiature DVRTs are available in body diameters of only 1.5 mm (.060") and with core diameters of only 0.5 mm (.020"); this makes them the World's smallest commercially available linear displacement transducers.
  • DVRTs maintain their temperature stability due to the use of two coils arranged differentially.
  • Each DVRT is capable of submersion as a standard feature.
  • Each DVRT can be hermetically sealed as an option.
  • Microminiature DVRTs are available with super-elastic, nickel titanium cores.
  • DVRTs have a standard operating temperature range up to 175 degrees C; LVDTs typically only operate up to 85 degrees C.
  • DVRTs have been operated successfully in liquid nitrogen; LVDTs typically only operate to -20 degrees C.

The output is an analog DC voltage proportional to linear displacement.  The full scale voltage is optionally +/-5 volts or 0-10 volts.  The analog voltage is easily read using a multi-meter or DAQ.  The voltage can also be read in the digital domain by using LORD MicroStrain® Smart Motherboards.  These Smart Motherboards provide a data gateway to PC-based software or to user-programmable LCD displays on the motherboard itself.

Yes. DVRTs can be used in wet environments.  One of our customers uses the DVRT to measure mussel growth on the ocean floor.  An automotive customer uses the DVRT in a hot oil environment for under-the-hood testing.  Our orthopaedic customers use the DVRT for soft and hard tissue testing (in vivo and ex vivo) in cadaver and animal studies.

Sandard DVRTs can operate up to 100 PSI.  However, custom-designed sensors have been used in applications up to 10,000 PSI.  Please contact your sales or support engineer for more info.

Typically, every DVRT is calibrated at the factory with its accompanying DEMOD signal conditioner.  The calibration is made over the entire system (DVRT and DEMOD) to insure the highest accuracy.  DVRTs and DEMODS are color-coded to insure that they stay together as a pair when in use.

LORD MicroStrain® posts links to a number of published scientific papers at:

The term ‘Motherboard’ refers to the LORD MicroStrain® DEMOD-DVRT or DEMOD-DVRT-TC signal conditioner mounting chassis.  The standard Motherboard provides a mounting slot and power to the individual DEMODs.  The Smart Motherboard provides a mounting slot, power and digital communications (RS-232) to the individual DEMODs.  Both Motherboard and Smart Motherboard provide analog ouput to a DAQ.  In addition, Smart Motherboard provides digital output to a computer.  Motherboards and Smart motherboards can accommodate 1 to 8 DEMOD cards.

DVRT Type Threaded Core Threaded Body Core Clamps Body Clamps SM-Block Core/Body Magnetic Mount Core/Body
Subminiature X X     X X
Subminiature Gauging X X        
Microminiature X X X X    
Microminiature Gauging X X   X    
Non-Contact   X**        

** Non-Contact comes standard with threaded body except for 5.0.


In a word, no. The design of an LVDT’s coil forms a Wheatstone full bridge and the design of LORD's DVRT coil forms a Wheatstone half-bridge. LORD MicroStrain® signal conditioning electronics are designed for the half-bridge.  Likewise, a DVRT can not use a LVDT's signal conditioning electronics.

DVRT (Differential Variable Reluctance Transducer) and LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer) combined with their signal conditioners convert a linear displacement into a linear variable electrical output signal. The displacement is detected by the movement of a core within the coils inside of the sensor. The difference between the sensors is in their coil format.

DVRT: The coil shown below is energized using an AC excitation through the center tap. The coil is usually arranged in a Wheatstone bridge with the Center Tap being the bridge excitation (forming a "half bridge"). With the core in the central location (null) the signals Va and Vb are equal. When the core moves, Va and Vb vary proportionally. Since this design is less complicated we are able to produce considerably smaller sensors than LVDT manufacturers.


LVDT: The primary coil is excited with an AC waveform. When the core is in the central location, the coupling between the secondary coils (Va & Vb) and the primary coil Ve) is equal. When the core moves, Va changes proportionally to Vb in both magnitude and phase.

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