An investigation into the function, operation, manufacture and development of the MEMS tuning fork CVG for use in the civil aircraft IMU

The scope and findings of the report, which was written as part of my degree, is outlined by the report summary as follows;

The MEMS gyroscope has been developed as an alternative to larger traditional gyroscope designs in order to save bulk and power. The tiny size, however, comes at a cost in that they are less accurate than the larger alternatives, so far having only reached consumer-grading in terms performance.

The introduction of the MEMS gyroscope into the aircraft IMU seems a logical contribution to the quest for ever smaller and lighter equipment, since the power and weight saving equates to reduced aircraft fuel consumption.

The report sets out to assess the level of performance required by the gyroscope for IMU use, compared with that currently achievable by best-performing Coriolis force gyroscope (CVG) designs. The function, operation, manufacture and development of the device are assessed in terms of maximising resolution attainable, as well has how these are appropriate to the scale of the device.

The purpose of the report is to inform, with the report itself being largely informed by review of existing literature. The aim and objectives are set according to the subject-specific guidelines for the report, these being subject to constant refinement throughout as the project becomes more informed by the ongoing literature review.

It was found that although the required navigational-grade performance has not been achieved by currently available CVG design, much investment is being made into achieving this motivated by the cost saving, and it is predicted that the required performance will be achieved in the medium term (5-10 years). The physical parameters of the device that affect resolution were identified, and a number of suggestions identified for its improvement.