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Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2669; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17112669

A Subnano-g Electrostatic Force-Rebalanced Flexure Accelerometer for Gravity Gradient Instruments

1
MOE Key Laboratory of Fundamental Physical Quantities Measurement & Hubei Key Laboratory of Gravitation and Quantum Physics, School of Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
2
Institute of Geophysics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

A subnano-g electrostatic force-rebalanced flexure accelerometer is designed for the rotating accelerometer gravity gradient instrument. This accelerometer has a large proof mass, which is supported inversely by two pairs of parallel leaf springs and is centered between two fixed capacitor plates. This novel design enables the proof mass to move exactly along the sensitive direction and exhibits a high rejection ratio at its cross-axis directions. Benefiting from large proof mass, high vacuum packaging, and air-tight sealing, the thermal Brownian noise of the accelerometer is lowered down to less than 0.2 ng / Hz with a quality factor of 15 and a natural resonant frequency of about 7.4 Hz . The accelerometer’s designed measurement range is about ±1 mg. Based on the correlation analysis between a commercial triaxial seismometer and our accelerometer, the demonstrated self-noise of our accelerometers is reduced to lower than 0.3 ng / Hz over the frequency ranging from 0.2 to 2 Hz, which meets the requirement of the rotating accelerometer gravity gradiometer. View Full-Text
Keywords: flexure accelerometer; subnano-g resolution; capacitive displacement transducer; electrostatic force-rebalanced; rotating accelerometer gravity gradient instrument flexure accelerometer; subnano-g resolution; capacitive displacement transducer; electrostatic force-rebalanced; rotating accelerometer gravity gradient instrument
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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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Yan, S.; Xie, Y.; Zhang, M.; Deng, Z.; Tu, L. A Subnano-g Electrostatic Force-Rebalanced Flexure Accelerometer for Gravity Gradient Instruments. Sensors 2017, 17, 2669.

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