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Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1765; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081765

Sensitivity and Frequency-Response Improvement of a Thermal Convection–Based Accelerometer

1
School of Electronics Engineering, College of IT Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
2
Construction Equipment R&D Group, Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), Daegu 42994, Korea
3
Department of Sensor and Display Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
4
Aircraft System Technology Group, Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), Daegu 42994, Korea
5
Mechatronics Technology Convergence R&D Group, Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), Daegu 42994, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 23 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

This paper presents a thermal convection–based sensor fabricated using simple microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based processes. This sensor can be applied to both acceleration and inclination measurements without modifying the structure. Because the operating mechanism of the accelerometer is the thermal convection of a gas medium, a simple model is proposed and developed in which the performance of the thermal convection–based accelerometer is closely associated with the Grashof number, Gr and the Prandtl number, Pr. This paper discusses the experiments that were performed by varying several parameters such as the heating power, cavity size, gas media, and air pressure. The experimental results demonstrate that an increase in the heating power, pressure, and cavity size leads to an increase in the accelerometer sensitivity. However, an increase in the pressure and/or cavity size results in a decrease in the frequency bandwidth. This paper also discusses the fact that a working-gas medium with a large thermal diffusivity and small kinematic viscosity can widen the frequency bandwidth and increase the sensitivity, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: accelerometer; frequency; acceleration; heat convection accelerometer; frequency; acceleration; heat convection
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Han, M.; Kim, J.K.; Park, J.-H.; Kim, W.; Kang, S.-W.; Kong, S.H.; Jung, D. Sensitivity and Frequency-Response Improvement of a Thermal Convection–Based Accelerometer. Sensors 2017, 17, 1765.

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