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"...in fifty years, do you believe that people will be recognizably human?"
- Greg Bear

Gravity Detector  
  A device capable of detecting the gravitational field of a distant mass.  

As far as I know, this is the first use of this term. How could you be sure that an object was coming toward you in space if you could not see it and if it did not occult light sources?

Professor Paxton was glancing nervously from speed indicator to gravity detector, and from gravity detector to chronometer. Presently he turned a series of six big wheels one after another. Then he shifted a little, silvery lever .from a vertical to a horizontal position. I felt the whole craft suddenly rotate in an alarming fashion, but it was all over in an instant. The flat base of the rocket was now toward the moon instead of its pointed nose.
From The Lunar Chrysalis, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Jack Williamson makes good use of this idea in his 1936 story The Cometeers:

"...there was nothing we could see with the tele-periscopes, but the gravity detectors betrayed an invisible object of fifty thousand tons, approaching behind us - as if it had followed us from Neptune."

The gravity detector turns out to be a useful device for ordinary journeys through the solar system as well (more from The Cometeers):

"An asteroid?" Jay Kalam inquired. "You're certain?"

"I am," Bob Star said, too busy to turn. "The gravity detector shows a mass dead ahead. Millions of tons. The deflector fields wouldn't swing it an inch.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Lunar Chrysalis
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to The Lunar Chrysalis
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

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