Photonic Integrated Nav-Grade Gyroscope: FY18 Advanced Devices Line-Supported Program
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Lexington United States
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High performance gyroscopes have found widespread utility in a variety of DoD applications. These systems include inertial navigation and guidance, image stabilization, and beam pointing and tracking for free-space communication. The fundamental sensor technology used for these gyroscopes can generally be broken down into two categories those based on micro-electro-mechanical systems MEMS, and those based on optical techniques including interferometric fiber optic gyroscopes IFOGs and ring laser gyroscopes RLGs. Recently, IFOGs have been widely adopted in the military and aerospace domains, where performance is of the utmost concern. In consumer markets, performance is sacrificed for the extremely low size, weight, power, and cost SWaP-C of MEMS-based gyroscopes. As the size of autonomous platforms has continued to decrease, there has emerged an increasing need within the DoD community for gyroscopes with performance levels matching IFOGs but with the size and manufacturability of MEMS devices. The main challenge this poses stems from the difficulty in realizing an adequate displacement sensing mechanism using capacitive sensing. To this end, the proposed effort seeks to advance the state-of-the-art in MEMS gyroscopes by utilizing photonic integrated circuits to combine the high sensitivity of optical detection with the small size and manufacturability of MEMS, leading to a chip-scale gyroscope with navigation-grade performance capable of fitting onto a lightweight autonomous platform.
- Navigation and Guidance