PORTLAND, Ore.—A new tactical-grade inertial-measurement unit (IMU) from Analog Devices Inc. achieves performance rivaling expensive, bulky fiber-optic based units by virtue of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) chips that are almost eight-times smaller and over 10-times lighter, according to the company.
"Our tactical grade IMUs and gyroscopes achieve single-digit degrees of drift per hour, which until today could only be achieved with FOGs [fiber-optic gyroscopes] that are much larger, heavier, and more expensive," said Mark Martin, Vice President and general manager of the micro-machined products division at ADI.
The first two members of the new tactical-grade MEMS family, include a 10-degree-of-freedom IMU that combines a three-axis accelerometer, a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis magnetometer, and a barometric pressure sensor to determine altitude—the 10th dimension. Drift is 6 degrees per hour for a unit that consumes just 0.7 watts.
The second member of the new family competes directly against FOGs, which are more expensive, bulky, heavy and power hungry than the ADI tactical-grade gyroscope. The company also claims that its tactical-grade MEMS gyroscope drifts just 3.5 degrees per hour, consumes less than one watt, weighs just 25 grams, and measures just 1.35 square inches.
Analog Device's tactical inertial measurement unit (IMU) combines a three-axis accelerometer, a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis magnetometer, and a barometric pressure sensor to determine altitude.