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A toolbox approach to reliably integrating MEMS gyroscopes into harsh acoustic and vibration environments

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2 Author(s)
Dean, R.N. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Auburn Univ., Auburn, AL, USA ; Flowers, G.T.

MEMS technology has greatly reduced the size and cost of gyroscopes. However, these sensors are also potentially susceptible to vibrational and acoustic excitation from their ambient operating environment. This mechanical noise can couple into the sensor and disrupt its performance in these harsh environments. No single solution will mitigate this problem for every application. Rather, a toolbox of techniques exists that each offers some degree of improvement in a MEMS gyroscope's performance in various environments. There are primarily two families of mitigation techniques. The first family involves altering the design of the sensor. For some applications, performance can be enhanced by increasing the resonating frequency of the sensor. Another technique is to embed the drive axis resonator in a feedback loop that maintains a constant amplitude of proof mass motion along the drive axis. The other family consists of techniques to enhance the device and system packaging. These techniques include passive and active vibration isolation between the sensor and the environment, mechanical noise absorbing materials and acoustic metamaterials to reduce mechanical noise transmission to the sensor. No one technique works for every sensor or every application. But a toolbox approach allows the engineer to select one of more techniques to improve gyroscope performance for a particular application.

Published in:

Reliability Science for Advanced Materials and Devices (RSAMD), 2013 IEEE Conference on

Date of Conference:

24-25 Feb. 2013