NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 O4.01-9036
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Metric Tracking of Launch Vehicles
PROPOSAL TITLE: MEMS Gyroscope with interferometric detection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Fine Structure Technology LLC
Austin, TX 78759 - 5212
(425) 516-8442

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Matthew Ellis
Austin, TX 78759 - 5212
(425) 516-8442

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This SBIR Phase I project will develop a MEMS gyroscope that uses an ultra high resolution sensing technique for measuring proof mass motion. The goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of this concept by understanding the optical, mechanical, and electrical performance characteristics that result from using micro interferometric sensing in a MEMS gyroscope. Specific objectives of the Phase I effort are to (1) develop a system level model that captures the behaviors of interest and enables design decisions (2) demonstrate sufficient optical performance for high resolution sensing in a prototype scale package and (3) show that this sensing technique improves device stability by enabling a design with a large separation between the sense resonance frequency and drive resonance frequency. This large separation in frequencies results in a device with much greater stability and better performance over temperature enabling the use of this technology in metric tracking hardware and tactical navigation applications. The TRL at the beginning of the contract is between zero and one. At the end of the contract the TRL will be 3.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial application within NASA: The proposed technology will result in a small and low power inertial sensor capable of providing tactical grade performance comparable to a fiber optic gyro. This technology will benefit metric tracking of launch vehicles in situations where GPS signals are unreliable. Furthermore, the small size of this technology will benefit small space craft in navigation and guidance. For aerospace applications, MEMS scale gyroscopes with performance characteristic similar to that of fiber optic gyros will enable high performance navigation in small unmanned systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Successful development of this project lays the foundation for commercial impact in a number of areas. For navigation GPS is commonly used in applications where fiber optic gyroscopes or ring laser gyroscopes are either too large or expensive. In many situations GPS signals are unreliable (such as in areas where they could be jammed or indoors) or they are unavailable such as underground. Petroleum and gas exploration, mining, aerospace systems and consumer electronic devices will benefit from the development of technology. In petroleum and gas exploration, directional drilling and wellbore navigation will benefit from the development of robust and stable MEMS scale gyroscopes capable of operation while drilling. For consumer applications this technology will enable personal navigation in areas where GPS signals are unreliable.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Inertial (see also Sensors)
Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and smaller
Navigation & Guidance
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12