• Measuring Tilt in a Vibration Environment

    26 March 2017

    Measuring tilt in a vibration environment
    ETLG Inertial Aerosystems Tilt sensing ensures that infrastructure operates with safety and efficiency. But since these readings are so subtle and important, designers minimize induced errors. Vibration can be the enemy for precision tilt sensors and in many cases, it is inevitable. For noisy environments that can make datalogger readings invalid, you may need a nontraditional tiltmeter.

    Environments with Vibration

    Despite their natural fluid damping, traditional electrolytic tiltmeters usually require a static environment since their carpenter level technology heightens their sensitivity to the environment around them. Engineers can place them in particular positions where they are sheltered from outside noise and vibration, but there are cases where vibration cannot be stopped. High traffic infrastructure such as elevated train platforms and bridges will constantly have vibrations from traffic. It’s important to monitor that structure in real time, but having trains stop for tilt readings is impracticable.

    Flood control gates also require precision tilt sensing for their positioning, but this environment is also difficult on most sensors. The great volume of water rushing through will create a significant amount of outside vibration that can display a corrupted record on your readout unit instead of the genuine tilt readings you need.

    Which Sensors Can Filter Vibration?

    Not every sensor is built for the most rugged conditions. Force balanced sensors such as the Black Diamond series can be used as alternatives to traditional geotechnical sensors. With a low bandwidth, no higher than 30 Hz, and a resolution to 1 µrad (for standard models), they are immune from  most, higher frequency, vibrations  while also detecting the miniscule tilt readings that civil engineers require.

    With analogue or digital outputs, various connections and footprints, they also won’t sacrifice the versatility of a traditional geotechnical tiltmeter. For extreme applications, they can be customized and damped in order to suit your specific requirements.

    To learn more about specific models, view the Black Diamond selector guide, available from ETLG.