Design and Characterization of an Optical Accelerometer

Leuven - Master projects/internships
Meer dan twee weken geleden

Design and characterize the new generation of accelerometers

Global Positioning System (GPS) is the most common way for navigation. However, it needs a direct line of sight to a satellite, which is not applicable inside buildings or tunnel. An Inertia Measurement Unit (IMU) allows the GPS receiver to work when GPS-signals are unavailable. An IMU consists of three types of triaxial sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer) and uses a dead reckoning technique to calculate current position and velocity relative to an initial reference frame. MEMS IMU systems have been demonstrated in the past in imec using piezo or capacitive read-out.


The topic of this project is to replace the MEMS IMU components by Optical sensing component. Micro-Opto-Mechanical Sensors Pressure already showed much improved sensitivity and noise performance compared to their piezoelectric and capacitive counterparts, which makes them very promising for use in harsh environments, as e.g. for space applications or in biomedical fields where reliable and accurate sensors are required.


The goal of this project is to study the feasibility of an optical accelerometer. The student will first simulate the performance of in-plane and out-of-plane accelerometers currently fabricated. Then he will build a set-up and measure the current devices and finally he will propose improvements for the next generation.







Type of project: Internship, Thesis


Duration: 6-12 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Electromechanical engineering, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Veronique Rochus ( and Roelof Jansen (

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