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VISVESWARAIAH TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

DHARWAD-580 002

Department Of Electronics and Communication


2011-12 A Seminar Synopsis on

ACCELEROMETER
Submitted by SUSHANTH HEGDE - [2SD08EC106]

Under guidance of
Ms. RESHMA NADAF. ECE Dept, SDMCET, Dharwad.

SDM COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY DHARWAD-580002


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CONTENTS

Introduction------------------------------------------------------------------3 Accelerometer kinds--------------------------------------------------------4 Brief History------------------------------------------------------------------5 Accelerometer sensor terminology--------------------------------------6 Effect of tilt------------------------------------------------------------------7 Mechanical and capacitive accelerometers----------------------------8 MEMS and piezoelectric accelerometers------------------------------9 Thermal accelerometers--------------------------------------------------10 Feature and working of MX2125---------------------------------------11 Applications-------------- --------------------------------------------------12 References-------------------------------------------------------------------13

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INTRODUCTION
Acceleration is a measure of how quickly speed changes. Just as a speedometer is a that measures speed, an accelerometer is a meter that measures acceleration. can use an accelerometer's ability to sense acceleration to measure a variety of things that are very useful to electronic and robotic projects and designs:

Acceleration. Tilt and tilt angle. Incline. Rotation. Vibration. Collision. Gravity.

WHAT IS AN ACCELEROMETER?
Accelerometer is an instrument for measuring acceleration, detecting and measuring vibrations, or for measuring acceleration due to gravity (inclination). A minute sensor inside it produces electric charges if sensor experiences any movement. By measuring the amount of static acceleration due to gravity, you can find out the angle the device is tilted at with respect to the earth. By sensing the amount of dynamic acceleration, you can analyze the way the device is moving.

HOW DOES AN ACCELEROMETER WORK?


Used for calculating acceleration and measuring vibrations, the accelerometer is capable of detecting even the slightest movements, from the tilting of a building to smallest vibration
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caused by a musical instrument. Inside the accelerometer sensor minute structures are present that produces electrical charges if the sensor experiences any movement. Accelerometers need to be placed on the surface of the object in order to determine the vibrations. It is not capable of work in isolation or apart from the object it is required to assess, it must be firmly attached to the object in order to give precise readings.

KINDS OF ACCELEROMETER
The two kinds of basic accelerometers are: 1. ANALOG ACCELEROMETER At times Inputs and output readings also matter especially when it comes to determining the kind of accelerometer that needs to be placed on a certain object. If the output is digital then a digital accelerometer must be placed and vice versa. The main feature of this accelerometer is that the output tends to change when there is even a slight change in the input. The most common type of this accelerometer is used in airbags of automobiles, to note the sudden drop in the speed of the vehicle and to trigger the airbag release. Even laptops are now being equipped with accelerometers in order to protect the hard drive against any physical dangers, caused mainly due to accidental drops. 2. DIGITAL ACCELEROMETER The digital accelerometer is more sophisticated than the analog. Here the amount of high voltage time is proportional to the acceleration. One of its major advantages is that it is more stable and produces a direct output signal. Accelerometers are now also used in aerospace and many military applications, such as missile launch, weapon fire system, rocket deployment etc. Many a times these accelerometers are used to protect fragile equipment during cargo transportation, and report any strain that might cause a possible damage. Some companies have also managed to develop a wireless 3-axis accelerometers which are not only low in cost but are also shock
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durable. This 3-axis accelerometer has sensors that are used to protect mobiles and music players. Also these sensors are used in some of the devices used for traffic navigation and control.

BRIEF HISTORY

The first accelerometer was originally known as the Atwood machine by English physicist George Atwood in 1783. It was used to measure linear accelerations such as acceleration due to falling object, linear movement of spring etc.

Acceleration is found out by Newtons second law of motion, F = ma. Later accelerometers were designed to measure circular or twisting acceleration, such as that experienced by a weight spun at the end of a string. Upon development of MEMS technology , industries started to produce cost effective Accelerometers. The first micro machined accelerometer was designed in 1979 at Stanford University(took 16 years to design).

In the 1990s MEMS accelerometers revolutionized the automotive-airbag system industries.

ACCELERATION SENSOR TERMINOLOGY


+1g: Output of the sensor with the base connector pointed up.

0g: Output of the sensor with the base connector horizontal.


