Designing an accelerometer

In summary, the author has two applications in mind for using a strain gauge accelerometer. One is to measure the vibrations of an engine or motor, and the other is to measure the acceleration of an electric motor. The author has problems with both applications, as they would include both acceleration and pulling force. He would like some advice on how to measure the strain caused by vibrations or acceleration isolated respectively.
  • #1
I posted another thread here talking about two instrument designs using strain gauges. One was for measuring torque, and the other for acceleration.

I would like to go ahead with designing an accelerometer using a full strain gauge bridge. The basic idea I have in mind is similar to this:

Now I have two different applications in mind. One is to measure the vibration of an engine or motor spinning a propeller or even possibly the vibration due to speakers. The second application is to measure the acceleration of an electric motor accelerating a propeller from zero to max rpm.

I have a problem with both applications. Since measuring vibrations will result in the mass moving back and forth, how can I display the strain caused by this vibration to show the frequency ? I am guessing that the one thing you would want from measuring the extent of vibration is the frequency, but how do I go about converting this change in output voltage from the strain gauge to show a frequency graph ?

The problem with the second application, measuring the acceleration of a motor and mounted propeller, is that if I mount the motor on the accelerometer the resultant strain would be due to both acceleration and pulling force of the motor. The propeller would accelerate from zero to max rpm, then spin at its maximum causing no further acceleration but still causing a force which will strain the gauges. Is there any possible way to isolate the acceleration ?

Any advice or possible ideas for small scale application of a strain gauge accelerometer would be highly appreciated.
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  • #2
Question: why would you want to design an accelerometer rather than just buy one? They're fairly cheap and worth the investment if you're serious about completing your project.

1. What is an accelerometer and how does it work?

An accelerometer is a sensor used to measure acceleration, or the rate of change of velocity, of an object. It works by using small microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) to detect changes in motion and convert them into electrical signals.

2. What are the main components of an accelerometer?

The main components of an accelerometer include a mass suspended on springs, a proof mass, and a set of capacitors or piezoelectric crystals. These components work together to measure changes in motion and convert them into a measurable output.

3. How is an accelerometer calibrated?

An accelerometer is typically calibrated by applying known forces or accelerations to the device and comparing the output to the expected values. This process helps to ensure accurate and precise measurements.

4. What are the different types of accelerometers?

There are several different types of accelerometers, including piezoelectric, capacitive, and piezoresistive. Each type uses a different method to measure acceleration and has unique advantages and applications.

5. How is an accelerometer used in real-world applications?

Accelerometers are used in a wide range of applications, such as in smartphones for screen rotation and step counting, in cars for airbag deployment and stability control, and in aerospace for measuring forces on spacecraft. They are also used in medical devices, gaming controllers, and many other electronic devices.

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