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Enquiry for 9-axis IMU



I have been involved in selecting 9-axis MEMS IMU’s to be placed in the drill head for some directional drilling applications. I’m interested in your products ADIS16488, ADIS16480, ADIS16407, ADIS16405 due to their small sizes and low power consumptions, and would like to make some enquires about their functionalities and performance.



The IMU of interest will undergo a lot of vibrations while drilling is taken place, thus vibration is one of our major concerns. In terms of vibration, I’m interested in three aspects of the sensor:


- Whether the product is suitable for drilling applications where it has to undergo continuous vibration


- Whether the components (accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer) can survive continuous vibration environment. Would you be able to provide information on the maximum vibration environment (both magnitude in g rms and frequency in Hz) the sensor could function under? (not shock survival)


- How well the sensor can perform under such environment



Since not mentioned in the data sheet for the products ADIS16488, ADIS16407, ADIS16405, I was wondering if there are any specifications on the static and dynamic orientation accuracy of these sensors?

  • Thank you for your inquiry.  We qualify the devices to 10grms of vibration, but these products have been used in applications that have higher levels of exposure.  Do you have a vibration profile (spectral density vs frequency) that you would like us to take a look at?

  • Thank you for your reply.

    We are still at the beginning of our selection process and haven't got a chance to measure the vibration profile during drilling. But 10 g rms should be in the range for our application as our current orientation sensor (not MEMS) also has a vibration tolerance of 10 g.

    As it's not mentioned in the data sheet, are these products suitable for directional drilling applications?

  • We don't typically make specific product suggestions, based only on a generic application space, but we do see a lot of early consideration and design work for controlling drill heads, so you are on in line with what I have seen so far.  Without a more complete view of your key performance requirements and application environment, it is hard to offer much more.  As your architecture and requirements matures, we certainly look forward to working with you to help narrow your focus on the right product family. 

  • Hi siqi,

    I work on MWD drilling instruments for many years. I have ADIS16480 in my hand and I do a lot test on it.

    I'm sure it can not work on down hole instruments, the reason:

    1, ADIS16480 work current is  too high, it will be very hot if the down hole temperature is high.

    2, This is more series problem that ADIS16480 signal connector can not withstand much vibration !!!!!!!!!!!

    3, For our application, ADIS16480 size is too big.

  • Hi siqi,

    Another things you should consider, like ADIS16480 only supply SPI signal, you need another CPU board then

    you can use it. But CPU board come from AD company which already have demo software inside, the board size

    is too big that can not put inside down hole instrument. So you have to use your small size CPU board which mean you have to write the interface code by yourself !!!!!!!!!!!!  Write this embedded software is not easy.

  • Thank you for your feedback!  I understand where you are coming from and recognize the limitations that you are running into, but I would caution you against condemning the ADIS16480 for the entire "oil drilling" application space, which can include a wide variety of motion control functions.  I have embedded some comments and questions into your three initial points:

    1, ADIS16480 work current is  too high, it will be very hot if the down hole temperature is high.

    ADI>> What current level is acceptable?  What level of temperature rise are you predicting?  How are you predicting this number?  How are you establishing that it is too high?  What is the ambient temperature in your environment?  If a device is only rated for storage at 125C and the environment is at 175-200C, any current would be too much, wouldn't it? 

    2, This is more series problem that ADIS16480 signal connector can not withstand much vibration !!!!!!!!!!!

    ADI>> Given the level of conviction you are communicating (with many exclamation points), how did you arrive at this conclusion?  Did you use Mounting Example 4, from AN-1295, when testing this?  This connector solution is supporting continuous operation in quite a few applications that have fairly hostile shock/vibration conditions.

    3, For our application, ADIS16480 size is too big.

    ADI>> What size were you trying to hit?  We appreciate you saying that it was too big for what you were trying to do, but many of our customers tell us that these devices are much smaller than the products they are used to using.  Of course, the ADIS16480 is much larger than the 3mmx3mm devices that go into cell phones and consumer electronics, but it also provides some behavior advantages that just isn't available in today's consumer-targeted devices.  

    ADI> You didn't mention your performance requirements in any of these posts.  Were you able to address these three factors and meet all of your performance needs?  What product did you end up using?  Thanks again for your feedback!  We really appreciate it!

  • Thanks again for your feedback. We are sorry that this was not easier for you, but the SPI is a common interface for industrial embedded processing systems. For developers in this realm, the existing code examples and simple hook-up typically enable data communication, with very minimal effort.  For those who are not accustomed to developing embedded solutions, I can see how this would be different enough to seem difficult. If I understand you correctly, you probably would have preferred to have a more traditional industrial interface (RS-232, RS-422/485, Ethernet) with an API and code libraries for every function that might want to do.  Does that sound about right?  While I understand where you are coming form, that doesn't match our present business model.  With that in mind, we are looking for efficient ways to provide this level of development support, but we also see a growing base of third-party solutions that offer support in this area.  Here are a few links, but I am sure that there are more out there.  Thanks again for your feedback!

    SPI-to-USB Examples:

    Teensy USB Development Board

    SparkFun SPI Shortcut - TOL-09235 - SparkFun Electronics


    Host Adapters - SPI - Total Phase