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Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2571; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17112571

Field Tests of a Portable MEMS Gravimeter

1
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, Kelvin Building, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8SU, UK
2
School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Rankine Building, Oakfield Avenue, Glasgow G12 8LT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 4 November 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering)
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Abstract

Gravimeters are used to measure density anomalies under the ground. They are applied in many different fields from volcanology to oil and gas exploration, but present commercial systems are costly and massive. A new type of gravity sensor has been developed that utilises the same fabrication methods as those used to make mobile phone accelerometers. In this study, we describe the first results of a field-portable microelectromechanical system (MEMS) gravimeter. The stability of the gravimeter is demonstrated through undertaking a multi-day measurement with a standard deviation of 5.58 × 10 6 ms 2 . It is then demonstrated that a change in gravitational acceleration of 4.5 × 10 5 ms 2 can be measured as the device is moved between the top and the bottom of a 20.7 m lift shaft with a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 14.25. Finally, the device is demonstrated to be stable in a more harsh environment: a 4.5 × 10 4 ms 2 gravity variation is measured between the top and bottom of a 275-m hill with an SNR of 15.88. These initial field-tests are an important step towards a chip-sized gravity sensor. View Full-Text
Keywords: gravity; gravimeter; gravimetry; MEMS gravity; gravimeter; gravimetry; MEMS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Middlemiss, R.P.; Bramsiepe, S.G.; Douglas, R.; Hough, J.; Paul, D.J.; Rowan, S.; Hammond, G.D. Field Tests of a Portable MEMS Gravimeter. Sensors 2017, 17, 2571.

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