We propose a new approach for to the design and fabrication of miniaturized Interferometric Fiber Optical Gyroscope (FOG) that enables the production of smaller IRU and IMU with substantially reduced noise (ARW) and better bias performance as well as environmental robustness combined with radiation hardness.
The gyro noise is reduced by a factor of 4 by utilizing an innovative approach for the light source noise reduction. The gyro’s sensitivity to vibration is substantially reduced by implementation of new signal processing algorithm and advance sensor’s optical and mechanical design enabling the gyros’ operation without the need for mechanical isolation, enabling smaller and lighter system size. The sensor is using a new radiation hard fiber that can operate with little degradation in harsh radiation environment i.e. during Jovian missions without the need for additional shields for the gyro optical head.
The combination of these attributes supports smaller, lower cost, and higher performance IMUs that can serve future NASA mission needs.
These innovative technologies enable a concept for a miniaturized tactical IMU based on the above technology (< 0.5 deg/hr bias over temperature and ARW of 0.0065 deg/rt-hr) with a volume as small <26 cubic inches and potential miniaturization to < 15 cube inch. Other possible applications include < 35 cube inch IMU (about LN200 size) delivering closer to navigation grade performance, with ARW <0.0035 deg/rt-hr and bias residual over temperature of < 0.2 deg/hr; and 90 cube inch IMU is expected to enable ARW <0.0006 deg/rt/hr with < 0.01 deg/hr bias.
Future missions demand increased navigation performance to support general science, communication, or difficult spacecraft docking or landing operations. Small spacecraft are taking increasingly prominent roles due to their relatively inexpensive cost. We offer a substantial reduction of the system size especially beneficial for complex missions to be carried out with such small platforms. Such may include scientific exploration missions, on-board navigation, autonomous approach & landing, precision pointing and formation-flying navigation.
The Navigational and high-end tactical IMU market is an expanding market with a push for higher performance. This expansion will be driven by cost and size reduction. The technology enables the smallest volume IRU/IMU on the market today for such a performance level. Our proposed system offers an alternative to existing products like the Northrop Grumman LN200, LN250 or Honeywell MIMU