Nano Science and Technology Institute


Chip-Scale Combinatorial Atomic Navigator (C-SCAN)

DARPA - Microsystems Technology Office

Deadline: July 10, 2012

DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of co-integration of inertial sensors with dissimilar physics of operation in a single micro-scale Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). In this context, the program seeks to address challenges associated with the long-term drift, dynamic range, and start-up time of chip-scale components for positioning, targeting, navigation, and guidance tasks. Specific interest is in the development of a Chip-Scale Combinatorial Atomic Navigator (C-SCAN) that combines inertial sensors with dissimilar, but complementary, physics of operation into a single microsystem. The main objectives of the C-SCAN program are to (1) explore the miniaturization and co-fabrication of atomic sensors with high-performance solid-state inertial sensors, and (2) develop combinatorial algorithms and architectures that seamlessly co-integrate components with dissimilar physics in a single ensemble. The deliverable of this program is a miniature IMU that co-integrates atomic and solid-state inertial sensors in a single microsystem with a volume of no more than 20 cubic centimeters (20 cc) and power consumption of no more than 1 Watt (1 W). The performance of C-SCAN is expected to be above and beyond what is currently available, combining a high resolution of motion detection (10-4 deg/hour for rotation and 10-6 g for linear acceleration), exceptional long-term bias and scale-factor stability (1 ppm with respect to the full-scale of operation), and start-up time performance orders of magnitude better than available today (less than 10 seconds from a cold start).

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