NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 13.11-5925

PROJECT TITLE: High performance Micromachined Inertial Navigation Unit

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

The inertial navigation systems of today are large, heavy, expensive, power consumptive, precision instruments affordable only in high-end systems and platforms. Inertial navigation on a chip will create new capabilities, make high-end functionality affordable to low-end systems, and extend the operational performance and lifetimes of existing platforms. Micromachined inertial navigation or measurement unit (IMU) on a chip is proposed, which are composed of microaccelerometers and microgyroscopes. Top-Vu's innovation and high-payoff approach is to integrate the micromachined IMUís and very large scale integration (VLSI) electronics on a gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrate. The electronics will be implemented using GaAs complementary heterostructure field effect transistor (CHFET) technology. The objective of this project is to develop gallium arsenide (GaAs) based micromachined inertial measurement unit with GaAs electronics for future inertial navigation systems. The Phase I technical objectives (and anticipated results) include three key technical tasks: 1) inertial measurement unit design, 2) process integration, and 3) readout electronics.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The anticipated benefits include order-of-magnitude performance improvements, compared to silicon technology and others, and new applications where silicon fails to meet system requirements. These system requirements include low noise, high speed sensing response, low power, high radiation hardness, low temperature, high temperature, and optical integration. Commercialization is projected with high performance micromachined inertial measurement chips for future inertial navigation systems. Potential commercial applications abound in the aerospace, medical, marine, transportation, military, and automotive industries. The applications for this sensor fall into four categories: control, instrumentation, stabilization, and navigation. Top-Vu will generate a GaAs CHFET cell library readily applicable to high performance sensors, micromachines, signal processors and data acquisition systems for commercial industries. Our goal is to integrate these GaAs IMUís with our other GaAs microsensors being developed to create powerful next generation microsensor systems. Top-Vu has received commercialization support from Minnesota Defense Consortium and others.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Tho T. Vu
Top-Vu Technology, Inc.
2650 - 14th Street N.W.
St.Paul , MN 55112-6348

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Top-Vu Technology, Inc.
2650 - 14th Street N.W.
St. Paul , MN 55112-6348