Sensor Selection for Shock Measurement
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“Shock” is a generic term that encompasses a variety of transient phenomena, from earthquakes to pyroshock, as well as automotive crashes, transportation environments, handling and accidental abuse, and aerospace and military applications. These transients include a range of frequencies, amplitudes, and waveforms. “Sensor” is also a generic term for instruments with a range of frequency, amplitude, and transient response characteristics.

This course will help students understand how to match sensor specifications to the characteristics of the shocks to be measured to assure more accurate measurements. Students will gain a better understanding of possible error sources in shock measurements caused by the use of inappropriate sensors.

Course outline     Who should attend?     Course materials     Instructor

Course outline

I.    What is shock?
II.   Types of shocks
       a. Laboratory shock simulations
       b. Real-world shocks
       c. Classical (velocity) shocks
       d. Oscillatory shocks
       e. Ballistic shock and pyroshock

III.  Shock sensors
        a. Piezoelectric (PE) accelerometers
        b. Integral electronic piezoelectric (IEPE) accelerometers
        c. Piezoresistive (PR) accelerometers
        d. Variable capacitance (VC) accelerometers
        e. Velocity sensors
        f. Laser vibrometers

IV.  Selection guide

Who should attend?

This course is intended for test engineers and management personnel responsible for specifying sensors for shock measurements in the field and in laboratory tests.

Course materials

  • Copy of PowerPoint presentation in course binder
  • Certificate of attendance for completion of CEUs

Continuing Education Units: .3 CEUs


Jon Wilson