LIMITATION OF ACCELEROMETER TESTING IN A CONSTANT ONE GRAVITY FIELD
TRW SPACE TECHNOLOGY LABS LOS ANGELES CA
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The usual method of testing the response of an accelerometer is to orient the instrument so as to pick up varying components of the earths gravitational field along the instruments sensitive axis. This method is limited because a maximum of only one gravity unit of acceleration is available and also because the component of acceleration normal to the sensitive axis cannot be varied independently. However, with present techniques the precision obtainable far surpasses other methods such as the centrifuge, so that it is of interest to examine the above mentioned limitations in more detail. This report is principally concerned with the consequences of the second limitation, namely, the interdependence of the accelerations parallel and normal to the sensitive axis. The problem will be attacked by attempting to utilize the results of the one gravity test described above to determine the coefficients of a power series representation of the accelerometer performance. This representation is quite useful in system application of accelerometers and is appealing because the leading coefficients have a clear physical significance. It will be shown, however, that in general, this representation cannot be uniquely established on the basis of tests in a constant gravitational field alone.
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods