The Operation of a Force Balanced Sensor

The Operation Of A Force Balanced Sensor

Forced balance inclinometers and accelerometers have been the flagship sensors from Jewell Instruments for over 35 years. They can be found worldwide performing under countless applications within numerous markets under a wide array of conditions. They are high precision, customizable, and produced here in the USA.

Sounds nice, but what exactly makes these sensors tick?

The Innards of a Force Balanced Sensor Servo motor with pendulum

The Innards of a Force Balanced Sensor

The technology consists of intricate mechanical parts including a pendulum mechanism called, the “mass unbalance” and a servo motor. Once a change in angle or acceleration acts on the sensor, the mass unbalance moves accordingly. In response, the servo motor applies an equal and opposite force upon the mass unbalance which is measured and amplified to create an output signal.

Advantages of a Force Balanced Sensor

Forced balance technology brings some assets to your project. It has a solid dynamic response of up to 160 Hz. Some sensors can be fluid damped in order to prevent interferences in the reading. This feature can be altered upon request in order to customize the bandwidth for certain applications. Its wide range of measurement (up to ±90º for inclinometers, ±20G for accelerometers) opens up the playbook for applications within many markets such as aerospace, rail, industrial, marine, military and geotechnical. There is also very low thermal drift and high shock and vibration resistance which is an advantage for the tough conditions of industrial projects.

Limitations of Forced Balance Technology

There is always a flip side to the coin. Since this technology consists of many moving mechanical parts, it can be sensitive to high levels of noise and vibration, without fluid damping. Some models come with double-ended power which, depending on your application, can be an advantage or a hindrance.

No matter the project, Jewell engineers are able to work with you to customize your sensor so that you can get the precision you need for your next project.

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