The Silicon Oscillating Accelerometer: A MEMS Inertial Instrument for Strategic Missile Guidance
CHARLES STARK DRAPER LAB INC CAMBRIDGE MA
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The intercontinental ballistic missile ICBM and submarine-launched ballistic missiles SLBM developed over the past 50 years have employed successive generations of increasingly accurate inertial guidance systems. The comparatively short time of guided flight and high acceleration levels characteristic of the ballistic missile application place a premium on accelerometer performance to achieve desired weapon system accuracy. To date, the accelerometer design of choice for strategic missiles has been the Pendulous Integrating Gyroscopic Accelerometer PIGA instrument, an accelerometer whose origins trace back to the German V2 rocket, and has been refined through several generations of development to achieve unsurpassed performance. The specialized technologies of PIGA accelerometers, such as gas bearing wheels, ultra-stable ball bearings, precision electromagnetic components, and designer chemical flotation fluids require a costly support infrastructure for production and system life-cycle maintenance. The Draper Laboratory is currently in the process of developing the Silicon Oscillating Accelerometer SOA a MEMS-based sensor that has the potential to achieve the ppmug performance stability required of the strategic missile application. The Microelectromechanical System MEMS technology is inherently low cost and offers a rapidly expanding commercial business base to leverage and sustain accelerometer production and deployment in next generation guidance systems.
- Guided Missiles
- Navigation and Guidance