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Accelerometers and their uses

5/2/2012 6:19:04 PM | by Anonymous

Accelerometers

An accelerometer is an electromechanical device which measures the accelerations of motion or vibration of an object or structure. This device measures the acceleration of an object in relation to gravity. For example if a car hits a tree, the accelerometer would sense this and deploy the airbags for the safety of the driver. By using gravity, this instrument is able to measure the angle of an object or body relative to the Earth, therefore allowing the user to measure the acceleration of that body. Accelerometers are very common and used in many devices such as cars, computers and even game consoles.

Measuring acceleration and position of an object in accordance to gravity may not seem to be of much use, but engineers have developed many applications for these devices. The games that you play on your mobile phones make use of the functions of accelerometers. Also, using an accelerometer can help the user understand his or her project in greater detail.

They are even used in quality testing for vehicles by accessing the amount of vibration or amount of time taken to accelerate or decelerate. Accelerometers can help detect earthquakes as well. By detecting the amount of vibration, an accelerometer can determine the location and scale of an earthquake. Another application of accelerometers can be in testing for vibrations in building, machinery or other structures. Through testing of vibrations in machinery are engineers able to check for any faulty parts and determine for how long the machine will last. This ensures the safety of the workers that operate it. The same application also allows engineers to detect the weak points of that structure and implement any safety measure beforehand to avoid any disasters and save lives. Once engineers determine a weak point in a structure, they would know if it is repairable or replaceable.

Accelerometers go unnoticed in daily life but they have certainly affected our lives in various ways, be it for entertainment, convenience or safety.

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