Micro-IMU for Navigation and Optical Pointing

Period of Performance: 07/14/1998 - 07/13/2000


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Integrated Micro Instruments
35617 Pond Drive
Fremont, CA 94536
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of California, Berkeley
Sponsored Projects Office
Berkeley, CA 94704
Institution POC

Research Topics


The Air Force has an unfulfilled need for a high performance, miniature inertial measurement unit (IMU) which facilitates optical pointing and navigation. Macroscopic technology fails to deliver miniature size, while present micromachining technology fails to deliver adequate drift and noise performance. Integrated Micro Instruments proposed to manufacture a micro-IMU by micromaching novel sensors providing both miniaturization and performance. Integrated Micro Instruments was formed from the core DARPA-sponsored Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC) design team which produced some of the first integrated microaccelerometers and gyroscopes. This work has resulted in a medium performance micro-IMU with signal processing on a thumb nail sized silicon chip. These proven sensor architectures will be combined with a deep trench micromachining technology developed at BSAC for high performance. The extremely thick structures will dramatically increase sensitivity and hence improve cancellation. Integrating circuits with these sensors will allow drift cancellation, exceptional miniaturization, and digital output. The goal of Phase I is to prove that micromaching can produce a micro-IMU 2 inches on a side which improves optical platform pointing accuracy. Full mechanical sensor and electrical circuit design plus mechanical structure prototypes will verify feasibility and allow fully functional versions to be rapidly fabricated in Phase II.