Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Piezoelectric Shaker Development for High Frequency Calibration of Accelerometers



Beverly F. Payne, Gregory W. Vogl, Kari K. Harper


Calibration of vibration transducers requires sinusoidal motion over a wide frequency range with low distortion and low cross-axial motion. Piezoelectric shakers are well suited to generate such motion and are suitable for use with laser interferometric methods at frequencies of 3 kHz and above. An advantage of piezoelectric shakers is the higher achievable accelerations and displacement amplitudes as compared to the electro-dynamic (ED) shakers. Typical commercial ED calibration shakers produce maximum accelerations from 100 m/s2 to 500 m/s2. Very large ED shakers may produce somewhat higher accelerations but require large amplifiers and water cooling to dissipate heat. Due to the limitations in maximum accelerations by ED shakers at frequencies above 5 kHz, the amplitudes of the generated sinusoidal displacement are frequently below the resolution of laser interferometers used in primary calibration methods. This limits the usefulness of ED shakers in interferometric based calibrations at higher frequencies. Relatively small piezoelectric shakers provide much higher acceleration and displacement amplitudes for frequencies above 5 kHz making these shakers very useful for accelerometer calibrations employing laser interferometric measurements, as will be shown in this paper. These piezoelectric shakers have been developed and used at NIST for many years for high frequency calibration of accelerometers. This paper documents the construction and performance of a new version of these shakers developed at NIST for the calibration of accelerometers over the range of 3 kHz to 30 kHz and possibly higher. Examples of typical calibration results are also given
Proceedings Title
9th International Conference on Vibration Measurements by Laser and Non-contact Techniques
Conference Dates
June 22-25, 2010
Conference Location


vibration, accelerometers, calibration, shakers, interferometric, laser


Payne, B. , Vogl, G. and Harper, K. (2010), Piezoelectric Shaker Development for High Frequency Calibration of Accelerometers, 9th International Conference on Vibration Measurements by Laser and Non-contact Techniques, Ancona, -1, [online], (Accessed June 13, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created June 22, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017