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In engineering, an accelerometer is a sensor for velocity and acceleration, usually stabilized or corrected to report on movement in one axis. At least three accelerometers, therefore, are necessary to give three-dimensional position, and more may be needed to provide corrections for movement of the platform on which the accelerometers are mounted.

The term is also used for an aircraft flight instrument that displays instantaneous acceleration along the axis of flight.

One basic accelerometer type is based on a strain gauge, or sensor whose resistance increases with lengthening of resistive material by physical force, in this case of the acceleration.