DARPA miniaturized IMU to be developed by Northrop GrummanNews
June 10, 2014
WOODLAND HILLS, CA. Northrop Grumman engineers will be developing a miniaturized navigation grade inertial system for use by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Chip-Scale Combinatorial Atomic Navigator (C-SCAN) program. It is part of U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center contract.
The C-SCAN program looks to integrate micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) and atomic inertial guidance technologies into one inertial measurement unit (IMU), providing stable long-term performance with fast start-up time. The integrated navigation system seeks to combine inertial sensors with dissimilar but complementary physics properties, delivering an affordable solution for GPS-challenged environments.
Under the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with an initial value of $648,000, Northrop Grumman engineers will develop a miniaturized IMU for the C-SCAN program by merging bulk acoustic wave MEMS gyro and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) gyro technologies. This includes maturing the NMR gyro, reducing the package's current size, and designing a new precision optical accelerometer. The contract has a potential value of $13.4 million with multiple options after the first 12‑month base contract.
DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office administers the C-SCAN effort, which is part of the Micro-Technology for Positioning, Navigation, and Timing program that looks to develop micro-technology for self-contained, chip-scale inertial navigation and precision guidance, eliminating GPS dependence . Potential applications include targeting, positioning, guidance, navigation and smart weapons.