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The limitations of the photolithography-based micromachining technologies defines the upper-bound on the performance and robustness of micromachined gyroscopes. Conventional gyroscope designs based on matching (or near-matching) the drive and sense modes are extremely sensitive to variations in oscillatory system parameters that shift the natural frequencies and introduce quadrature errors. Nonconventional design concepts have been reported that increase bandwidth to improve robustness, but with the expense of response gain reduction. This paper presents a new approach that may yield robust vibratory MEMS gyroscopes with better gain characteristics while retaining the wide bandwidth. The approach is based on utilizing multiple drive-mode oscillators with incrementally spaced resonance frequencies to achieve wide-bandwidth response in the drive-mode, leading to improved robustness to structural and thermal parameter fluctuations. Enhanced mode-decoupling is achieved by distributing the linear drive-mode oscillators radially and symmetrically, to form a multidirectional linear drive-mode and a torsional sense-mode; minimizing quadrature error and zero-rate output. The approach has been implemented on bulk-micromachined prototypes fabricated in a silicon-on-insulator (SOI)-based process, and experimentally demonstrated.
Date of Publication: June 2005