Everything you need to know about accelerometers


IEST, the technical association for professionals in the field of environmental testing, has released IEST-RP-DTE011.2: Mechanical Shock and Vibration Accelerometer Selection. This Recommended Practice (RP) provides guidelines for selecting accelerometers to measure shock and vibration in laboratory and field testing environments.

Vice chairman of IEST-WG-DTE011 Patrick Walter stated, “This RP is particularly valuable because it is effectively organized to serve as both a ready reference source and a comprehensive training aid. IEST-RP-DTE011.2 can provide the basis for training engineers, technicians, and quality assurance personnel to assure the most valid and accurate acceleration measurements.”

The RP contains information on the most popular types of accelerometers, their principles of operation, performance characteristics, and comparisons of advantages and disadvantages. Additional sections discuss specific applications, with recommendations to assist in selecting the best accelerometer for those situations.

Updated by a working group comprised of a range of industry experts (manufacturers, users, consultants and stakeholders), IEST-RP-DTE011.2 contains sections on accelerometer types for shock and vibration, dynamic characteristics, environmental characteristics, accelerometer installation, accelerometer recalibration, and accelerometer selection by application.

This IEST Recommended Practice concentrates on mass-spring type accelerometers, with the sensing element(s) represented by the spring. Recommendations are made in terms of performance characteristics rather than instrument construction, brand or model number. Various sensing technologies are discussed in detail to provide a good understanding of design trade-offs.


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Alasdair joined the team in 2015 and works across a number of titles and websites for UKi Media & Events. He has been a journalist for 10 years, covering everything from travel and technology to sport and entertainment, and brings a wealth of experience, and pedantry, to the team. Away from the office, he is a celebrated snood connoisseur, determined to cycle no matter what the weather decides to hurl from the sky, and driven by a quest to find the very finest, and more importantly the next, slice of cheesecake.

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