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Proceedings Paper

Biologically inspired, haltere, angular-rate sensors for micro-autonomous systems
Author(s): G. L. Smith; S. S. Bedair; B. E. Schuster; W. D. Nothwang; J. S. Pulskamp; C. D. Meyer; R. G. Polcawich
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Paper Abstract

Small autonomous aerial systems require the ability to detect roll, pitch, and yaw to enable stable flight. Existing inertial measurement units (IMUs) are incapable of accurately measuring roll-pitch-yaw within the size, weight, and power requirements of at-scale insect-inspired aerial autonomous systems. To overcome this, we have designed novel IMUs based on the biological haltere system in a microelectromechanical system (MEMS). MEMS haltere sensors were successfully simulated, designed, and fabricated with a control scheme that enables simple, straightforward decoupling of the signals. Passive mechanical logic was designed to facilitate the decoupling of the forces acting on the sensor. The control scheme was developed that efficiently and accurately decouples the three component parts from the haltere sensors. Individual, coupled, and arrayed halteres were fabricated. A series of static electrical tests and dynamic device tests were conducted, in addition to in-situ bend tests, to validate the simulation results, and these, taken as a whole, indicate that the MEMS haltere sensors will be inherently sensitive to the Coriolis forces caused by changes in angular rate. The successful fabrication of a micro-angular rate sensor represents a substantial breakthrough and is an enabling technology for a number of Army applications, including micro air vehicles (MAVs).

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8373, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IV, 83731K (3 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918678
Show Author Affiliations
G. L. Smith, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
S. S. Bedair, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
B. E. Schuster, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
W. D. Nothwang, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
J. S. Pulskamp, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
C. D. Meyer, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
R. G. Polcawich, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8373:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IV
Thomas George; M. Saif Islam; Achyut Dutta, Editor(s)

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