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Electrolytic Tilt Sensors and Inclinometers Ė A Primer

Same as tilt sensors, inclinometers are available in
both single and dual axis configurations. Dual axis
inclinometers may utilize a single dual axis tilt sensor,
or two single axis sensors. The latter is sometimes
required, as the single axis tilt sensors generally have
higher accuracy.


 The applications for electrolytic tilt sensors and
inclinometers are extremely diverse, touching most
industries in some way. In general, they are enlisted
when something either needs to remain level, or when
the out of level condition (i.e. angle) needs to be

 Within the construction industry the applications
range from safety systems for cranes, manlifts and
telehandlers, to providing level reference data for
various types of lasers. The automotive industry uses
tilt sensors and inclinometers in wheel alignment
machines for measuring caster and camber angle, and
for security and RV leveling systems. Avionics
manufacturers have used high precision tilt sensors
for decades in gyroscopes, and more recently in
electronic standby instrument systems for initial
alignment. Other notable applications are satellite
antenna position, geotechnical monitoring (soil
subsidence, structural and dam monitoring), and tilt
compensation in electronic compasses.


 The future appears bright for both electrolytic tilt
sensors and inclinometers. The performance and
reliability of electrolytic tilt sensors continues
to set the standard for fluid filled devices.
Planned improvements in design, materials and
manufacturing techniques promise to raise the bar
even higher.

 The more recent availability of reasonably priced
microprocessors (PICís) has made digital linearity
and temperature compensation affordable. The result
has been the realization of accuracy levels once
thought unachievable in lower cost inclinometers,
facilitating entry into new markets. Forthcoming
developments will focus on improving dynamic
performance and increasing total range, thereby
further widening the available market.
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