Northrop Grumman along with Georgia Institute of Technology have been selected for developing a new type of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) gyroscope technology for the Microscale Rate Integrating Gyroscope program for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
This technology created during the year long period would be the foundation for a micro resonator gyro which is capable of accomplishing navigation grade performance. The NOC team using a new MEMS fabrication process would create a micro gyro that performs equivalently to the present day silicon MEMS devices but this device is much lighter, smaller and is a lower power package.
According to Charles Volk who is the Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of NOC’s Navigation Systems Division, the new micro fabrication process would take navigation technology a step ahead by developing diminutive gyros which could be used on a series of applications, such as hand-held devices and unmanned vehicles. DARPA program‘s aim is to develop miniature gyros which were navigation grade and could be used in unmanned vehicle navigation, personal navigation, GPS challenged/denied sites and also in other power and size constrained applications that need precision navigation. NOC along with Georgia Tech were given a R&D contract for the testing, preliminary design and development of micro-resonator units.
Farrokh Ayazi, who is a Professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), reveals that the team would make progress on the nano and microfabrication leading to the extreme miniaturization of the exceedingly stable navigation devices with very little energy dissipation. NOC gives its customers over 50 years of navigation experience and also offers navigation products using a whole range of technologies, such as the unique ZLG gyros, NOC’s unique hemispherical resonator gyro, ring laser gyros, fiber-optic gyro based systems, spinning mass gyros and micro-electro-mechanical-system gyros.