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Gravity-based characterization of three-axis MEMS-accelerometers in terms of intrinsic accelerometer parameters



Jon C. Geist, Muhammad Y. Afridi, Craig McGray, Michael Gaitan


Cross-sensitivity matrices are used to translate the response of three-axis accelerometers into components of acceleration along the axes of a specified coordinate system. For inertial three-axis accelerometers, this coordinate system is often defined by the axes of a gimbal-based instrument that exposes the device to different acceleration inputs as the gimbal is rotated in the local gravitational field. Therefore, the cross-sensitivity matrix for a given three-axis accelerometer is not unique. Instead, it depends upon the orientation of the device when mounted on the gimbal. We define nine intrinsic parameters of three-axis accelerometers and describe how to measure them directly and how to calculate them from independently determined cross-sensitivity matrices. We propose that comparisons of the intrinsic parameters of three axis accelerometers that were calculated from independently determined cross-sensitivity matrices can be useful for comparisons of the cross-sensitivity-matrix measurement capability of different institutions because the intrinsic parameters will separate the accelerator-gimbal alignment differences among the participating institutions from the purely gimbal-related differences, such as gimbal-axis orthogonality errors, z-axis gravitational-field alignment errors, and angle-setting or angle- measurement errors.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


accelerometer, calibration, characterization, gimbal, gravity, MEMS, three-axis.


Geist, J. , Afridi, M. , McGray, C. and Gaitan, M. (2017), Gravity-based characterization of three-axis MEMS-accelerometers in terms of intrinsic accelerometer parameters, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 24, 2024)


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Created July 13, 2017, Updated November 10, 2018