VTI Gyro Enables Earth’s Rotation to be Measured

VTI Technologies’ proprietary 3D MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical System) technology enables extremely accurate gyroscopes to be designed and manufactured.  According to a study carried out by the Department of Computer Systems at Tampere University of Technology, Finland, VTI’s MEMS gyros are so accurate that they can detect and measure the Earth’s rate of rotation.

There are different methods to measure the Earth’s rotation, for example for navigation purposes. Until recent advances in MEMS technology, only very high quality – and very expensive – gyros, such as ring laser gyros (RLG), were accurate enough to be used for this application.

“The study made by Tampere University of Technology is very interesting because it shows that it is possible to use also MEMS gyros for this demanding application. These gyros are smaller in size, they consume less power and, most importantly, they are much more cost efficient than for example ring laser gyros,” explains Mr. Ville Nurmiainen, VTI Product Manager and a specialist in gyroscopes.

Method tested with the SCC1300 combined sensor

The study consisted of an improved method of computing the Earth’s rotation rate using a gyroscope. “The key findings showed that by compensating the non-stationary bias errors via a sequence of rotations and Kalman filter implementation, and by reducing the effect of external factors such as temperature and g-sensitivity, it is possible to detect and measure very small angular rates, such as the Earth’s rotation,” Mr. Nurmiainen reports.

This level of accuracy can be achieved with the VTI SCC1300 combined sensor. “The core of the gyroscope is the sensor element based on VTI’s 3D MEMS technology that, together with a state-of-the-art ASIC, results in a very stable, low noise and accurate gyro. The SCC1300 combines this gyro with a high accuracy 3-axis accelerometer in the same package and offers interesting opportunities in various applications,” he says.

“The results of this study are good news for many device, instrument and equipment manufacturers. In navigation applications in particular, the gyro has to be small in size and cost-efficient – but as high in accuracy as traditional RLGs. There is a growing number of emerging applications for this high level of gyro accuracy, such as pedestrian navigation and gyrocompasses. This study confirms that VTI’s SCC1300 gyro perfectly meets the requirements of these demanding applications.”


VTI in brief

VTI Technologies is a leading supplier of acceleration, inclination and angular motion sensor solutions for transportation, medical, instrument and consumer electronics applications. In their end-use applications, VTI’s products improve safety and quality of life. The silicon-based capacitive sensors are based on the company’s proprietary 3D MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical System) technology. For more information, please visit www.vtitechnologies.com.

Contacts:

VTI Technologies
Mr. Hannu Laatikainen, Executive Vice President, Transportation Business
Mr. Ville Nurmiainen, Product Manager
Tel. +358 9 879 181, e-mails: firstname [dot] lastname [at] vtitechnologies [dot] com

Tampere University of Technology, Finland
Dr. Jussi Collin, tel. +358 3 3115 11, e-mail: firstname [dot] lastname [at] tut [dot] fi

Copyright © 2012 Murata Electronics Oy