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MEMS accelerometer performance comes of age

01 July 2019

In the June/July 2016 Uptime article, “Condition Monitoring and MEMS Accelerometers: What You Need to Know,” several attributes of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers were presented that make the technology compelling for condition monitoring applications.

This article reviews data demonstrating the state of MEMS technology development and performance levels by comparing it to a commercially available piezoelectric (PZT) condition monitoring accelerometers.

Investment in MEMS process technology, coupled with design innovations, has greatly improved MEMS performance enough to make MEMS a viable option for a wider range of condition monitoring applications. Accelerometers with resonant frequencies up to 50kHz and noise density levels down to 25 µg vHz are now possible with specialised MEMS structures and process technology. Careful design of signal conditioning electronics fully exploits the low Brownian motion noise of these new accelerometers.

Performance and comparison data

To assess whether the newest MEMS accelerometer would be suitable in a condition monitoring application, measurements were taken side by side with a commercially available PZT type condition monitoring accelerometer. To ensure both sensors had similar mass and were subject to the same stimulus, the MEMS sensor was adhered to the case of the PZT sensor. The single-supply analog output of the MEMS accelerometer was inputted directly into the analog input channel of the same data logger as the PZT sensor. A data acquisition instrument (DAQ) was used as the acquisition system for these experiments.

Read the full article in the July issue of DPA


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