The state of the art in shock resistant accelerometer and gyro design is to use smaller proof mass, thereby reducing the related forces that are generated as a result of high acceleration levels. Physical stops are also provided to limit the maximum proof mass displacement/rotation. The introduction of MEMS technology has made it possible to significantly reduce the proof mass. However, all existing accelerometer/gyro designs for high shock resistance suffer from low sensitivity at the very low acceleration levels required for guidance and control purposes, and from long settling time. The basic method of design and the concepts described in this patent provide the means to alleviate these shortcomings. The novelty in these designs is in the provision of the means to lock the proof mass in its “null” position during the high accelerations, such as during shock (impact) loading, and release it afterwards. The locking mechanism may be passive or active. As a result, the settling time of the proof mass is minimized and the precision with which the sensor can make its measurements is significantly increased.

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