[Avionics Magazine 10-13-2016] Honeywell has signed an agreement with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to further develop the next generation of precision inertial technology. The company is working to improve the accuracy of Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) technology by three orders of magnitude compared with its current HG1930 IMU.
According to a statement released by Honeywell, in challenging environments around the world, there is a growing need for reliable navigation technology when GPS data is denied through intentional efforts or natural occurrences. In these scenarios, applications to provide accurate navigation information in GPS-denied environments have relied on gyroscopes and accelerometers, which are small electronic sensors that measure rotation and acceleration and are similar to motion sensors in a modern-day smartphone.
Working with DARPA, Honeywell will improve the performance and reduce the power of its IMUs, which feature miniaturized gyroscopes and accelerometers, by applying advanced design and fabrication techniques to its existing inertial sensors based on Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS). The end result will be a smaller and more-precise navigation solution that enables users to operate in hostile GPS-denied environments with improved functionality and accuracy and at a lower cost. In addition to commercial applications, these new sensors will also be used on weapons platforms.