Measuring the transverse sensitivity of vibration transducers

August 7th, 2014, Published in Articles: EngineerIT


The National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) has implemented a system to measure the transverse sensitivity of vibration transducers.

As a mechanical device, the principle sensing axis of an accelerometer is not 100% perpendicular to the mounting axis. This gives rise to the effect that the accelerometer will produce an electrical output even when a mechanical input perpendicular to the principle measurement axis is applied. The quantification of this “defect” parameter is of importance when high accuracy acceleration measurements are performed using accelerometers. This article gives a brief overview of the system developed by the NMISA to measure the transverse sensitivity of vibration transducers and explores the uncertainty of measurement associated with the calibration system.

Due to their ease of use and low cost, accelerometers are widely considered as the vibration sensor of choice. A variety of different models are required to cover the wide range of vibration measurement applications. To select the accelerometer best suited for a specific application, the user will typically scrutinise the manufacturer’s specifications. Apart from the general (usually the most relevant) specifications such as size, sensitivity, frequency- and acceleration ranges, the manufacturer also specifies the relative transverse sensitivity (RTS) of an accelerometer.

For specialised application, the transverse sensitivity is of importance. For some applications, a more accurately known value of the transverse sensitivity might be required [1, 2, 3]. In addition, knowledge of the angle (mechanical orientation) of the transverse sensitivity is also required… (more)

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