Superconducting accelerometers for the study of gravitation and gravitational radiation

W. C. Oelfke, Louisiana State University
W. O. Hamilton, Louisiana State University


Two superconducting accelerometers have been developed as sensors for the gravity wave experiment. Both accelerometers consist of radio frequency resonant circuits whose parameters are modulated by acceleration. The first accelerometer possesses a free floating proofmass and can therefore respond to extremely low level, long period accelerations. It is well suited for measurements and G and G ̇. The second accelerometer, a bound-mass system, has unique design features that make it particularly well suited for sensing the vibrations of a gravity wave detector. The ultimate sensitivities of these two systems, limited by phase noise in the master oscillator that drives them, is 10-17 cm for the free-mass accelerometer and 10-19 cm for the bound-mass accelerometer. © 1978.