MEMS Gyroscope with Interferometric Detection

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CA67C
Agency Tracking Number: 104964
Amount: $749,641.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: O4.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
TX, Austin, TX, 78759-5212
DUNS: 832984723
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Ellis
 Principal Investigator
 (512) 650-8314
Business Contact
 Matthew Ellis
Title: Business Official
Phone: (512) 650-8314
Research Institution
The proposed innovation is a novel MEMS gyroscope that uses micro-interferometric detection to measure the motion of the proof mass. Using an interferometric detection technique enables the measurement of proof mass motion with resolution equal to or better than systems that have CMOS detection electronics fabricated on the MEMS substrate. Furthermore, this detection technique can be applied to MEMS designs fabricated in a variety of processes, freeing up more design space and enabling a MEMS design not limited by MEMS fabrication constraints. This combination of factors allows for a broader design space and thus the sense resonant frequency will not have to be closely matched to the drive resonant frequency. This separation of frequencies results in a device that is inherently more stable and easier to manufacture. Specific objective of phase II are: (1) Produce a low cost, low power MEMS gyroscope using interferometric sensing that meets the needs for NASA applications. (2) Deliver multiple prototypes to NASA and other potential customers for evaluation. (3) Demonstrate that the gyroscope prototypes have acceptable performance. The challenges to successfully developing this technology are substantial. Advanced MEMS fabrication technology, innovative micro-optical designs coupled with novel MEMS packaging, and design and simulation techniques will enable successful development of this technology.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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