A tilt sensor used for measuring the tilt in multiple axes of a reference plane. The tilting position gives a measure  with reference to gravity and are used in number of applications. They allows the easy detection of orientation or inclination. Similar to mercury switches, they may also be known as tilt switches or rolling ball sensors.

These instruments have become gradually more popular and are being adapted for increasing numbers of high end applications. For example, the sensor provides valuable information about both the vertical and horizontal inclination of an airplane, which helps the pilot to understand how to tackle obstacles during the flight. By knowing the current orientation of the plane, and the angle at which the plane is inclined to the earth's surface, stunt pilots, i.e. the Red Arrows, can put on a fascinating air show. Tilt sensors are an essential decision-making tool for the pilots.

Operating Principle:

A tilt sensor has a metallic ball that is designed to move the two pins of the instrument from the 'on' to the 'off' position, and vice versa, if the sensor reaches a pre-determined angle. Tilt sensors are the environment-friendly version of a mercury-switch.

The key benefits of tilt sensors include:

  • Compact and simple to use
  • High resolution and accuracy
  • Very cost-effective
  • Low power consumption
  • Can be read by industry standard data loggers

 key applications of tilt sensors:

  • Monitoring the angle at which a mobile phone or tablet is held for the auto-rotate function 
  • Detecting the position of hand-held game systems and in game controllers 
  • Indicating the roll of boats, vehicles and aircraft 
  • Measuring the angle at which a satellite antenna 'looks' toward a satellite 
  • Estimating the height of a tree or building 
  • Measuring the steepness of a ski slope 
  • To provide a warning system for the surface tilt angle of cryogenic liquids during transportation
  • To monitor laser levels and seismic activity