An accelerometer measures acceleration, either due to motion/velocity or due to gravity. Modern accelerators, such as those integrated in circuit boards, can measure vibration, shock, and tilt of moving objects. Here is the list various applications of accelerometers in instrumentation measurement systems, automotive electronic control systems, detection and monitoring systems, power generation, energy harvesting applications, and consumer electronics devices such as cell phones, smartphones, PDA mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders, laptops, etc.

  • Accelerometers are also used for machinery health monitoring of rotating equipment such as pumps, fans, rollers, compressors, and cooling towers. Vibration monitoring programs are proven to save money, reduce downtime, and improve safety in plants worldwide by detecting conditions such as shaft misalignment, rotor imbalance, gear failure or bearing fault which can lead to costly repairs.
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Human activities – walking, running, dancing or skipping
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Working machines – inside a building or in the surrounding area
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Construction work – driving piles, demolition, drilling and excavating
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Moving loads on bridges
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Vehicle collisions
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Impact loads – falling debris
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Concussion loads – internal and external explosions
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Collapse of structural elements
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Wind loads and wind gusts
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Air blast pressure
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Loss of support because of ground failure
  • Accelerometer measurement of the motion and vibration for Earthquakes and aftershocks
  • Accelerometer for measurement of the depth of CPR human chest compressions.
  • Inertial Navigation System (INS) that uses a computer and motion sensors (accelerometers) to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity (direction and speed of movement) of a moving object without the need for external references.
  • Accelerometers are used to detect apogee in both professional and in amateur rocketry.
  • Accelerometers are also being used in Intelligent Compaction rollers, and gyroscopes in inertial guidance systems.
  • One of the most common uses for MEMS accelerometers is in airbag deployment systems for modern automobiles. In this case the accelerometers are used to detect the rapid negative acceleration of the vehicle to determine when a collision has occurred and the severity of the collision.
  • Another automotive application is the monitoring of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), conditions that cause discomfort for drivers and passengers and may also be indicators of mechanical faults.
  • Modern electronic accelerometers are used in remote sensing devices intended for the monitoring of active volcanos to detect the motion of magma.
  • Some smartphones, digital audio players and personal digital assistants contain accelerometers for user interface control; often the accelerometer is used to present landscape or portrait views of the device’s screen, based on the way the device is being held.
  • Sleep phase alarm clocks use accelerometric sensors to detect movement of a sleeper, so that it can wake the person when he/she is not in REM phase, therefore awakes more easily.
  • Gaming remote which uses a six-axis accelerometer that can be used to make steering more realistic in racing games.
  • Cell phones, Smartphones, PDA mobile phones, tablet PCs use accelerometers for device orientation detection.
  • Camcorders use accelerometers for image stabilization. Still cameras use accelerometers for anti-blur capturing. Some digital cameras, contain accelerometers to determine the orientation of the photo being taken and also for rotating the current picture when viewing.
  • Many laptops feature an accelerometer which is used to detect drops. If a drop is detected, the heads of the hard disk are parked to avoid data loss and possible head or disk damage by the ensuing shock.

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