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-1g: Output of the sensor with the base connector pointed down.

Linearity: the maximum deviation of the calibration curve from a straight line.

Sensitivity: A measure of how much the output of a sensor changes as the input acceleration changes. Measured in volts/g.

Vcc : The voltage supplied to the input of the sensor. % Vcc : Reading are often represented as a % of the supply voltage. This allows for correction due to supply voltage variances between readings.

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EFFECT OF TILT

At 0g orientation, change in 1 tilt causes 57x bigger change in sensor output versus -1g or +1g orientation.

TYPES OF ACCELEROMETERS

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MECHANICAL ACCELEROMETER

Here mass attached to a spring suspended inside an outer casing. When they accelerate, mass is left behind and the distance the spring stretches can be used to find force and acceleration. Found application in seismometers to detect earth quakes.

CAPACITIVE ACCELEROMETER

As the gray accelerometer box moves to the right, the red mass is left behind and pushes the blue metal plates closer together, changing their capacitance in a measurable way.

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MEMS CAPACITIVE ACCELEROMETER OPERATION


The sensor element functions on the principle of differential capacitance. Acceleration causes displacement of a silicon structure resulting in a change in capacitance. A circuit, using standard CMOS manufacturing process, detects and transforms changes in capacitance into an analog output voltage, which is proportional to acceleration. The sense element design utilizes common mode cancellation to decrease errors from process variation and environmental stress.

PIEZO ELECTRIC ACCELEROMETER

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As the gray accelerometer box moves right, the mass squeezes the blue piezoelectric crystal (very exaggerated in this picture), which generates a voltage. The bigger the acceleration, the bigger the force, and the greater the current that flows (blue arrows).

THERMAL ACCELEROMETERS

Memsic MX2125 is an example for thermal accelerometer. Capable of measuring tilt, vibrations , static and dynamic accelerations.

SPECIFICATIONS OF MX2125
Power Requirements: 3.3 to 5 VDC. < 5 mA supply current. Communication: TTL/CMOS compatible 100 Hz PWM output signal with duty cycle proportional to acceleration. Dimensions: 0.42 x 0.42 x 0.45 in. Operating temperature: 32 to 158 F(0 to 70 C).

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FEATURES OF MX2125
Measures 3g on each axis. Simple pulse output of g-force for each axis. Convenient 6 pin DIP module. Analog output of temperature(Tout pin). Fully temperature compensated over 0 to 70c operating temperature range.

THE MX2125 ACCELEROMETER HOW IT WORKS


The MX2125s design is amazingly simple. It has a chamber of gas with a heating element in the center and four temperature sensors around its edge. Just as hot air rises and cooler air sinks, the same applies to hot and cool gasses. If you hold the accelerometer still, all it senses is gravity, and tilting it gives us an example of how it senses static acceleration. When you hold the accelerometer level, the hot gas pocket is rises to the top-center of the accelerometers chamber, and all the temperature sensors measure the same temperature.

Depending on how you tilt the accelerometer, the hot gas will collect closer to one or maybe two of the temperature sensors. Both static acceleration (gravity and tilt) and dynamic acceleration (like taking a ride in a car) are detected by the temperature sensors. If you take the accelerometer for a car ride, the hotter and cooler gasses slosh around in the chamber in a manner similar to a container that is partially filled with water.In most situations, making sense out of these measurements is a simple task thanks to the electronics inside the MX2125. The MX2125 converts the temperature measurements into signals (pulse durations).

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APPLICATIONS
Self balancing robots. Tilt-mode game controllers. Model airplane auto pilotCrash detection/airbag deployment. Human motion monitoring.

ACCELEROMETER IS USED IN:


AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
Due to high demand and wide spread use of accelerometers in the automotive industry and new hi-tech technology, these sensors are now light weight and are available at low cost and reduced prices.

MICROPHONES
Microphones also carry accelerometers. That is how they are able to detect the minute frequencies.

ROBOTICS
The forces that can cause vibrations which are detected by the accelerometer can be static, dynamic or gravitational. Certain accelerometers are rated G. G stands for Gravity. Such accelerometers are used mostly in robotics. They are more sensitive to motion and can be triggered at the slightest changes in gravitational pulls.

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REFERENCE
www.parallax.com En.wikipedia.org www.howstuffworks.com www.crash-network.com www.ti.com

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