• MTO_Title
  • Micro-PNT - Microscale Integration

    The Information Tethered Micro Autonomous Rotary Stage (ITMARS) effort explores the unique capability to precisely rotate micromachined structures in a controllable manner. Although the use of micromotors for optical and mechanical switches has been demonstrated, most applications have used structures fabricated into the rotary stage without the availability of active electrical power, limiting the application space. One of the key elements of this effort is to provide electrical power to the rotating stage, while still allowing full stage rotation and precise position control. Ultimately, the availability of power allows inertial sensors and timing references to be integrated directly on the micro-stage enabling several key Micro-PNT applications such as gyrocompassing/north finding and on-chip self-calibration.


    Micro Inertial Navigation Technology (MINT) aims to create navigation sensors that use secondary inertial variables, such as velocity and distance, to mitigate the error growth encountered with the inertial sensor alone. The combination of micro scale navigation aiding sensors will provide navigation accuracy beyond that which can be accomplished with a traditional inertial measurement unit (IMU) – equipped with only accelerometers and gyroscopes. If successful, the MINT effort will create micro- and nano-scale low-power navigation sensors that allow long term (hours to days) of GPS denied precision navigation.

    MINT is currently in its third and final stage. The final goal of the effort is to demonstrate inertial navigation accuracy on the order of 1 meter over 10 hours in a 1 cm3 volume using 5 mW of power.


    Primary and Secondary Calibration on Active Layer (PASCAL) aims to overcome the issue of long-term calibration drift of micromachined inertial sensors and clocks. The two main PASCAL objectives are to (1) enable the use of the state-of-the-art reduced Size, Weight, and Power plus Cost (SWAP+C) sensors in applications demanding high performance through dramatic improvement in long-term bias and scale-factor stability, and (2) allow zero maintenance deployment or in-field calibration. If successful, the effort will eliminate the expensive recall, calibration, and replacement of components from the field.

    The PASCAL effort is currently in the second of three phases. The ultimate goal of the effort is to achieve an effective bias and scale factor deviation of less than 1 part per million (1 ppm) over a one-month period while not exceeding 30 mm3 volume and with less than 50 mW of power consumption.


    The single-chip Timing and Inertial Measurement Unit (TIMU) effort addresses the challenges associated with the fabrication of fully integrated miniature, low-power, high-performance, and self-sufficient navigation systems. Currently, the smallest state-of-the-art tactical-grade IMUs occupy a volume of approximately 1000 cm3. TIMU is pursuing a technological foundation for a single-chip IMU with significant reductions in Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP), thereby enabling superior navigation and guidance capabilities for advanced munitions, various military platforms, and individual combatants under a wide range of operational conditions.

    TIMU is presently in the second of three phases. The final goal of this effort is to achieve a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of less than 1 nmi/hour while not exceeding 10 mm3 in volume and 200 mW in power consumption.

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