A novel design of high isotropy single mass six-degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) accelerometer has been developed and investigated. In the accelerometer, six spatial coordinates (three linear and three angular) of the inertial mass and their derivatives are observed by simple measurement of linear displacements of six optimally chosen points of the inertial mass. Calculation of the six acceleration components is then possible according to a specially developed mathematical algorithm. To provide the isotropy of the device’s sensitivity and to achieve the accuracy in the measurement of the linear and angular accelerations, three subsystems of the device — inertial, suspension, and measurement subsystems — have a spatially symmetrical structure. To provide the symmetrical structure of the inertial subsystem, the proof mass is manufactured from uniform material and has a cubic shape. All structural cavities in this cube (light guides and a light source cavity) are symmetrical relative to three coordinate axes. To provide the symmetry of suspension subsystem 24 elastic supports (springs) are mounted by three in all vertexes of the cube in the directions of X-, Y- and Z-axes. The springs have the same dimensions and stiffness. The damping elements (the rubber insets) are inserted into the springs. They are made of the same material and have the identical dimension. The measurement subsystem consists of six differential optical displacement sensors and the light source which is mounted in the center of the cube. Each optical sensor is based on three-component position-sensitive detectors (PSD) of a segmented type. This design ensures output signals that are independent of fluctuations in light source brightness and of optical and electromagnetic interferences. Optical sensors are mounted on the frame of the accelerometer and situated symmetrically opposite to the centers of the square faces of the cube. Six orts of measurement directions form three orthogonal pairs. The experimental model of isotropic 6-DOF accelerometer with differential optical measurement subsystem is manufactured, adjusted and tested. For this purpose the experimental apparatus consisting of the stand with standard accelerometers and computer-controlled data gathering and analysis system (multi-channel amplifier, analog-digital converter and LabView software system) is developed. The preliminary experiment results show that proposed device has high level of signal isotropy and it is hoped to have a good perspective for industrial application were it can replace the complex gyroscopic and combined multi-axis devices.

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