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Design, modeling, and evaluation of a class-A triaxial force-balance accelerometer of linear based geometry

Nikos Germenis, Georgios Dimitrakakis, Efthimios Sokos and Pantelis Nikolakopoulos
Design, modeling, and evaluation of a class-A triaxial force-balance accelerometer of linear based geometry
Seismological Research Letters (May 2022) 93 (4): 2138-2146


A new class-A force-balance accelerometer (FBA) is designed, simulated, and evaluated. The focus of this work was to design a low-cost but high-performance instrument. The FBA has output voltage proportional to ground acceleration, flat response from direct current to 200 Hz, output range + or - 10 V differential (40Vpp, peak-to-peak) and sensitivity 2.5 V/g, which provides a + or - 4g range. Unlike other well-established designs with rotational pendulum systems and single-coil actuators that present partially nonlinear performance, the proposed design is based on a linear motion spring-mass mechanism with two parallel leaf springs and a double symmetrical magnet-coil force actuator. This architecture ensures that the displacement transducer's response is linear and that an acting force on the seismic mass is not disturbed by any cross-axial motion. This force depends on displacement only, as imposed by the electronic control circuit, which is implemented on a small high-density printed circuit board (PCB) mounted on top of the mechanical construction. The plates of the variable capacitance displacement transducer consist of ordinary PCBs for cost efficiency. The coils of the force actuator are placed on each side of the moving plate of the capacitive transducer and the magnets are placed on the aluminum rigid frame of the device. The central moving plate of the variable capacitor and the attached force actuator coils, along with some extra aluminum mass, consist the accelerometer's seismic mass. The performance of the accelerometer is evaluated in terms of earthquake data records and in comparison of its response with that of a commercial FBA with corresponding specifications. The instrument's self-noise was also measured over a long period of operation and proved to comply with typical FBA application requirements and commercial product standards.

ISSN: 0895-0695
EISSN: 1938-2057
Serial Title: Seismological Research Letters
Serial Volume: 93
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Design, modeling, and evaluation of a class-A triaxial force-balance accelerometer of linear based geometry
Affiliation: University of Patras, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, Patras, Greece
Pages: 2138-2146
Published: 20220505
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, El Cerrito, CA, United States
References: 19
Accession Number: 2022-027177
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendix
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: GEObit-Instruments, GRC, Greece
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 202222
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