EMCORE Introduces Fiber Optic Gyro-Based Micro Inertial Navigation System

Published: 08 Jun 2017

EMCORE-Orion Micro Inertial Navigation System (MINAV)EMCORE Corporation, a provider of Mixed-Signal Optics products, has introduced a new Micro Inertial Navigation system (MINAV), the first product in the new EMCORE-Orion series of inertial navigation systems for use in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), ground-based military operations, aeronautics and aviation.

The new EMCORE-Orion MINAV is a three-axis design utilizing the company’s proprietary, solid-state Fiber Optic Gyro (FOG) transceiver with advanced integrated optics and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) electronics to deliver standalone aircraft grade navigator performance. There is an option for internal or external GPS and the system can gyrocompass to approximately 0.5-1 milliradian (depending on configuration) in a GPS denied environment. The EMCORE-Orion MINAV is compact and lightweight, weighing approximately 3 pounds, with a power consumption of 12 watts. Its low SWaP makes it an ideal inertial navigation system for unmanned aerial vehicles and dismounted soldier applications.

Advancements in micro inertial navigation technology have been highly sought by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) to improve on the Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) of navigation and azimuth sensing systems. Legacy navigation and azimuth sensing technology has placed a premium on accuracy and performance, but not SWaP. Many modern weapon systems are now remotely operated, unmanned or man-portable, and may need to operate where GPS is unavailable or denied. An ultra-compact, standalone inertial system or inertial/GPS blended solution is ideal for these applications.

“Our new MINAV is designed to operate as a navigator or very precise IMU, and the digital interface is fully programmable within EMCORE’s factory enabling it to directly replace competing units,” said Dr. K.K. Wong, Director of Fiber Optic Gyro Products for EMCORE. “Our inertial navigators improve dramatically on the size and cost of navigation and azimuth sensing equipment by utilizing affordable lightweight sensors that reduce overall system weight and increase accuracy,” added Dr. Wong.

“EMCORE’s research and development in advanced optics for defense and homeland security applications has provided the foundation for the adaptation of our FOG technology to micro inertial navigation systems,” said David Faulkner, EMCORE’s Vice President and General Manager of Aerospace & Defense. “The inherent small size and lightweight nature of our optics, combined with FOG electronics, enables EMCORE to deliver a class-leading, cost-effective, reliable, high-precision navigation system with the MINAV.”

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