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High-Range Angular Rate Sensor Based on Mechanical Frequency Modulation

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3 Author(s)
Zotov, S.A. ; Univ. of California, Irvine, CA, USA ; Trusov, A.A. ; Shkel, A.M.

We report, for the first time, an angular rate sensor based on mechanical frequency modulation (FM) of the input rotation rate. This approach tracks the resonant frequency split between two X - Y symmetric high-Q mechanical modes of vibration in a microelectromechanical systems Coriolis vibratory gyroscope to produce a frequency-based measurement of the input angular rate. The system is enabled by a combination of a MEMS vibratory high-Q gyroscope and a new signal processing scheme which takes advantage of a previously ignored gyroscope dynamic effect. A real-time implementation of the quasi-digital angular rate sensor was realized using two digital phase-locked loops and experimentally verified using a silicon MEMS quadruple mass gyroscope (QMG). Structural characterization of a vacuum- packaged QMG showed Q factors on the order of one million over a wide temperature range from -40 °C to +100°C with a relative x/y mismatch of Q of 1 %. Temperature characterization of the FM rate sensor exhibited less than 0.2% variation of the angular rate response between 25°C and 70 °C environments, enabled by the self-calibrating differential frequency detection. High-speed rate table characterization of the FM angular rate sensor demonstrated a linear range of 18 000 deg/s (50 r/s, limited by the setup) with a dynamic range of 128 dB. Interchangeable operation of the QMG transducer in conventional amplitude- modulated and new FM regimes provides a 156-dB dynamic range.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

April 2012

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