Acceleration switches, which are also known as g-switches, detect and respond to changes in velocity or acceleration. Once a piece of equipment, vehicle, craft, or other object reaches a preset acceleration threshold, the switch becomes activated and triggers a response. The switch can also be made to trigger when acceleration drops below a set point. These types of switches are often used as sensory and emergency alert components in aerospace, defense, and industrial applications.
The sensory parameters of this switch are measured by g-force and can be as precise as tenths of Gs to tens-of-thousands of Gs. They may be normally open or normally closed, so that the switch will not complete a circuit until it is triggered or that it will maintain a closed circuit until it is activated.
Acceleration switches may also be latching or non-latching. If a switch latches, it will continue to trigger the response even when the force has been removed or stopped. A non-latching switch will trigger a response when the force is affecting the system and will then no longer send that response once the force stops or is removed.
The configuration of these switches can vary so that the sensory range may be lateral or planar, hemispherical or omnidirectional, or unidirectional. Always check with a switch manufacturer for currect specifications before getting a production quote.
Acceleration switches are commonly used in aerospace and defense applications. They are used in air-dropped munitions, like missiles and warheads, as part of arming mechanisms that are determined by velocity. They are also used in various aircraft to detect abrupt changes in acceleration as part of emergency alert and transmission systems. Acceleration switches are also incorporated into various industrial and commercial applications that require close monitoring of velocity.
As these devices are used in many critical capacities, they need to be made from tough, high-quality components. Aerospace and mil-spec acceleration switches feature gold-plated contacts for improved conductivity and nickel housing to ensure extra resistance in a wide range of settings. These switches are best sourced directly from an acceleration switch manufacturer, although more rudimentary and standardized options are available from switch suppliers.
What are acceleration switches used for?
Acceleration switches are used in systems that must detect sudden changes in velocity and deliver a response once a certain speed parameter is reached. They are used as part of arming mechanisms on air-based munitions like warheads and missiles, and as part of emergency alert systems in various aircraft.
Are inertia switches and acceleration switches the same thing?
Inertia switches and acceleration switches perform a similar function in the way they sense and respond to changes in velocity, but inertia switches typically refer to components used in automotive systems. An acceleration switch is a common way of referring to sensory components incorporated into military, aerospace, and industrial equipment. Acceleration switches can perform a range of functions within a system. Inertia switches are primarily used as safety devices that shut off an automobile’s fuel pump in the event of a collision. Inertia switches are sometimes called fuel pump shut-off switches.
What is a three-axis acceleration switch?
A three-axis acceleration switch is a sensory device that detects acceleration along an x-, y-, and z-axis sensory range. They are used in a similar manner as accelerometers, but are more accurate and are often used to trigger a specific response within an alert, safety, or emergency system. These switches are sometimes identified as hemispherical or omnidirectional acceleration switches.