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1 Silicon Sensing

From the Silicon Sensing website:

The business was formed in 1999 to supply motion sensing solutions to high-volume automotive markets - but can trace its ancestry back to the early days of Sperry Gyroscope. Sumitomo Precision Products' advanced MEMS fabrication technology combines with Atlantic Inertial Systems' patented solid state gyro and inertial systems knowledge to manufacture and supply angular rate sensors (gyros) and inertial systems. Today, Silicon Sensing has an outstanding reputation for the development and production of innovative technology and the high volume production of reliable and affordable sensors, deployed across a diverse range of commercial and automotive applications.

In many aerospace and automotive the angular rate is very important. In an automobile, an angular rate above a certain threshold could be used to trigger a roll-over sensor. A sustained rate over time could be integrated in order to determine an angular threshold (such as 45 deg) for roll-over detection. Obviously these same sensors can be used to determine when the automobile is spining. In aerospace, the angular rate can be used for pointing compensation.

Please feel free to include your experiences as signed edits to this article.

1.1 Technology

Most gyroscopes are inertial sensors (i.e. the sensed rate is in inertial space not the local reference frame). Typically gyros keep a proof mass stationary (or rotating) in inertial space while the relative rotation of the sensor housing is measured. Over the past couple of decades solid state MEMS device have replaced the older spinning gyros in Silicon Sensing's technology. MEMS gyros incorporate a vibrating proof mass instead of a spinning mass.

1.2 Silicon Sensing's VSG-3 Inductive Resonator

The VSG-3 is the third generation of "Vibrating Structure Gryo" (MEMS). Approximately 3 million VSG-3 gyros are produced.

1.3 Silicon Sensing's VSG-4 Capacitive Resonator

The VSG-4 is the latest generation of gyros that Silicon Sensing advertises. They state that the VSG-4 is their latest (4th) generation of the Vibrating Structure Gyro. They consider this to be an evolution of their resonating ring MEMS structure.

1.4 Applications

Silicon Sensing lists the following applications for their sensors:

  • Automotive Overview
  • Vehicle Stability
  • Future Automotive
  • Mobile Antennas
  • Avionics
  • Segway
  • Agriculture