What Type of Accelerometer Should I Use? IEPE, Charge or Bridge-based?

What type of accelerometer should I use? What are the advantages/disadvantages of a charge mode accelerometer, an IEPE accelerometer and a bridge based accelerometer?

There are so many types of accelerometer that is often difficult to know what type of accelerometer to use. An IEPE accelerometer will have a high pass filter at about 5Hz. The charge type will, by it’s nature have what is effectively a high pass filter at about 0.1Hz. Therefore neither type will show DC levels. The charge type will usually have a lower frequency bandwidth than the IEPE type. Charge accelerometers can be used at higher temperatures however.

What type of accelerometer should I use?

The high pass filter, in both cases, is built in or part of the function of the sensor and therefore isn’t adjustable.

Another accelerometer type to consider is a bridge based accelerometer. This type will measure down to DC. A bridge based accelerometer is based on the Wheatstone bridge (as used in strain gauges). Some bridge based accelerometers are based on strain gauges, but not many. Usually they are capacitive in nature.

These bridge based accelerometers usually have a lower bandwidth than any other type of accelerometer.

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James Wren

Application Engineer & Sales Manager at Prosig
James Wren is an Application Engineer and the Sales Manager for Prosig Limited. James graduated from Portsmouth University in 2001, with a Masters degree in Electronic Engineering. He is a Chartered Engineer and a registered Eur Ing. He has been involved with motorsport from a very early age with special interest in data acquisition. James is a founder member of the Dalmeny Racing team.

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