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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2017, Article ID 9796146, 13 pages
Research Article

Selection of MEMS Accelerometers for Tilt Measurements

1Institute of Micromechanics and Photonics, Faculty of Mechatronics, Warsaw University of Technology, ul. Boboli 8, 02-525 Warsaw, Poland
2Institute of Solid Mechanics, Mechatronics and Biomechanics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology, Technická 2896/2, 616 69 Brno, Czech Republic

Correspondence should be addressed to Sergiusz Ɓuczak; lp.ude.wp.rthcm@kazcul.s

Received 23 December 2016; Accepted 5 February 2017; Published 30 March 2017

Academic Editor: Pietro Siciliano

Copyright © 2017 Sergiusz Łuczak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to build a tilt sensor having a desired sensitivity and measuring range, one should select an appropriate type, orientation, and initial position of an accelerometer. Various cases of tilt measurements are considered: determining exclusively pitch, axial tilt, or both pitch and roll, where Cartesian components of the gravity acceleration are measured by means of low-g uni-, bi-, tri-, or multiaxial micromachined accelerometers. 15 different orientations of such accelerometers are distinguished (each illustrated with respective graphics) and related to the relevant mathematical formulas. Results of the performed experimental study revealed inherent misalignments of the sensitive axes of micromachined accelerometers as large as 1°. Some of the proposed orientations make it possible to avoid a necessity of using the most misaligned pairs of the sensitive axes; some increase the accuracy of tilt measurements by activating all the sensitive axes or reducing the effects of anisotropic properties of micromachined triaxial accelerometers; other orientations make it possible to reduce a necessary number of the sensitive axes at full measurement range. An increase of accuracy while using multiaxial accelerometers is discussed. Practical guidelines for an optimal selection of a particular micromachined accelerometer for a specific case of tilt measurement are provided.