High-temperature accelerometer

What is a high-temperature accelerometer?

A high-temperature accelerometer is a piezoelectric sensor that measures accelerations. It works as a spring-mass system and is often applied to capture or monitor dynamic processes, i.e. vibrations or combustion fluctuations. Thanks to the PiezoStar crystal, it withstands temperatures of 700°C (1.300°F) and up to 1000°C in the short term. Through differential technology and shear design, low noise and high accuracy are achieved. An especially isolated hardline cable capable of such high temperatures connects the sensor with the charge amplifier.

Piezoelectric high-temperature accelerometer with hardline cable and capable of measuring in environments of 700°C and higher
This piezoelectric high-temperature accelerometer connected with a hardline cable is capable of measuring in environments of more than 700°C (up to 1000°C on the short term).

What are high-temperature accelerometers used for?

High-temperature accelerometers are applied for acceleration measurement in harsh environments, for example in space applications (i.e. rocket testing) or monitoring of gas turbines and detonation engines. They are also employed for nuclear power plants. 

How is the measuring chain for high-temperature accelerometers built up?

Apart from the sensors themselves, differential charge amplifiers and low-noise hardline and softline cables ensure that a high measurement quality is achieved. Additionally, Ex-certified components are used for application in harsh environments.

What types of high-temperature accelerometers do exist?

As for accelerometers in general, there is a difference between uniaxial and triaxial sensors: Uniaxial ones only measure in one direction, while triaxial ones capture signals in all three spatial dimensions. Furthermore, there are variants for different temperature limits, i.e. < 260°C, < 480°C and > 700°C as well as certified (ATEX, IECEx) versions for hazardous areas. For research and development purposes, small and lightweight versions are available. Last but not least, market standards for high-temperature accelerometers include square and triangular ARINC footprints.