Spring Mass Accelerometer


The basic principle governing spring mass accelerometers is Newton‚s law

F = Ma. A spring mass system is devised such that an acceleration of the mass exerts a force on the spring. This force can be sensed by a force transducer and acceleration can be deduced from Newton‚s Law. Systems using strain gauges or capacitative force transducers are popular. Strain gauge based systems have the advantage of relative ease of use during field calibration. Commercial systems are generally capable of measuring 0.5g to 200g. Viscous fluids and permanent magnets are incorporated as dampers in spring mass systems. A spring mass system using a cantilever beam and strain gauges is depicted in Figure 13.


Figure 13 Cantilever beam spring mass system [4]


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Support for the development of this module was provided by the National Science Foundation and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Please send questions or comments to Professor Ron Adrezin or Professor Daniel Raichel.