The accelerometer is a sensor that enables users with an upgraded experience by adjusting an orientation of the app screen in the smartphone and tablet. The core objective of the mobile phone accelerometer is, the device adapts the orientation change as per the device position from horizontal to vertical and vice-versa. To provide a comfortable viewing experience to the users, it measures the position and orientation change of the screens.
For example; if you play a game, then you cannot have a good experience with a horizontal view. A landscape view provides users with more space to play a game on touch-enabled devices.
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While using a banking app, then portrait view is highly preferred by users compared to vertical as it is quite easy to add and read the information. The accelerometer is an electromechanical device that measures the force of acceleration caused by movement or by gravity or by vibration. These forces can be static like gravity force, dynamic senses movement or vibrations. Mathematically, acceleration is a measurement of the change in velocity or speed divided by time.
The accelerometer can be used for both academic and consumer purposes. For example: if your laptop drops suddenly while you are using it, an accelerometer can identify causes of the sudden free fall and turn off the hard drive right away to avoid any data damage.
A dynamic accelerometer measures the gravitational pull. If we consider the consumer context, then uses can get a better understanding of the surrounding of an object. It captures each motion of the item, whether it is moving uphill, falling over, tilting, flying horizontally or aligning downward. The smartphone changes the orientation of the display from portrait to landscape and vice-versa based on the tilt of the phone. The accelerometer measures the linear acceleration of the device. When at rest position in whatever orientation, the figure represents the force of gravity active on the device at the same time it also measures the acceleration on X and Y axis which will be zero.
Would you like to deliver delightful viewing experience to your users? The sensor is available in high-end mobile phones. Bandwidth can be lowered to reduce the noise, as inclination applications typically require bandwidths below 1 kHz. Table 3 shows the same criteria for the ADXL For the industrial grade ADXL, the estimated tilt accuracy is 0. This shows the massive leap forward in MEMS capacitive accelerometer performance in terms of noise and bias drift — enabling much higher levels of inclination accuracy under dynamic conditions.
Application accuracy can vary depending on application conditions large temperature fluctuations, vibration and sensor selection consumer grade vs. Depending on the magnitude of vibrations in the end environment and temperature range, this may not even be possible.
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- Choosing the Most Suitable MEMS Accelerometer for Your Application—Part 1.
By providing repeatable tilt measurement under all conditions, these new accelerometers enable minimal tilt error without extensive calibration in harsh environments, as well as minimize the need for postdeployment calibration. The stability minimizes resource and expense associated with calibration and testing effort, helping to achieve higher throughput for device OEMs.
In addition, the hermetic package helps ensure that the end product conforms to its repeatability and stability specifications long after it leaves the factory. Typically, repeatability and immunity to vibration rectification error VRE are not shown on data sheets, due to being a potential indicator of lower performance.
Performance Box - Lap Timer, Speedometer, Accelerometer
For example, the ADXL is a general-purpose accelerometer targeted at consumer applications where VRE is not a key concern for designers. VRE, as shown in Table 4, is the offset error introduced when accelerometers are exposed to broadband vibration. When an accelerometer is exposed to vibrations, VRE contributes significant error in tilt measurements when compared to 0 g offset over temperature and noise contributions. This is one of the key reasons it is left off data sheets, as it can very easily overshadow other key specifications.
VRE is the response of an accelerometer to ac vibrations that get rectified to dc. These dc rectified vibrations can shift the offset of the accelerometer, leading to significant errors, particularly in inclination applications where the signal of interest is the dc output. Any small change in dc offset can be interpreted as a change in inclination and lead to system-level errors. Larger measurement bandwidth leads to integration of high frequency in-band vibrations, leading to higher VRE, as shown in Figure 4.
Many vibration related issues can be avoided by choosing an appropriate bandwidth for the accelerometer to reject high frequency vibrations. Performance gains due to package typically scale, as shown in Figure 5. The package is often overlooked in terms of what a manufacturer can do to add extra performance in relation to stability and drift.
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- What is an Accelerometer??
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This has been a key focus of Analog Devices, which can be seen across the wide array of sensor package types we offer to fit varying application areas. Before the availability of accelerometers rated for high temperature or harsh environment operation, some designers were forced to use standard temperature ICs well beyond data sheet limits. This means the end user takes on the responsibility and risk of qualifying the component at elevated temperatures, which is expensive and time consuming. Sealed hermetic packages have been well known to be robust at elevated temperatures and provide a barrier against moisture and contamination that cause corrosion.
Analog Devices offer a range of hermetically sealed parts offering enhanced stability and performance over temperature. Analog Devices has also done significant work examining the performance of plastic packages at elevated temperatures—in particular, the lead frame and leads ability to comply with high temperature soldering processes and providing secure attachment for high shock and vibration environments.
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Accelerometer measurements in a limited g -range can lead to clipping, which results in extra offset being added to the output. With a higher g -range, accelerometer clipping is reduced, thus reducing offset leading to better inclination accuracy in dynamic applications.
Figure 6 shows a g -range limited measurement from the ADXL Z-axis, with 1 g already being present in this range of measurement. It can be clearly seen that the offset due to clipping is significantly reduced by extending the g -range of the accelerometer. Detecting and understanding motion can add value to many applications. Value arises from harnessing the motion that a system experiences and translating it into improved performance reduced response time, higher precision, faster speed of operation , enhanced safety or reliability system shut-off in dangerous situations , or other added-value features.
There is a large class of stabilization applications that require the combination of gyroscopes with accelerometers sensor fusion , as shown in Figure 8, due to the complexity of motion—for example, in UAV-based surveillance equipment and antenna pointing systems used on ships. What may seem like simple inertial motion on one or two axes can actually require accelerometer and gyroscope sensor fusion, in order to compensate for vibration, gravity, and other influences that an accelerometer or gyroscope alone would not be able to accurately measure. Accelerometer data consists of a gravity component and motion acceleration.
These cannot be separated, but a gyroscope can be used to help remove the gravity component from the accelerometer output. The error due to the gravity component of the accelerometer data can quickly become large after the required integration process to determine position from acceleration. Due to accumulating error, a gyroscope alone is not sufficient for determining position.
Gyroscopes do not sense gravity, so they can be used as a support sensor along with an accelerometer.
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In stabilization applications the MEMS sensor must provide accurate measurements of the platforms orientation, particularly when it is in motion. A block diagram of a typical platform stabilization platform system utilizing servo motors for angular motion correction is shown in Figure 9. The end application will dictate the level of accuracy required, and the quality of sensor chosen whether consumer or industrial grade will determine whether this is achievable or not.
It is important to distinguish between consumer grade devices and industrial grade devices, and this can sometimes require careful consideration as the differences can be subtle. Table 6 shows the key differences between a consumer grade and midlevel industrial grade accelerometer integrated into an IMU. In some cases where conditions are benign and imprecise data is acceptable, a low precision device can provide adequate performance.
Most low end consumer devices do not provide specifications for parameters such as vibration rectification, angular random walk, and other parameters that actually can be the largest error sources in industrial applications. While sensor filtering and algorithms sensor fusion are a critical element in achieving improved performance, they are not capable of eliminating performance gaps from a consumer grade to industrial grade sensor.
Analog Devices new class of industrial IMUs achieve performance close to what was used in previous generation missile guidance systems.