Electronics & Computers

VTI Gyro Enables Earth Rotation Measurement

April 14, 2011

The proprietary 3D MEMS technology can compete with ring laser gyros in terms of accuracy, and it offers smaller size and low power consumption.

VANTAA, Finland /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- VTI Technologies' proprietary 3D MEMS 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 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 also use 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."

About VTI
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 technology.

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