The Microscale Rate Integrating Gyroscope (MRIG) effort seeks to create micromachined vibratory gyroscopes that can be instrumented to directly measure the angle of rotation, extending the dynamic range and eliminating the need to integrate angular rate information. If successful, MRIG will enable high performance, low cost gyroscopes which, when integrated in Inertial Measurement Units (IMU), will be small enough for adaptation in guided munitions’ platforms, hand-held devices, and add-in portable Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) units.
MRIG is developing innovative methods for the batch fabrication of miniature 3-dimensional symmetric shell structures and techniques for operating these devices as whole-angle mode gyroscopes. The continuous, 3D resonators – spheres, inverted wineglasses, and half toroids, are capable of direct angle measurement because an isotropic oscillator maintains its line of oscillation in absolute space, independent of device rotation. This unique feature extends the dynamic range and eliminates the accumulation of error due to integration of angular rate information.
The program is currently executing Phase 2 of three planned phases. Phase 2 performer goals include the delivery of 10 batch fabricated rate integrating gyroscopes with a volume of less than 10 mm3 and performance objectives of a degenerate mode frequency split of less than 5 Hz, ringdown time of greater than 200 s, and degenerate mode damping mismatch of less than 10-3/s. Ultimately, MRIG devices are expected to provide dynamic range of 15,000 deg/sec while preserving the linearity of response to better than 1%, repeatability of the angular gain to better than 0.01 parts per million over 1 hour operation, and Angle Random Walk instability on the level 0.001 deg/√hour.
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