Technical Blog

How do Tilt Sensors work?

How do Tilt Sensors work?

A tilt sensor - otherwise known as an inclinometer - is a type of sensor used to measure the slope or angle of an object with reference to gravity. They are one of the most common types of sensors available and are used throughout many industries.


Take a look at all ofthe tilt sensors we have available here.

Tilt sensors are known for their;

  • High reliability

  • High accuracy

  • Low cost

How do Tilt Sensors Work?

Simple tilt sensors use a metallic ball which connects two pins, it moves within the sensor. As the sensor tilts, the metallic balls will move position; this will connect the pins turning the sensor â€on"

Other tilt sensors can use an internal gyroscope to measure the direction of the pull from gravity. The gyroscope will stay in the same position even when the orientation of the sensor changes. The inclinometer compares the angle of the object they are attached to the angle of the gyroscope and can display the results electronically.

The Positek tilt sensor uses two damped pendulum vanes either side of an inductive differential coil. The vanes stay stationary when the sensor is rotated which changes the inductance of the coil. The electronics then convert this into the output of choice.

Tilt Sensor Specifications

The functionality of a tilt sensor is influenced by various factors so when selecting a tilt sensor for your application, the following must be addressed;

Number of Axis - this will determine how many angles the tilt sensor can measure so two, three or four axis options depending on the application requirements.

Sensitivity - how small of an increment will the sensor be measuring.

Resolution - the minimum inclination which will need to be detected by the sensor.

Measuring range - what range of motion is requiring measuring.

Noise Tolerance - what interference is the sensor going to come into contact with in the environment they need to function in? Our tilt sensors offer noise tolerance as standard.

Certification requirements - will the tilt sensor be used within hazardous environments? Our sensors have certifications for intrinsically safe and underwater applications.

Tilt sensor applications

  • Industrial vehicles

  • Tip over protection on heavy duty vehicles

  • Monitoring bucket angles on cranes and construction vehicles

  • Aerospace applications - orientation of aircraft

  • Red arrows

  • Platform levelling

  • Filter vibration

  • Boom angle sensing

  • Marine applications

  • Offshore oil rigs

  • Camera angles

  • Machine arm angle sensing

  • Mobile security systems.

  • Mobile phone angle - to determine the screen orientation

  • Handheld game systems

  • Satellite antenna angles

  • Ski slope steepness

Tilt Sensors from Positek


All of our tilt sensors can be found on our website. Many of them have infinite resolution, are sealed to IP67 and have a wide operating temperature range to suit many applications.

To discuss your tilt sensor application please contact a member of our sales team.

Article published on: 17/10/2019