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Accelerometer VS. Gyroscope: What's the Difference?


Accelerometer


    An accelerometer is a tool for measuring the proper acceleration. Proper acceleration is the acceleration of an object in its own instantaneous stationary coordinate system (rate of velocity change); This is different from coordinate acceleration, which is acceleration in a fixed coordinate system.

       Accelerometers have many uses in industry and science. High sensitivity accelerometers are used in inertial navigation systems of aircraft and missiles. The vibrations of rotating machines are monitored by accelerometers. They are used in tablets and digital cameras so that the image on the screen is always displayed upright. In unmanned aerial vehicles, accelerometers help stabilize flight.


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Gyroscope


       A gyroscope is a device used to measure or maintain orientation and angular velocity. It's a spinning wheel or disk in which the axis of rotation (the spin axis) itself is free to assume any orientation. According to the conservation of angular momentum, when rotating, the orientation of this axis is not affected by the tilting or rotation of the support.

      Applications for gyroscopes include inertial navigation systems, such as in space telescopes, or inside the steel hulls of underwater submarines. Due to their high accuracy, gyroscopes are also used in gyroscopic theodolites to maintain orientation in tunnel mining.


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Difference



Accelerometer

Gyroscope

Signal to noise ratio

Low SNR

High SNR

Measurement of angular velocity

It can sense rotation.

It cant sense rotation.

Application

It is used for measuring the linear movement and for the detection of tilt.

It is used for the measurement of all types of rotation but fails in the identification of movement.


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