Accelerometer Sensor Working and Applications

Acceleration refers to the change in velocity of an object relative to time. According to the relative theory, depending on the relative object taken to measure acceleration, there are two types of acceleration: proper acceleration and coordinate acceleration. Proper acceleration is the physical increase in speed of an object in respect to inertia or the observer who is at rest relative to the object being measured. Coordinate acceleration depends on the choice of coordinate system and choice of observers. The accelerometer is an electromechanical sensor device used to measure the proper acceleration of an object.

The working principle of an accelerometer is similar to that of a spring. When a mass is put on a spring, the mass is displaced until it is strong enough to move the mass with the same rate equal to the acceleration it senses. This same displacement value is used to measure and denote the acceleration. Accelerometers are available as either digital or analog devices and are designed using different methods. They are composed of either piezoelectric, piezo resistive, or capacitive components to convert mechanical motion into an electrical signal.

Piezoelectric accelerometers are made up of single crystals. They employ the piezoelectric effect to measure acceleration. When subjected to stress, the crystals generate a voltage which is interpreted to determine the orientation and velocity. Capacitive accelerometers use a silicon micro-machined element. In this configuration, capacitance is generated when acceleration is sensed and translated into a voltage to measure the velocity.

Accelerometers have a wide range of applications. Some of them are:

  • Inertial navigation systems, where highly sensitive accelerometers are used
  • To detect and monitor vibrations in rotating machinery
  • To display images on digital screens.
  • For flight stabilization for unmanned aerial vehicles
  • In navigation systems, where the accelerometer is used to note the direction
  • In remote sensing devices, where they do things like monitor active volcanoes

Accelerometers are used in aircraft, missiles, earthquake warning systems, and many other sectors. As they have a critical role in many applications, it's important to ensure your accelerometer parts are of the highest quality.

At Aerospace Simplified, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you source all types of accelerometer parts and deliver them with short lead times and competitive prices. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780. Our team of dedicated account managers is standing by and will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less.


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