Written by: Monica Takacs, Membership Director, MEMS Industry Group
From robotic ground vehicles that enter areas too dangerous for humans, to maritime vehicles that explore and map underwater caves, and drones used for agricultural and environmental applications, the unmanned vehicle systems appears to be a growth industry for MEMS.
MIG attended the AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) conference in Washington, DC, August 13-14 to check out all of the MEMS devices found in these unmanned vehicle systems. Inertial MEMS sensors were featured throughout the show and many of the exhibitors demonstrated the cost, size, and power consumption advantages that MEMS has over traditional inertial measurement systems (IMU) like fiber optic gyros.
Several MIG members were at the conference showcasing their technologies.
Analog Devices featured their signal processing technologies for advanced unmanned systems for defense & civilian applications, including their MEMS based inertial sensor technology.
Epson introduced their M-V340 IMU for unmanned vehicles and other space- and weight-sensitive applications. They claim it’s smallest IMU among high-performance IMUs having gyro bias instability of 10 dph or less (as of the beginning of August 2013, according to Epson's research.)
Honeywell presented their HG1930 IMU for flight control, navigation of UAVs, missiles, projectiles, and munitions that include inertial MEMS sensors designed, developed, and manufactured in-house.
Meggitt showcased their thermal management solutions for unmanned platforms, and projectile tracking technology that track bullets to large missile and can provide weapon performance data from a target platform or threat notification on a tactical platform.
PNI Sensor Corporation displayed their 9-axis sensor fusion pinpoint heading and orientation technology and algorithms for the consumer, military, and scientific markets.
Sensonor showcased their tactical grade STIM300 IMU, a non-GPS aided IMU, containing 3 MEMS gyros, that is suitable for various commercial and defense guidance and navigation applications.
Xsens demonstrated their MTi 100-series, their high performance product line that features vibration-rejecting gyroscopes and a sensor fusion algorithm that overcomes limitations in Kalman Filtering.
VetorNav Technologies displayed their VN-200 GPS-Aided Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) which incorporates a suite of MEMS-based 3-axis accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, along with a barometric pressure sensor and a high-sensitivity GPS module in a surface mount package.