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Advanced High End Gyroscopes for Small Form Factor Inertial Measurement Unit Applications


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate advanced gyroscope technologies to enhance an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) high rate operation through capability and survivability for next generation missile defense applications. 

DESCRIPTION: Seek innovations in gyroscope technologies which increase accuracy and decrease Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) while enabling continuous operation through 2 to 3 times higher G environments than current state of the art capability, with no more than 5% performance degradation. Gyroscopes employed in missile defense IMU applications for guidance, navigation and control encounter severe accelerations, shocks and vibrations during all phases of operation. IMU in flight systems (e.g. interceptors) are constrained by limits on size, weight, power and cost (SWAP-C) while requiring high performance and radiation environment operability. The proposed solution, when integrated with appropriate accelerometers, should fit within 2 times smaller packages than the current state of the art IMU packages. In addition, the proposed hardware solutions must also increase the ruggedness and survivability of gyroscopes by a factor of 2 to 3 over current shock and vibration environments. Other desirable attributes of proposed gyroscope solutions include long operation times, operability in high temperature environments, operability through large thermal gradients, design simplicity, ease of manufacture, ease of integration into IMU systems, long duration storage with negligible performance degradation and low cost. Successful development of these gyroscopes should couple with ongoing high-g accelerometer developments to achieve a high end IMU capable of operating through the next generation of interceptor environments. 

PHASE I: Design, develop and conduct feasibility/proof of concept study for the proposed technology to meet the desired performance requirements in high-g environments. Provide analysis and/or laboratory experimentation substantiating proposed gyroscope technology can operate through and survive high-g, severe shock, severe vibration and realistic radiation environments. The design should include how it will potentially be integrated into an IMU. Fabricate proof of principle prototypes and establish baseline performance parameters. Identify manufacturing risks and describe risk mitigation steps. At completion of this program, the preliminary design and detailed analysis should be documented for Phase II. 

PHASE II: Optimize design(s) from Phase I to improve baseline performance, increase survivability and level of operability in realistic environments and radiation. Fabricate and test optimized gyroscopes in realistic environments and against standard military specifications to validate analytical models. The performer should collaborate with prime contractors and/or prime integrators as potential transition partners into an IMU. Conduct initial operational and evaluation testing of prototypes in realistic radiation environments. Provide the final design, test results and full IMU integration plans for the accelerometer. Produce a prototype accelerometer suitable for government testing. 

PHASE III: Optimize designs as necessary for integration into an IMU system. Team with vendor/integrators and/or military prime contractor to develop the integrated IMU system and qualify performance and survivability. Work with the transition partner to establish a pathway to insert the technology in an existing or planned missile defense application. Demonstration could include, but is not limited to testing in a real system or a system level test-bed. Work with partners to conduct appropriate ground testing of the IMU prototype. Provide IMU prototypes to a government laboratory for independent test and validation. 


1: G. Yi, Y. Xie, Z. Qi, and B. Xi. 2015. "Modeling of Acceleration Influence on Hemispherical Resonator Gyro Forcing System." Hindawi. Mathematical Problems in Engineering, Vol. 2015: ID 104041.

2:  1998. Committee on Review and Evaluation of the Air Force Hypersonic Technology Program, National Research Council, Review and Evaluation of the Air Force Hypersonic Technology Program, ISBN: 0-309-52236-6.

3:  Undated. Department of Defense. MIL-STD-810, Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests. MDA – 25.

4:  Undated. Air Force Space Command and Space and Missile Systems Center document. Test Requirements for Launch, Upper-Stage and Space Vehicles. SMC-S-016.

5:  Northrop Grumman. 2013. LN200 FOG Family Advanced Airborne IMU/AHRS.



KEYWORDS: Gyroscope, Sensors, Micro-Electronics, Inertial Measurement Unit, Guidance, Navigation And Control 


Dmitriy Plaks 

(256) 450-3726 

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