Closed Loop, Digital, MEMS Accelerometers & Gyros for Drones and Robotics

Tronics Microsystems Talks to UST

Feature Article by Morgane Felix, Tronics Microsystems
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Tronics Microsystems talks to about the provision of high accuracy inertial sensors for the unmanned market, the introduction of the AXO301, the AXO305, and the high stability, low-SWaP alternative to Fiber Optic Gyros, the GYPRO4300.

Paving the way for a new generation of precise positioning, navigation, and stabilization functions in dynamic applications, Tronics’ MEMS sensors are ideally suited to incorporation within IMUs and INS for air, land and sea based unmanned systems operating in challenging environments.

Tronics Microsystems

As a prime supplier of both force-rebalance digital SMD accelerometers and MEMS gyros, what key challenges, in the unmanned sector, do Tronics Microsystems’ products overcome?

Precise positioning and navigation of unmanned systems calls for high accuracy inertial sensors able to output reliable data when operating in GNSS-denied environments, while facing high vibrations and fast-changing temperature conditions. As an example, an electric VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) flying in urban canyons will have to rely on a precise inertial navigation system to maintain its trajectory when the GNSS signal becomes too weak or unavailable.

The inertial sensors used for Attitude and Heading Reference Systems (AHRS) and Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) must demonstrate an excellent capability to reject the vibrations created by the propellers and have to be repeatable and stable in a wide range of temperatures. Tronics’ high-performance MEMS accelerometers and gyros provide a lightweight, low-power and miniature alternative to analog quartz accelerometers and Fiber Optic Gyros, thus increasing VTOL and UAV flight autonomy, while featuring the tactical-grade performance level required for the navigation of dynamic unmanned systems.

What sets Tronics Microsystems apart in your industry, specifically for railway, drone, autonomous vehicle and robotics developers?

System makers must ensure maximum accuracy and reliability of their products while keeping their time-to-market under control. In the high-performance market, we are today the only provider of both digital closed-loop MEMS accelerometers and gyros components with tactical-grade performance, which enables a faster integration of Tronics sensors into multi-axis Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) and INS.

Contrary to analog-centric solutions available on the high-performance MEMS inertial sensors market, the digital output embedded in our AXO accelerometers and GYPRO gyros helps our customers reduce their BoM cost by removing the need for costly discrete components such as low-noise amplifiers and high-resolution ADC. From a technical point of view, the use of a closed-loop electronics architecture in our accelerometers and gyros enables excellent vibration rectification performance, which is a key requirement for dynamic applications used in the railway, advanced air mobility, and land navigation markets.

How do you see Tronics Microsystems’ solutions evolving in the unmanned and autonomous sectors in 2023 and beyond?

AXO301 high-resolution MEMS accelerometer2023 is a pivotal year for Tronic. After the successful launch of AXO3015 in 2020 for high precision navigation and positioning in constrained temperature environments like UAV and VTOL, we are expanding our AXO300 accelerometers platforms with AXO301, a high-resolution accelerometer tailored to train positioning and localization functions, as well as AXO305, a ± 5 g accelerometer for motion control and navigation functions of land, marine and subsea systems such as underwater ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicles).

To provide a complete inertial sensors portfolio to our customers, our recently announced GYPRO4300 high stability gyro brings to the market a miniature, digital and low-SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) alternative to Fiber Optic Gyros and Dynamically Tuned Gyros that paves the way for a new generation of precise positioning, navigation, and stabilization functions in dynamic applications.

AXO305 MEMS AccelerometerThis gyro features a ± 300 °/s input measurement range, 200 Hz bandwidth, 1 ms latency and <2°/h Bias Instability with a closed-loop architecture that ensures high linearity and stability in dynamic environments. GYPRO43000 is the first product reference from our GYPRO4000 gyro platform that will be extended in the coming months with new product reference demonstrating high performance in terms of noise and bias stability.

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