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Microelectromechanical System (MEMS)/Coriolis Vibratory Gyroscope for Small Arms Fire Control Application

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Weapons

OBJECTIVE: Develop a precise 2/3-axis MEMS gyroscope with low size/weight/cost for use in small-arms fire control devices designed for navigation/designation in high EMI and denied environments.

DESCRIPTION: Advanced weapon-mounted fire control requires accurate azimuth, cant and attitude information to calculate firing solutions. The combination of a hostile environment encountered by weapon mounted fire control devices making traditional navigation aids susceptible to failure and the emerging need to navigate and designate in denied environments formulates a need for a novel approach to this technical problem. The MEMS gyroscope should be well suited for the weapon-mounted environment: shock, power consumption and size must be appropriate for this intended use. The accuracy/drift should be sufficient that infrequent recalibration is required. Other than for initial and infrequent calibration, the sensor must operate without emission of any RF and in an environment with significant electromagnetic interference and/or metal housings. The sensor when in its operational configuration must be completely passive. The sensor should be ready to integrate into prototype fire control solutions and sized appropriately for this integration. The sensor must be capable of guiding navigation of the Warfighter to and from an objective and providing the azimuth and attitude (optionally cant) of the weapon system for a firing solution.

PHASE I: Given the direct to Phase II nature of this effort, a determination of Phase I equivalency will be made which will require proof the project is sufficiently mature to be funded at a Phase II level. A report detailing the Phase I equivalent efforts should be included. The technical approach should be well developed with preliminary functional prototyping at a minimum. Evidence of past successes in MEMS gyroscope development should be provided, ideally within the DOD development environment. The preliminary results obtained from functional prototyping should include drift, power requirements and size in addition to projected results in these parameters after the Phase II effort.

PHASE II: The 4 primary deliverables for Phase II shall be: 1. A comprehensive report highlighting actual test results in both lab and operational environments. The report should address any barriers to full-rate production, potential manufacturing partners for full-rate production and design deficiencies w/ possible fixes to address any performance shortcomings 2. A test device for evaluation of the capabilities of the gyroscope. This device shall be internally powered with directionally-based outputs to show the gyroscope’s capability in real time. Optionally, this device should integrate with a sample map and will be capable of passive navigation across a sample operational area using only the gyroscope w/ other included passive sensors, showing position on the map. 3. Up to ten (10) 2/3-axis gyroscopes capable of being integrated by the USG into prototype fire control devices. 4. A detailed Interface Control Document for the gyroscope that will assist the USG and/or a contractor in integrated the gyroscope into fire control devices. 5. A requirements document for the project initially, and a requirements review at the end of the effort.

PHASE III: This gyroscope will have tremendous commercial potential in end user devices, unmanned aerial systems and smart optical devices of all kinds. Additionally, this sensor has application in Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality systems where precision acceleration inputs are required. MEMS gyroscopes have potential to proliferate across consumer electronics to become standard equipment for increasing device orientation and movement accuracy. The DOD and commercial uses for the gyroscope are essentially identical with the only difference being the device integration. As a Phase III effort, there is potential to integrate the successful gyroscope into prototype fire control devices or create standalone navigational aids for integration into legacy systems. These efforts could be funded by either a Program Manager or Combat Capabilities Development Command entity.

KEYWORDS: Gyroscope, passive navigation, MEMS, Coriolis vibratory gyroscope, denied environment, fire control

References:

Gyroscope Technology and Applications: A Review in the Industrial Perspective. https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/17/10/2284/pdf. 7 Oct 17.

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