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Proceedings Paper

Progress in the development of gyroscopes for use in tactical weapon systems
Author(s): Paul B. Ruffin
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Paper Abstract

Past and current research efforts initiated in the Government and industry for the development of gyroscopes for tactical weapon system applications are discussed in this paper. Spinning mass gyroscopes were used in the early long-range missiles for precision guidance. During the past two decades, tremendous progress has been made in advancing the performance capability of solid-state optical gyroscope for use in tactical weapon systems. A number of Army missile systems currently use ring laser gyroscopes as part of their navigation systems. A few years, ago, the Government awarded several contrasts to industry to develop small, reliable, low-cost fiber optic gyroscopes (FOG) that can operate in military environments. Recently, the Government awarded several contracts for the development of rugged, micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) gyroscopes to support emerging Army missions, which are moving toward low-cost, small diameter precision guided weapons for use against light targets. The RLG, FOG, and the MEMS-based gyroscopes are traded-off in this paper with respect to cost, size and performance for applications in current and future Army missile systems. The status of ongoing MEMS projects at the US Army Aviation and Missile Command will also be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 June 2000
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3990, Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Smart Electronics and MEMS, (21 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.388886
Show Author Affiliations
Paul B. Ruffin, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3990:
Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Smart Electronics and MEMS
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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