MEMS Inertial Sensors Perform Structural Monitoring

First Sensor’s latest generation of high-accuracy capacitive silicon inertial sensors target applications in the smart structural monitoring market. The sensors offer the resolution and low noise density required for recording vibrations or changes of inclination in wind turbines, bridges and high-rise buildings, thereby uncovering risks in the structure or material at an early stage.  

The sensors for measuring tilt, acceleration and vibration consist of a silicon sensor element made in accordance with a patented micromechanical process (HARMS, AIM) in conjunction with a signal-processing ASIC in a hermetically sealed SMD housing. They achieve resolutions of 10 µg or 0.0005° (2 arc seconds) depending on the bandwidth. In addition to standard models, First Sensor also develops modules that are mechanically and electrically adapted for special customer applications. To support projects and developers, evaluation kits are available for evaluation and configuration of the sensors. 

 The company’s patented technology creates monocrystalline silicon microstructures with a high aspect ratio to ensure minimal cross sensitivities, high signal-to-noise ratios, and temperature stability. Furthermore, the patented air-gap-insulated microstructures technology minimizes parasitic capacitances by insulating the components with an air gap. As inclination sensors with measurement ranges of ±30°, the sensors achieve a noise density of less than 0.0004°/√Hz and resolutions of less than 0.0015° at a measurement frequency of 10 Hz. When used as acceleration sensors, the MEMS from First Sensor offer measurement ranges of ±3 g, ±8 g and ±15 g and achieve a noise density of less than 30 µg/√Hz and resolutions of less than 40 to 95 µg at a measurement frequency of 10 Hz. 

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