June 3, 2008 Airplanes, submarines and even automobiles of tomorrow may be equipped with arrays of inexpensive high-performance micro-mechanical gyroscopes for navigation and other purposes.
The proprietary system of MEMS gyroscope arrays being developed by a team consisting of Panos Datskos, Slo Rajic and Nickolay Lavrik of Oak Ridge National Laboratory is radically different than today's gyroscopes, which are big and costly.
Instead, this system consists of multiple highly sensitive and accurate silicon chip-scale gyroscopes.
The researchers envision their system being especially useful for navigation and geolocation in environments where global positioning systems are not possible or practical.
These tiny gyroscopes could also find their way into automobiles for ride stabilization and rollover detection.
In addition, the researchers believe their system will be useful for several consumer electronics applications. The research is funded by the U.S. Navy and ORNL's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.
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