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Emcore SDI500/505 IMU receives non-ITAR status, company gets defense nods

April 29, 2021  - By
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The non-ITAR status greatly increases the marketability of the SDI500/SDI505 IMUs to international customers. Plus, Emcore releases new SDI170 IMU and is awarded defense contract.

Emcore’s dual-use SDI500/SDI505 Revision F inertial measurement units (IMUs) have received a determination that they are not subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the U.S. Department of State. Emcore has likewise determined that its SDN500 inertial navigation system (INS) is not subject to ITAR.

The determination of non-ITAR status is expected to dramatically increase the size of the market that Emcore can address with its quartz micro-electro-mechanical systems (QMEMs) IMU and INS devices.

Photo: Emcore

Photo: Emcore

Ranked Top in Trade Study. The SDI500/505 IMU was ranked first in overall accuracy, reported Emcore, in a U.S. military-commissioned trade study of 19 IMUs being evaluated as an alternative to the Honeywell HG1700 for various weapons systems.

The objective of the third-party independent study was to deliver a comprehensive report to the government and make a recommendation supported by clear and compelling technical, financial, and other relevant data collected regarding the most advantageous IMU products and services available in the market today. 19 IMUs of various technologies, complexity, cost, and developmental status, from leading manufacturers, were evaluated in short and long flyout simulations against the HG1700.

The dual-use non-ITAR SDI500/505 IMUs are designed to achieve the demanding performance levels required in sophisticated systems, including weapons guidance and targeting, commercial and defense fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs), and a wide variety of other high-precision commercial, industrial, marine, defense and space applications. They leverage quartz MEMS technology to deliver angle random walk (ARW) values of 0.02°/√hr with 1°/hr bias stability.

Defense Contract Award. In March, Emcore was awarded a development contract valued at $1.1 million by a major U.S. prime contractor to design and manufacture a high-end IMU for tactical intelligence and reconnaissance systems. The prototype phase has been successfully completed and as part of the contract in this follow-on phase, Emcore will deliver initial production units that will be used for proof of manufacturing and system level qualification.

The custom IMU will be based on Emcore’s proprietary closed-loop fiber-optic gyro (FOG) technology that delivers proven CSWaP (cost, size, weight and power) and performance advantages over other FOGs and competing technologies. It is designed to deliver the highest level of performance in Emcore’s tactical IMU product line, exceeding Emcore’s EN-300. Emcore’s FOG IMU technology delivers ten times the bias performance of legacy systems in compact form-, fit- and function-compatible packages.

New SDI170 IMU. Emcore also launched a replacement IMU. The new SDI170 quartz MEMS tactical-grade IMU is designed as a form-, fit- and function-compatible replacement for the HG1700-AG58 ring-laser gyroscope (RLG) IMU, but with superior overall performance, versatility and a significantly higher mean time between failures (MTBF) rating over ruggedized environments.

The SDI170 IMU is suitable for continuous-use applications with no wear-out components and delivers highly linear accelerometer performance and longer life compared to the HG1700 IMU. It is not ITAR controlled and has completed extensive internal and external customer testing to confirm compatibility to replace legacy products.

The unit is designed for a wide range of high-precision, integrated commercial and defense applications including aircraft Attitude Heading Reference Systems (AHRS), GPS-aided navigation, ground surveying, mobile mapping, ROVs, autonomous vehicles, tactical weapons, and stabilization platforms.

Non-ITAR Determination. As a result of this Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) determination concluded by the U.S. Department of State, EMCORE’s SDI500/SDI505 Revision F commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) offerings were confirmed to be subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the Department of Commerce (DOC). EAR classification typically results in fewer export-related restrictions and requirements. For this reason, this CJ determination for the SDI500/SDI505 will greatly increase the marketability of these IMUs to international customers.

The SDN500 is Emcore’s most advanced QMEMS INS/GPS tactical-grade system, combining the latest generation quartz gyros and accelerometers from the SDI500/SDI505, with high-speed signal processing and a 48-channel coarse/acquisition code GPS receiver into a powerful, tightly coupled guidance and navigation system.

“We would like to thank the U.S. Department of State for its evaluation of our commodity jurisdiction request and conclusion that our dual-use SDI500/SDI505 IMUs are not subject to ITAR,” said David Hoyh, Emcore’s director of sales and marketing for navigation products. “The determination of EAR status under the DOC enables more customers worldwide to benefit from these important, high-precision Emcore products.”

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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