Low-cost Attitude and Heading Reference Systems for Phased-array Antennas

Period of Performance: 12/26/2000 - 03/13/2004

$980K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Enpoint, Inc.
23 Greenridge Lane
Lincoln, MA 01773
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Enpoint will continue the development of an advanced low-cost Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) that permits precision pointing of communications antennas from mobile platforms. Our approach synergistically merges conventional GPS, GPS interferometry, and Micro Electro-mechanical System (MEMS) inertial components to achieve a high performance, low cost solution. GPS interferometry, coupled with accelerometer and rate gyroscope components, allows attitude determination under all vehicle dynamics. The resulting AHRS will perform better than solutions traditionally used with antenna systems, and will contribute 50 times less to the system cost. Enpoint will mechanize the interferometric processing, MEMS IMU interface, and navigation solution on a next-generation Digital Signal Processor (DSP). We will optimize the GPS carrier-tracking loops and code-tracking loops to account for availability of acceleration and attitude measurements will enable robust GPS operation under adverse motion and interference conditions. In 2 different demonstrations, we will combine the Enpoint low cost AHRS with a communication system to show the potential for achieving high data rate communications from mobile platforms at low cost.