Nano and Micro Systems
MEMS Inertial Sensor Technology
JPL’s silicon disc resonator gyroscope (Si DRG) is currently being commercialized and, through independent Army testing, has proven to be the highest performing microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) gyroscope in the world.
The next generation of this device, the silicon nested-ring gyroscope (Si NRG), will incorporate geometric refinements for noise floor reduction and will utilize a JPL-developed wafer-scale vacuum packaging technology for decreased susceptibility to environmental changes, increased robustness, and greatly reduced cost. Research is being conducted on construction of resonant vibratory MEMS devices out of fused silica and ultra-low-expansion (ULE) glass for increased sensitivity; current work includes construction of planar and 3D micromachined gyroscopes and a 10 mm3 inertial measurement unit for DARPA, and an RTD-funded fused silica, high-quality factor seismometer.