MEMS Gyroscope with Interferometric Detection

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Fine Structure Technology LLC
5114 BALCONES WOODS DR, STE 307 PMB 305
Austin, TX 78759
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Abstract

The proposed innovation is a novel MEMS gyroscope that uses micro-interferometric detection to measure the motion of the proof mass. Using an interferometric detection technique enables the measurement of proof mass motion with resolution equal to or better than systems that have CMOS detection electronics fabricated on the MEMS substrate. Furthermore, this detection technique can be applied to MEMS designs fabricated in a variety of processes, freeing up more design space and enabling a MEMS design not limited by MEMS fabrication constraints. This combination of factors allows for a broader design space and thus the sense resonant frequency will not have to be closely matched to the drive resonant frequency. This separation of frequencies results in a device that is inherently more stable and easier to manufacture. Specific objective of phase II are: (1) Produce a low cost, low power MEMS gyroscope using interferometric sensing that meets the needs for NASA applications. (2) Deliver multiple prototypes to NASA and other potential customers for evaluation. (3) Demonstrate that the gyroscope prototypes have acceptable performance. The challenges to successfully developing this technology are substantial. Advanced MEMS fabrication technology, innovative micro-optical designs coupled with novel MEMS packaging, and design and simulation techniques will enable successful development of this technology.