Inertial Sensing: A guide to selecting the right gyroscope

Demand for ultra-precise and reliable navigation systems has grown, especially in autonomous, aerospace, and industrial applications. There is also recognition that traditional inertial solutions alone are not sufficient for the challenges in far more diverse environments; space, subsea, urban canyons, underground and contested areas.

At the heart of many inertial systems lies the gyroscope, a critical component for maintaining stability, orientation, and accuracy. Our gyroscopes precisely measure rate of turn (°/s) without a fixed reference point. This sets them apart from traditional rotation measurement tools like tachometers or potentiometers. Uniquely, all our gyros use a patented VSG resonating ring technology to detect rotation rate through the Coriolis phenomenon.

Let’s explore the key product parameters to help you choose the right gyroscope:

 

1. Precision and Accuracy:

Whether you need high-precision navigation for a space application, or a simple stabilisation solution for a camera, selecting a gyroscope with the appropriate performance level is crucial. For example, bias instability for our PinPoint® is 12°/hr to 80°/hr and is used in commercial applications. Whereas the CRH03 achieves a comparable DTG and FOG grade performance at <0.03°/hr to 0.1°/hr. This gyro is typically used in challenging environments that require ultra-precise performance.

2. Environmental:

Will the gyroscope be exposed to extreme temperatures, vibrations, or electromagnetic interference? Opting for a gyroscope with a robust environmental performance ensures reliability and longevity in challenging operating environments. Downhole drilling is a great example of a challenging environment that requires a reliable and robust inertial solution. The CRS39A is a tactical-grade gyro specified to work up to 110°C while delivering an industry-leading low noise performance at 0.006°/s rms.

3. Size and Weight:

Size and weight constraints are often critical factors in inertial, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). It is also important to select a compact and lightweight gyroscope without compromising on performance. Whilst the CRH03 is the perfect solution for these applications, we have developed an OEM version for applications where space and weight are limited.

4. Power Consumption:

For battery-powered devices or applications where energy consumption is a concern, selecting a gyroscope with low power consumption is fundamental. All our gyroscopes benefit from low power consumption, the PinPoint® has a typical consumption at 4mA whereas our highest performing gyros current consumption is still only 30mA.

5. Integration and Compatibility:

Integration with existing systems can play a significant role in choosing a new gyro. Selecting a gyro that interfaces seamlessly with your system architecture, providing the right data output, is crucial for certain applications. All our gyroscopes have an analogue interface, while our PinPoint® is our only gyro that has the flexibility of an analogue and Digital SPI® interface.

 


Silicon Sensing Solutions:

Now, let’s delve into a comparison of all our gyroscopes:

 

 

CRM100/200 PinPoint® gyroscope:

CRM PinPoint minature gyroscope

Features: Class-leading bias and noise over temperature, tiny size, available in flat and orthogonal formats, ultra-low power consumption.

Ideal for: Industrial and commercial applications that require a robust and affordable mass-produced gyroscope. Commonly used in attitude sensing, precision navigation, robotics, antenna platform pointing applications that require a miniature footprint, low power consumption and excellent performance over temperature.

 

 

CRS39A gyroscope:

CRS39A gyroscope

Features: FOG-grade performance. Two temperature sensors and MEMS frequency output for precision thermal compensation, it is optimised for low-rate range environments. In-band quiescent noise of 0.03°/s rms and an operating temperature range of –10°C to +110°C. This gyro is designed for mounting within a 25mm inside diameter cylinder.

Ideal for: Ultra-high-stability applications in severe environments, such as downhole drilling operations. A cost-effective and extremely rugged alternative to fiber optic and dynamically tuned gyros with significant performance enhancements in critical areas such as bias instability, angle random walk, noise and vibration tolerance.

 

 

CRH03 and CRH03(OEM):

Features: FOG and DTG comparable bias characteristics. Compact design, providing superior stability performance over time and temperature, the ultimate product where performance in bias instability, angle random walk and low noise are of critical importance.

Ideal for: Space and satellite applications demanding reliability and precision attitude control. Autonomous Vehicles and ROVs, surveying, guidance, avionics and heading control.

 

Gyroscope comparison

Conclusion

Choosing the right gyroscope is an important decision that can significantly impact the performance and reliability for your application. By considering factors such as precision, environmental, size, power consumption, and compatibility, you can make an informed choice tailored to your specific requirements. At Silicon Sensing, we have making gyroscopes for over 25-years. We manage every aspect of our product range in-house, ensuring the highest quality on the market. If you have a question about our products, our highly skilled team provide expert technical support.

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