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Automotive sensor

Khan Md Sayeem

By the definition of sensor, a sensor is a device that measures a physical entity (i.e. records,
identifies or responds to it).
An accelerometer is a device that evaluates actual acceleration or the gravitational force. Actual
acceleration is not the same thing rate of change of velocity. For example an accelerometer will
give different values on the surface of earth and on the surface of moon or on free fall in which
case it would be zero.
Accelerometers have a very wide range of applications in industry. For example the automobile
industry has a very significant use of accelerometers in determining crash safety and overall
safety to passengers. They are also used in the aerospace industry in navigation systems for
various aero planes and defense utilities such as missiles. Theoretically, it acts as a massed on a
spring, and when it experiences acceleration the mass is displaced to a point that the spring
accelerates at the same rate as the whole accelerometer. The newly developed accelerometers use
small micro-electro-mechanical systems or MEMs usually having a cantilever beam and a
seismic mass. The damping in these systems occurs from the remaining gas in that is present in
the chamber. By the external acceleration as the proof mass is displaced from the original
position it is measured by the analog or digital way. But usually the capacitance between the
fixed beams and the beams attached to the seismic mass. They always function in in-plane with
the manufactured die and by combining two devices and perpendicularly on a single die a twoaxis accelerometer can be manufactured. During manufacture its always a tradeoff between
maximum acceleration measurement and sensitivity for reaching the optimum performance.
They are very widely used in automotive industry today. For example, Volvo utilizes hundreds
of accelerometers to measure the effects of impacts on vehicles and their passengers allowing it
to plan even safer cars. The accelerometers attached to the crash-test dummies are rated at 500 g
while those used on the car itself record impacts at up to 2000 g.
In other cases, for rotational acceleration measurements, such as those most characteristic event
we come across in crash testing, suspension and chassis vibration analysis and vehicle rollover
detection applications an accelerometer which reimburses temperature. Piezoresistive
accelerometer is specially designed to ignore cross-axis angular and linear accelerations within
automotive safety testing function. The sensor is fluid-damped to perfect frequency and phase
response throughout its functioning temperature range of around 100 degrees of temperature.
Other uses of the accelerometer can be on biology, navigation and other many various fields of
engineering. It is highly valued to measure any impact based experiments.