Sensors in Motion Launches MEMS-Based Inertial Nav System

November 24, 2014  - By

Photo: SIM

Sensors in Motion (SIM) has introduced  a MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical) navigation-grade inertial system (INS) that it says could transform the $8 billion/year inertial market with new products by offering price and performance specifications better than those currently available.

The first INS devices have been delivered to the Army CERDEC Night Vision Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD).

SIM, a spinout from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology, is developing a family of high-accuracy MEMS gyroscopes, accelerometers and inertial measurement unit ( IMU) solutions. It says it has perfected unique MEMS structures using volume silicon wafer processing techniques to produce gyroscopes having ARW (angle random walk) less than 0.0035 degree/root-hour and bias instability less than 0.01 degree/hour with extraordinary vibration and temperature immunity, a performance comparable to ring laser (RLG) and fiber optic (FOG) gyros that are 20 times larger and 100 times more expensive.

These features are mandatory for numerous applications where location is not available from GPS or vehicle position accuracy is required including autonomous vehicles, drones, mining asset tracking, dead reckoning, agricultural seed placement, oil and gas directional drilling, self-driving autos, firefighter navigation, optical image stabilization, industrial equipment azimuth, aerospace and defense products and most GPS-denied environments, in addition to new applications.

Current devices would have a vehicle position off as much as 1 foot per second at 45 miles per hour.

“We see this technology opening an additional $2B sensor market needing size, weight, power, cost and performance that does not exist today. “ said David Smukowski, CEO of SIM.

With adequate resources the company says further performance gains are possible, even while shrinking the devices smaller for better economics.

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