Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration


Testing low frequency sensors

October 2018 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Accelerometers and velocity meters are used to measure a wide range of frequencies, including the low frequency vibrations encountered in building maintenance. These occur at less than 2 Hz, and can also be useful in monitoring bearing wear in cooling tower fans and gearboxes for example.

To characterise the performance of its low frequency sensors in that range, which is too low for most test shakers, Monitran has developed a high displacement test rig that can generate oscillations accurately at frequencies as low as 0,2 Hz. The system allows real-time back to back testing between different devices and its own inbuilt, calibrated MEMS sensors.

The horizontal linear beam oscillator has a powerful motion control system that incorporates a precision AC servo with 17 bit encoder feedback. Running on two precision rails, it uses magnetic springs and magnetic damping to ensure smooth operation. Its software produces fast code, at 1,7 milliradians per step, which generates fine sinusoidal motion for the linear track driven by a rotary motor.

The intelligent shuttle, which can carry a sensor payload of up to 0,5 kg, incorporates seven MEMS accelerometers, signal processing and a microcontroller to monitor its motion. It also includes a mechanical low pass filter and has an operating distance of up to 1 metre, exerting up to 8 g acceleration on the devices under test. This covers the range from over 35 kmph peak velocity, down to nearly one twentieth of walking speed.

“The oscillating beam rig gives us accurate extreme low frequency data and is a highly useful addition to our accelerometer test and calibration capabilities,” said Monitran managing director, Andy Anthony.

For more information contact Instrotech, +27 10 595 1831, sales@instrotech.co.za, www.instrotech.co.za



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