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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Accelerometers
2.1.
Working of Accelerometers
2.2.
Commonly Used Accelerometers
2.3.
Applications of Accelerometers
3.
Gyroscopes
3.1.
Working of Gyroscopes
3.2.
Types of Gyroscope Sensors
3.3.
Applications of Gyroscope Sensors
4.
Frequently Asked Questions
4.1.
Where is an accelerometer used?
4.2.
What is Gyroscope?
4.3.
Which is better gyroscope or accelerometer?
4.4.
What is accelerometer sensor?
5.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Accelerometers and Gyroscopes

Author Harsh
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Master Python: Predicting weather forecasts
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Ashwin Goyal
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Introduction

The linear acceleration or directional movement of an object is measured by an accelerometer, whereas the angular velocity, tilt, or lateral orientation is measured by a Gyroscope Sensor.  Accelerometers and gyroscopes are often used together because they complement one other.

In this blog, we will learn about Accelerometers and Gyroscopes, different types of Accelerometers and gyroscopes, and their applications.

Accelerometers

An accelerometer is an electrical sensor that detects and evaluates the acceleration forces acting on an item in order to establish its position in space and track its movement.

There are three types of accelerometers, each of which is designed to perform effectively in its particular setting. Piezoelectricpiezoresistance, and capacitive are the three types.

  • Piezoelectric: A piezoelectric accelerometer detects changes in acceleration by using the piezoelectric effect (piezoelectric materials produce electricity when subjected to physical stress). The most typical applications for piezoelectric accelerometers are vibration and shock measurement.
     
  • Piezoresistance: Piezoresistance accelerometers are less sensitive than piezoelectric accelerometers, making them more suitable for automotive crash testing. The resistance of a piezoresistance accelerometer rises in relation to the amount of force put on it.
     
  • Capacitive: The acceleration of an item is determined by changes in electrical capacitance in capacitive accelerometers. The distance between the sensor's capacitor plates changes as the diaphragm moves when the sensor is accelerated.

MEMS Capacitive Accelerometer Diagram. (Source: HowToMechatronics)

Working of Accelerometers

An accelerometer is a device that uses an electromechanical sensor to measure static or dynamic acceleration. 

  • Static: The constant force acting on a body, such as gravity or friction, is known as static acceleration. To a significant extent, these pressures are predictable and uniform. For example, the gravitational acceleration is constant at 9.8m/s, and the gravitational force is about the same everywhere on the planet.
     
  • Dynamic: Vibration or shock are two examples of non-uniform dynamic acceleration forces. An automobile accident is a great example of dynamic acceleration in action. When contrasted to its former state, the acceleration shift is sudden. Accelerometers, according to theory, can detect acceleration and convert it to observable values such as electrical signals.

Commonly Used Accelerometers

The most extensively used accelerometers for test and measurement purposes are piezoelectric (PE) accelerometers. These devices come in a variety of sensitivities, weights, sizes, and forms, and can measure frequencies ranging from a few Hz to 30 kHz.

Piezoelectric accelerometers come in two varieties (vibration sensors). The first is a "high impedance" output accelerometer, and the second is a "low impedance" output accelerometer.

  • High Impedance: The piezoelectric crystal in this type of accelerometer generates an electrical charge that is directly coupled to the measurement devices. The charge output needs particular accommodations and instrumentation typically seen in research labs. This sort of accelerometer is also employed in high temperature (>120C) applications where low impedance variants aren't possible.
     
  • Low Impedance: A low impedance output accelerometer is the second type of accelerometer. A charge accelerometer serves as the front end of a low impedance accelerometer, which has a minuscule built-in micro-circuit and FET transistor that transforms the charge into a low impedance voltage that can be easily interfaced with standard instruments. In industry, this sort of accelerometer is extensively utilized.

Applications of Accelerometers

Accelerometers are used in a variety of sectors. Some of them are:

  1. Digital Cameras and Smartphones: Accelerometers in smartphones and digital cameras rotate the display depending on how you hold it.
     
  2. Vehicles: The airbags are triggered by accelerometers, which provide a signal when they experience a violent shock.
     
  3. Drones: Accelerometers assist drones in maintaining their direction while flying.
     
  4. Rotating Machinery: Accelerometers are used in rotating machines to detect undulating vibrations.
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Gyroscopes

A gyroscope sensor is a device that can determine and keep track of an object's orientation and angular velocity. Accelerometers aren't as advanced as these. These can detect the object's tilt and lateral orientation, whereas an accelerometer can only detect linear motion.

Angular Rate Sensors or Angular Velocity Sensors are other names for gyroscope sensors. These sensors are used in applications where human perception of the object's orientation is challenging.

Working of Gyroscopes

A rotor or spinning wheel is positioned on a pivot in a gyroscope sensor. The pivot permits the rotor to rotate around a single axis, known as a gimbal. We'll be using two gimbals at the same time. Another gimbal will be installed on top of the first. The rotor will now have three degrees of freedom. The gyroscope will continue to point in the same direction no matter how fast the rotor is rotated.

Types of Gyroscope Sensors

  1. Ring Laser Gyroscope: In essence, a ring laser gyroscope has a ring laser. On the same route, the ring laser two has two counter-propagating resonant modes that are independent of one another. The frequency difference between the two resonant modes can be used to identify body rotation.
     
  2. Fiber-optic Gyroscope: The Sagnac effect is followed by a fiber-optic gyroscope. It works on the idea of light interference as it goes through the optic fiber's coils. Interferometry is used to quantify the phase shift between two beams of light injected into the optic cable from two different sides.
     
  3. Quantum Gyroscope: The quantum gyroscope, also known as a superfluid gyroscope, is slowly replacing mechanical gyroscopes. This sort of gyroscope detects changes in orientation in various moving bodies by using fluid material.
     
  4. Vibration Gyroscope: The most popular gyroscope sensor is the vibration gyroscope. It's also a simple and straightforward device to operate. A vibrating structure can be utilised to determine the rate of rotation in moving bodies in this sort of gyroscope. Temperature-frequency coefficient, scale factor, and other essential properties of a vibration gyroscope.

Applications of Gyroscope Sensors

Some of the most important applications of the gyroscope sensor are:

  1. Angular Velocity Sensing: It can be used to determine the rate at which angular motion in moving bodies changes. This can be used to track athletic activity.
     
  2. Angle Sensing: The gyroscope sensor can also be used to detect angles. This programme is used in game controllers and automobile navigation systems.
     
  3. Sensing Control Mechanism: A gyroscopic sensor can also be used to detect vibration caused by numerous external causes. This programme can be used to control camera shake and vehicle control.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is an accelerometer used?

Vehicles, equipment, buildings, process control systems, and safety installations can all benefit from accelerometers.

 

What is Gyroscope?

A gyroscope sensor is a device that can determine and keep track of an object's orientation and angular velocity. These can detect the object's tilt and lateral orientation.

 

Which is better gyroscope or accelerometer?

Both of them have different applications, So we cannot say one is better than the other. The linear acceleration or directional movement of an object is measured by an accelerometer, whereas the angular velocity, tilt, or lateral orientation is measured by a Gyroscope Sensor.

 

What is accelerometer sensor?

An accelerometer is an electrical sensor that detects and evaluates the acceleration forces acting on an item in order to establish its position in space and track its movement.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed the Accelerometers and Gyroscope sensors, their applications, and what are different types of Accelerometer and Gyroscope sensors.

We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge of Accelerometer and Gyroscope sensors and if you would like to learn more, check out our articles on our Website

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