Projects   /   Current

T2710 — Manufacturing Process Optimization of Azimuth and Inertial MEMS

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: July 2015 to October 2018


There is a need for a miniature handheld, lightweight, affordable inertial navigation system capable of accurate azimuth determination in all environments including GPS-denied. A high-performance microelectromechanical (MEMS)-based system has been developed that integrates silicon micro sensors with optimized low noise electronics and navigational software. The full navigation system will consist of gyros, accelerometers, navigational algorithms, and electronics integrated into a new targeting system, or plug-and-play ability with existing targeting systems.

This Future Naval Capabilities (FNC) project is directed at the production of low-cost, high-quality sensors, which will further the goal of producing a low size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) replacement for the Digital Magnetic Compass (DMC). The current Silicon Disc Resonator Gyroscope (SiDRG) fabrication is on 100 mm diameter wafers produced in a laboratory environment. The work successfully validated the high level of performance achievable with this device. To reduce component cost at the operational SiDRG level, it is necessary to transition fabrication to a larger wafer size (200 mm) in a production environment. The larger wafer size and production environment reduces the per-die cost by reducing the perwafer production cost as well as increasing the number of dies per wafer. The waferscale vacuum packaging eliminates the secondary die attach, wire bond, vacuum packaging costs, and allows use of the standard low-cost die singulation methods.


This project will result in a production inertial sensor that meets Department of Defense requirements for a targeting system used by ground forces. This will allow the warfighter to utilize precision munitions, resulting in improved engagement efficiency and reduced collateral damage in all environmental conditions including GPS-denied. The sensors will result in a drastic reduction in SWaP-C and meet the U.S. Marine Corps’ defined requirements for SWaP-C. The MEMS inertial sensor will be capable of full electronic calibration, without requiring rotational adjustment (i.e., no moving parts required). The technology is directly applicable to future low-cost, miniature missile guidance control systems, UAV robotic navigation, and stabilized weapon systems.


The high-performance MEMS sensors developed under this project will be incorporated into the Azimuth and Inertial MEMS FNC program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research to address the azimuth error associated with the DMC. Under the FNC program, the SiDRG sensors will be packaged in an environment-resistant package, providing ultra-stable temperature and stress isolation. Boeing will assemble a 3D Inertial Navigation System using the packaged sensors. The navigation system will be characterized for self-calibration, thermal response, and bias stabilization. Under Phase 2 of the FNC program, this advanced navigation system will be integrated into a targeting system for test and evaluation.

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