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April 18th, 2012
New Sensor Sought to Enable Military Missions in GPS-denied Areas

“Platforms such as missiles rely on GPS for a variety of information,” explained Andre Shkel, program manager. “When GPS is not available gyroscopes provide orientation, accelerometers provide position and oscillators provide timing. The new C-SCAN effort focuses on replacing bulky gyroscopes with a new inertial measurement unit (IMU) that is smaller, less expensive due to foundry fabrication and yields better performance.”

The inertial measurement unit sought by C-SCAN will co-integrate both solid state and atomic inertial into a single microsystem. This new IMU would benefit from devices with dissimilar physics, yet complementary characteristics: short startup times, and long-term, stable performance.

Before C-SCAN can be built, research is needed to explore the miniaturization and co-fabrication of atomic sensors with solid-state inertial sensors. Algorithms and architectures are sought to seamlessly co-integrate the components. Those wishing to participate in the C-SCAN effort are encouraged to review the full solicitation located at http://www.fbo.gov.