Posts Tagged MEMs accelerometer

What is a MEMS Accelerometer?

Most people are familiar with accelerometers; we use them in our daily lives to measure the rate of acceleration in our vehicles, especially cars. Not only can they be used to evaluate the performance of the drive train and braking systems, but devices like these are especially useful when seeking to illustrate the power or performance ability of a vehicle.

Knowing how fast a vehicle accelerates allows for classifications according to mile time, and lead to attractive descriptions of how quickly a vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. What people may not realize about accelerometers is that they can also be used to measure the rate of vibration not only on cars but also buildings, machines, safety installations, and process control systems.

It naturally follows that accelerometers can also be used to detect seismic activity, angles of inclination, and dynamic distance as well as speed. There is also a special sub-category of accelerometers that can actually measure the force of gravity; these devices are known as gravimeters.

Scientists have now refined accelerometer design and sensitivity to the point where small accelerometers can actually be attached to notebooks. These notebooks are then used at earthquake sites to provide both quake measurements as well as a place to immediately write down pertinent information that the accelerometer may reveal while researchers are visiting the quake site.

Surprisingly enough, delicate accelerometers can also be used to track animals. By measuring wavelength frequencies and muscle acceleration, among other things, researchers are able to keep track of an animal’s behavioral patterns even when that animal may be out of sight.

mems accelrometer

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