Precision Gyroscopes for Gyro-Compassing in Man-Portable Target Locator Systems

Period of Performance: 02/06/2009 - 08/06/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sensors in Motion
4 - 102nd avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
Principal Investigator


The need exists for portable navigation grade sensors for future small or miniature platforms. Requirements for such implementations include small size and weight, high performance and low power. Devices with these characteristics, and achieved via low cost fabrication methods would enable miniature, soldier-aided and autonomous sensors for a new widely dispersed surveillance and precision target capability. These could counter the numerous distributed, unpredictable and asymmetric threats presented in the new war as well as a myriad of strategic commercial capabilities. High performance MEMS-based versions of accelerometers consistent with navigation-grade performance already exist. However, the technology for high performance, miniature gyroscopes still needs further development. The research innovation proposed by Sensors in Motion (SIM) is a vacuum packaged MEMS gyroscope that has demonstrated ~ 2 orders of magnitude greater performance over state-of-the-art commercially available MEMS gyroscopes and ~ 2 orders of magnitude reduction in volume, power consumption and cost over optical gyroscopes demonstrating similar performance. The goal of the currently proposed effort is the demonstration of sub millitorr vacuum packaging feasibility of this sensor. This demonstration would make feasible the field application of sub 0.1 degree per hour devices and represent a substantial unit cost improvement for this type of sensor, and would address the commercial need for compact, inexpensive, high performance inertial sensors.