Intellectual property patent status

UK Flag

A new MEMS-based technology solution, providing a more accessible, low noise, high-performance accelerometer system for use in demanding environments such as space.

Three CubeSats in space, with earth visible in the background.


Accelerometers measure changes in the acceleration of a system and are used in a wide range of everyday products. From airbags in cars (being triggered when an accident has been detected), to smart phones (allowing for the screen orientation to adjust based on the device’s position), and many more. Such devices use MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) accelerometer sensors due to their low cost, small size and low power consumption.

Accelerometers are also required for more specialist uses, such as space missions to measure small changes in acceleration and orientation during travel and landing. For such specific and demanding use requirements, MEMS alone may not provide the performance level needed. In these cases, other alternatives such as ‘servo based’ accelerometers can be used, which ensure an excellent degree of accuracy and long-term stability. However, these devices can be very costly, meaning reduced accessibility and use.

There was a real need to combine the practicality and accessibility of the lower cost MEMS accelerometers with the excellent performance capabilities of specialist high performance accelerometers.

The solution

A new MEMS accelerometer system has been developed that unlocks high performance using a more affordable setup. The system provides a low noise accelerometer with high sensitivity and long linear range, which means it can consistently and accurately measure acceleration changes across a large range of g (also known as g-force or gravitational force).

Having these capabilities in a MEMS format significantly lowers the barriers for use in a variety of high-performance applications, such as space.

In addition, this new design is adaptable and can be optimised to meet the requirements of use. One example of the potential performance specification is provided below:

• Linearity: +/-1000ppm
• Sensitivity: 1.5mg
• Maximum inputs: +/-150g
• Bandwidth: 51Hz
• Noise: 125µg/√Hz

Key benefits

  • Improved affordability and accessibility of high-performance accelerometers using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts.
  • High sensitivity due to superior noise performance.
  • Long linear range: high performance across a broad g-range.
  • Adaptable design: the performance can be optimised depending on the needs of the application.
The surface of the moon for the space vehicle to land on using the accelerometer, with earth visible in the background.

Potential applications

There are a number of potential applications which could benefit from this innovative accelerometer technology including use in the space industry. Two examples are outlined below:

A graphic of CubeSats in space.

CubeSats — re-entry and launch

A class of nanosatellites, CubeSats are miniature satellites which are more affordable than traditional satellites and are easier to deploy. They are used in a variety of ways such as taking images of the earth, communications, and they are also being explored for use in space manufacturing at zero gravity (0g). This technology provides a system with high dynamic range and could be used for inertial measurement during re-entry and launch.

Lunar missions

The high sensitivity of this technology could be a valuable asset in successfully and safely landing space vessels and vehicles on the moon, providing a more adaptable and affordable option when compared with current accelerometer options on the market.

A space vehicle safely landed on the surface of the moon.

Speak to us about licensing

If you would like to discuss this technology or collaboration opportunities with our team, please get in touch below.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.