Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Micromachined Rate-Integrating Gyroscopes

Technology #5038

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Categories
Researchers
Khalil Najafi
Managed By
Joohee Kim
Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734.764.8202
Patent Protection
US Patent 9,494,425

High demand for precise navigation gyroscope technology

Navigation applications that require precise position tracking are driving the demand for gyroscopes with higher accuracies and smaller sizes, especially for scenarios where GPS information is limited. Most current micro-gyroscopes are rate gyroscopes (RG). RGs suffer from inaccuracies over time due to the buildup of rate noise during the integration process. Rate-integrating gyroscopes (RIG) are more accurate since they do not require the integration step. However, the architecture of RIGs is highly complex, and poses significant design and manufacturing challenges.

New, manufacturer-friendly rate-integrating gyroscope

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a micromachined RIG that can be easily batch-fabricated using deep reactive-ion etching. The various components of this RIG can be fabricated using a single substrate and one lithography step, thereby simplifying the manufacturing process. The RIG can be hybrid or wafer-level vacuum packaged in a volume-efficient manner, and can be integrated with conventional capacitive readout-and-control circuitry. Furthermore, the RIG has resonance characteristics that allow for robust operation in the presence of vibrations and shocks.

Applications

  • Precise position tracking in environments where GPS information is limited/corrupted
  • Automotive rollover protection and stability control systems
  • Consumer electronics, especially mobile devices such as cellphones
  • Surveillance robots, unmanned vehicles/airplanes (including homeland security applications)
  • Missile and platform stabilization

Advantages

  • Robust operation under vibrations and shocks
  • Low weight, and small size
  • Ease of manufacturing: Batch-fabrication, components can be fabricated from a single substrate, single step lithography, simple packaging, can be integrated with conventional capacitive readout-and-control circuitry