Engineering >> Mechanical Engineering

Using Calculus to Interpret Time Varying Accelerations

by Brad Buckles


Submitted : Spring 2012

An accelerometer is a small electronic sensor that records acceleration in all directions. An STMicroelectronics STM331DLH three-axis accelerometer chip was mounted to the top center tube of the frame of a bicycle, in order to record the acceleration of the bicycle over a 9 second period of acceleration and deceleration. The bike was ridden in a straight line and then the brakes were applied to slow down. The data was plotted, and an equation of best fit was chosen. Calculus was used to calculate velocity and distance using the obtained acceleration equation.

After the equations were found, they were also plotted for interpretation and comparison. The results were clear and seemed to accurately represent the motion of the bike in travel. Key values were found on each graph such as max velocity, max acceleration, and total distance.



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Advisors :
Gerald Hefley, Mathematics and Statistics
Scott Campbell, Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
Suggested By :
Brad Buckles