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Analysis of Influencing Factors of Measurement Error of Tilt Sensor

Factors affecting measurement error of tilt sensor

1. Measurement accuracy of tilt sensor

The measuring accuracy is the measuring error range of the instrument. Measurement error and error is the basic problem of measurement test, any measurement will inevitably have measurement error, all the measured values are approximate values. Due to the influence of instruments, experimental conditions, environment and other factors, the measurement results can not be absolutely accurate, there will always be a large or small error between the measured value and the objective actual real value, and the range of this error is the accuracy of the measurement.
The tilt sensor has been used as an Angle measuring device to measure the relative sea level of objects for more than 100 years. From the traditional bubble type level, to the current acceleration principle or electrolyte principle and liquid capacitance principle, has been developed very mature, product accuracy continues to improve, the application field is gradually extensive and professional, manufacturers are also very many. However, the description of accuracy of most tilt sensors on the market is vague or there is a certain deviation. Generally speaking, according to the metrology law and relevant national/international standards, the description of accuracy has a general and deterministic description, but these descriptions are universal, whether they are suitable for the field of tilt sensors, there is no clear conclusion. First of all, we need to analyze the factors that affect the measurement accuracy of the tilt sensor, and then discuss how to determine the definition of the accuracy of the tilt sensor. Take the Angle sensor of acceleration principle as an example. It is the measurement of gravitational acceleration on the sensitive axis of the acceleration sensor into Angle data, that is, the Angle value and the acceleration value into a sine relationship. This principle is fully explained in many literature and product descriptions.

Factors affecting measurement error of tilt sensor

2. Indicators that affect the measurement accuracy of the inclinometer sensor

2.1 Sensitivity error – Sensitivity is used to describe the relationship between the input and output of the instrument, the input and output of the sensor are respectively used as the horizontal and vertical axis of the rectangular coordinate system, and the corresponding points of the ideal input and output values are connected into a curve, the slope of the curve is the sensitivity. The error value depends on the characteristics of the core sensor, but it is also related to the response frequency.

2.2. Zero bias – that is, when the input value is zero, the output value is not zero. The error depends on the characteristics of the core sensitive device itself, which means that in the case of the sensor without Angle input (absolute horizontal plane), the output Angle value measured by the sensor is not zero, and the output Angle value is zero offset.

2.3. Nonlinear error – the actual input and output value relationship curve does not coincide with the theoretical input and output value relationship curve, and cannot be made to coincide by translation, such errors are called nonlinear errors. The general expression method of its magnitude value is maximum error/range, that is, when the input reaches the maximum range, the output error is divided by the maximum range.

2.4. Horizontal axis error – refers to the error caused by coupling to the output signal of the sensor when the sensor applies a certain acceleration perpendicular to its sensitive axis or tilts at a certain Angle. For example, for a single-axis tilt sensor with a measuring range of ±30° (assuming that the X direction is the inclination direction of the inclination measurement), when a tilt of 10° occurs in the space perpendicular to the X direction (at this time, the tilt Angle of the actual measured X direction remains unchanged, such as +8.505°), The output signal of the sensor will cause an additional error due to this 10° tilt, which is called the cross-axis error. This extra error varies depending on the product. When the horizontal axis error of the inclinometer sensor is 3%FS, the additional error generated is 3%×30°=0.9°, and the actual output Angle of the sensor is simply estimated to be 9.405°(=8.505°+0.9°). At this time, even if the nonlinear error of the inclinometer sensor reaches 0.001°, relative to the horizontal axis error, this nonlinear error can be ignored, that is, as the measurement accuracy of the inclinometer sensor, the horizontal axis error cannot be counted, otherwise it will cause a large measurement error.

2.5. Allow the input shaft non-coincidence degree – refers to the sensor in the actual installation process, allow the sensor horizontal (Z direction) installation deviation, the index actually includes the input shaft non-alignment, vertical axis non-alignment error of two aspects. Generally speaking, the inclination direction of the inclinometer sensor is required to be parallel or coincide with the specified edge of the sensor when it is installed, which indicates that a certain installation Angle deviation can be allowed without affecting the measurement accuracy of the sensor. When the sensitive axis of the inclinometer sensor does not coincide with the actual tilt direction, the extra error is sinusoidal with the increase of the tilt Angle. The actual test shows that when the Angle between the sensitive axis of the inclinometer sensor and the actual inclination direction is more than 3°, for the linear error of the inclinometer sensor with the range of ±30° ±0.01°, the additional error will reach ±0.3~0.5°, which is much larger than the nonlinear error.

2.6. Repeated measurement accuracy – that is, when a value is repeatedly measured, the output value is not fixed to the same value, there will be random fluctuations, or in line with a random distribution. The error value depends on the characteristics of the core sensitive device and cannot be improved by subsequent correction measures.

2.7. Effect of temperature on zero point and sensitivity – also includes drift and repeatability of the temperature curve, which depends on the own characteristics of the core sensitive device and cannot be improved by subsequent correction measures. In the case of repeatability, it can be corrected later, depending on the number of correction points (Angle points and temperature points). The more correction points, the better the temperature drift accuracy.

3 Summary
It can be seen that the system errors of ER-TS-3160VO, ER-TS-4250VO and ER-TS-4258CU include sensitivity error, zero bias, repeatability and temperature drift repeatability, which cannot be corrected and compensated. Random error includes horizontal axis error, input axis misalignment, nonlinearity, temperature drift linearity, which can be improved by correction and compensation measures. Their resolution has nothing to do with accuracy, so they cannot be included in the accuracy index.
Therefore, the measurement accuracy of the inclinometer sensor must not be measured only by nonlinearity, and it is necessary to synthesize the systematic error and random error of the sensor. 

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