Accuracy Limits of Embedded Smart Device Accelerometer Sensors

Ahmed Ibrahim, Ahmed Eltawil, Yunsu Na, Sherif El-Tawil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Smartphones are an indispensable tool in modern day-to-day life. Their widespread use has spawned numerous applications targeting diverse domains such as bio-medical, environment sensing and infrastructure monitoring. In such applications, the accuracy of the sensors at the core of the system is still questionable, since these devices are not originally designed for high accuracy sensing purposes. In this work, we investigate the accuracy limits of one of the commonly used sensors, namely, smartphone accelerometer. We focus on the efficacy of a smartphone as an acceleration measuring device, rather than focusing only on the accuracy of its internal accelerometer chip. This holistic approach includes additional errors that arise from the device operating system such as sampling time uncertainty. Hence, we propose a novel smart device accelerometer error model that includes the traditional additive noise as well as sampling time uncertainty errors represented by a white Gaussian process. The model is validated experimentally using shake table experiments, and maximum likelyhood estimation (MLE) is used to estimate the sampling time uncertainty standard deviation. Moreover, we derive the Cramer-Rao lower bound (CRLB) of acceleration estimation based on the proposed model. Keywords— smartphone; accelerometer; error model; estimation; MLE.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-1
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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