NIST demonstrates state-of-the-art fused silica flexure-based accelerometer


Felipe Guzman Cervantesy, Lee Kumanchik, Jon Pratt, and Jacob M. Taylor of NIST Gaithersburg (MD) and the Joint Quantum Institute (University of Maryland) report on a novel self-calibrating optomechanical device for absolute acceleration sensing that combines both wide bandwidth (10 kHz) and exquisite resolution at room temperature.

This group demonstrated an accelerometer with unprecedented sensitivities better than 100 nano-gn/Hz1/2 over a measurement bandwidth extending from 1.5 to 12 kHz.

The NIST/JQI accelerometer consists of a compact (11 x15 x 2 mm), high-mQ fused-silica flexure-based monolithic oscillator, combined with a Fabry-Perot cavity. Fused silica was selected for its exceptional material characteristic, including its inherent low loss characteristics. The mechanical quality factor was measured to be Q = 4.2 x 104, and the mQ product exceeded 1 kg.

The flexure mechanism was designed by NIST and fabricated by Translume.

This device provides substantial improvement over conventional systems in accelerometry standards and calibrations.

A final version of their paper is availble by clicking here