What is the definition of accelerometer?

A device used to detect and measure linear acceleration along an axis. MEMS is a common accelerometer technology.


Image depicts the operation of a simple MEMS accelerometer.

  • The anchors (A) hold the proof mass (B) in position.
  • The proof mass consists of a centre section (i), with several protruding fingers (ii).
  • The sections of the proof mass between the centre section and anchors act as the springs (iii).
  • The fixed electrodes (C) make up the differential capacitors, with a protruding finger from the proof mass between the capacitor electrodes.

When the accelerometer is at rest or is travelling at a fixed velocity (zero acceleration), the fingers are in the centre position between the electrodes, as shown.

What other terms are related to accelerometer?

Read more about accelerometer or related topic


Advanced Navigation’s glossary covers the most common terms and definitions used in inertial navigation systems, acoustic positioning and robotics.

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