2-D Tilt Sensor based on Coaxial Cable Fabry-Perot Resonators with Submicroradian Resolution


For the past 50 years, open-ended coaxial lines were commonly employed for the determination of electromagnetic properties of various materials. In this article, the application of an open-ended hollow coaxial cable resonator (OE-HCCR) as a 1-D inclinometer for tilt measurements with 110 nanoradian (nrad) resolution is proposed and demonstrated. The coaxial cable resonant structure is formed between a metal post welded within the coaxial cable at the RF input end and the open end of the coaxial cable. A metal mass block, suspended in proximity to the open end in parallel is used to construct a pendulum structure, serving as the element responsive to a tilt. When the device is tilted, the distance between the mass block and the open end varies due to the displacement of the suspended pendulum. The change in the gap distance modifies the phase reflection coefficient associated with the open end, causing the resonance frequency of the coaxial cable resonator to change. By tracking the resonance frequency, the coaxial line resonator is effectively used as an inclinometer. The experimental results demonstrated that the novel device has a measurement resolution of 110 nrad over a range of 0-3 milliradians (mrad). Additionally, based on the same principle, a 2-D inclinometer based on two perpendicularly aligned OE-HCCRs, useful for simultaneous tilt measurements in two orthogonal dimensions is demonstrated. The open-ended coaxial cable resonator-based inclinometer holds several advantages, including high resolution, robustness, cost effectiveness, ease of signal interrogation, and user-configurable sensitivity and dynamic range.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Publication Status

Early Access


Jie Huang is grateful for support from the Roy A. Wilkens Professorship Endowment.

Keywords and Phrases

2-D inclinometer.; Coaxial cable device; Coaxial cables; Fiber gratings; Metals; microwave sensor; open-ended coaxial cable resonator; Prototypes; Resonant frequency; Resonators; Strain; tilt sensor

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1557-9670; 0018-9480

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2022 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2022