MEMS Gyroscopes to Improve Flight Safety in Helicopters

May 26, 2010

ADI’s single-chip iMEMS gyroscope technology provides high-performance angular rate sensing for Appareo Systems’ ALERTS Vision 1000 flight safety and training tool.

NORWOOD, MA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI), a global leader in high-performance semiconductors for signal processing applications, is furnishing its high performance iMEMS gyroscope technology for a new aircraft flight safety and training tool developed by Appareo Systems, a Fargo, North Dakota, a company that makes light weight flight data recorders and award winning 3-D flight analysis software. In an international push to improve helicopter safety, the ALERTS (Aircraft Logging and Event Recording for Training and Safety) Vision 1000 flight data monitoring solution was designed in partnership with Eurocopter, a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services and the world's No. 1 helicopter manufacturer serving the civil and parapublic market. Among Appareo's clients are companies working in the oil and natural gas industries, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operators, and the United States military, all of whom benefit from significantly improved flight data monitoring.

"The ability to track, record and analyze the exact pitch, roll and yaw of the aircraft provides operators with an incredibly valuable tool to improve the flying performance of student pilots and experienced aviators alike," said Robert Weinmann, embedded systems director for Appareo Systems. "Analog Devices' iMEMS gyroscope was selected because it aligned perfectly with the needs of our customers for a small, light-weight gyroscope that was cost-effective and delivered exceptionally accurate performance."

"The Vision 1000 is already being heralded by the avionics industry as one of the best training tools to come to this market," said Mark Martin, vice president, MEMS and Sensor Technology Group, Analog Devices. "ADI's ability to provide Appareo with a single-chip, high-performance gyroscope that meets rigorous aviation industry performance and quality standards is another example of how the need for high-performance MEMS motion sensors is spurring a revolution and the next wave of MEMS sensor adoption in many technologically advanced markets."

The ALERTS Vision 1000 system will be deployed initially in helicopters to capture and analyze large volumes of flight data, including inertial and position information, such as location and pitch/roll attitude as well as provide acoustic data and cockpit imagery, such as instrument panels and flight controls. The data can then be played back using Appareo Systems' AS Flight Analysis 3-D flight virtualization software to accurately portray the aircraft's entire flight record.

At just a fraction the cost of other flight data recorders, the ALERTS Vision 1000 weighs less than 300 grams, requires only 28 VDC and ground to install, and is easily mounted in the cockpit, eliminating the extensive integration of other flight data monitoring systems.

ADI's iMEMS Gyroscopes
Gyroscopes are used to measure angular rate, or how quickly an object turns. The rotation is typically measured in reference to one of three axes: yaw, pitch, or roll. Analog Devices' family of iMEMS gyroscopes are the first commercially available surface-micromachined angular rate sensors with integrated electronics and is part of a family of gyroscopes that is smaller, consumes less power, and has better immunity to shock and vibration than gyros with comparable functionality. The ultra-small ADI iMEMS gyroscopes can weigh less than 0.5 grams and feature 2000-g-powered shock survivability, 5-V single-supply operation and 105°C operation.

About Appareo Systems
Appareo Systems LLC is a recognized leader in the custom development and manufacture of low-cost innovative avionic solutions for original equipment manufacturers. Through the creative application of cutting-edge technologies, the company creates complex end-to-end solutions that include both airborne and ground station components. Appareo offers turn-key services form product conceptualization through attainment of STC. In addition, the company is an accredited FAA Parts Manufacturing facility.

Appareo's ALERTS system for flight data capture and analysis was named the 2007 Product Breakthrough of the Year by Aviation Week & Space Technology and recognized by the American Helicopter Association with the 2008 Harry T. Jensen award for outstanding contribution to helicopter safety and reliability. Appareo Systems is based in Fargo, ND.

About Analog Devices
Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices has built one of the longest standing, highest-growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Celebrating over 40 years as a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications, Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, Mass., with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Analog Devices' common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "ADI" and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

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