Low Temperature Performance of a Superconducting Angular Accelerometer

  • E. R. Canavan
  • M. V. Moody
  • P. J. Shirron
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 43)


An angular accelerometer has been developed that has an amplifier noise limited resolution of better than 10-10 rad s-2 Hz-1/2. The device consists of a superconducting niobium proof mass suspended by a torsional spring. A superconducting circuit and SQUID amplifier are used to measure angular displacement of the proof mass, which is proportional to the acceleration at frequencies below the natural resonance frequency. To prevent low-level linear accelerations from generating detectable angular accelerations, very precise mass balancing is necessary. Using room temperature measurements and wire EDM machining, the proof mass’s center of gravity can be controlled to within 0.2 microns. In recent tests conducted at 4.2 K, performance better than 3×10-9 rad s-2 Hz-1/2 has been observed. The noise floor can be traced to seismic and thermal inputs. Manufacturing details and performance tests are discussed.


Angular Acceleration Torsional Spring Coil Form Thermal Time Constant Gravity Gradiometer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. R. Canavan
    • 1
  • M. V. Moody
    • 1
  • P. J. Shirron
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.NASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

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