A MEMS-based gravity gradiometer for future planetary missions

Jakob Flokstra, R. Cuperus, Remco J. Wiegerink, M.C. van Essen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)


    The gradient in the gravity acceleration is of great interest for planetologists when it can be measured with at least 1 E/√Hz. For this purpose several gravity gradiometer designs are considered. A MEMS-based gradiometer made from a single wafer is considered in this article. Using long springs and small attached masses it is possible to reach a sufficiently low Brownian noise level. The proposed readout for this device will be capacitive plates placed in a comb drive configuration. Trapped charges on these plates can cause noticeable errors when there are more than 0.004 electrons/μm2. Measurements show that trapped charge mobility goes down with temperature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)665-668
    Number of pages4
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009




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