KVH introduced new photon gyroscopes
KVH’s new photonic gyroscopes integrated into high-precision inertial measurement units (IMUs) are designed for the growing driverless autonomous vehicle market and offer significant performance and cost advantages.
KVH KVH Industries, Inc. in Middletown on January 3, 2019, announced that photon chip technology was integrated into high-precision fiber optic gyroscopes (FOG) designed and manufactured by KVH, and therefore, deliveries of working prototypes of KVH Photonic Gyro IMU to leading automotive customers were launched last December. Developed by KVH engineers working in Tinley Park, Illinois and Middletown, Rhode Island, photon chip technology is designed to ensure centimeter-level localization accuracy, which, as instructed by automotive vehicle developers, is a prerequisite for creating unmanned vehicles.
“This is a revolutionary technology that we expect will transform our fiber-optic gyroscopes and inertial systems, and I am proud of the tremendous efforts of our incredible team of engineers,” said Martin Keats van Heiningen, CEO of KVH. “Our FOG and FOG-based high-precision IMU measuring units provide a higher level of accuracy than the less expensive MEMS-based gyroscopes, and are now used on more than 20 autonomous transport platforms. With the development of this IMU Photonic Gyro, KVH can provide a high accuracy inertial sensor at a price that is expected to be very competitive with MEMS systems for high volume production. ”
During development, the KVH Photonic Gyro IMU prototype demonstrated navigational performance superior to the existing FOG KVH IMUs in terms of angle random walk (ARW) and offset instability: two of the most important operational parameters that contribute to the safety of any autonomous vehicle.
Random angle wandering (ARW) or the noise of the Photonic Gyro IMU prototype was obtained less than 0.0097 ° / √h, which is a very low value that supports extremely accurate navigation. In addition, the offset instability or drift of the KVH Photonic Gyro IMU prototype is also extremely low at 0.02 ° / hour. Low drift is a key parameter for maintaining position and accurate turning, which again contributes to safety to the highest degree.
KVH photon gyroscope
With the development of photonic chip technology, KVH expects mass production of high-performance inertial systems at lower cost; manufacturing processes are expected to be less labor intensive than previously possible in the fiber optic gyroscopic industry. KVH manufactures its inertial FOG products and products based on FOG technology in Tinley Park, Illinois, and oversees the design and production process.
To date, KVH’s FOG systems and FOG-based inertial navigation systems are key components of integrated sensor systems, which have been shown to be important for high-precision autonomous operation of the vehicle. For accurate navigation and positioning, an autonomous vehicle uses a combination of sensors, primarily GPS, as well as inertial navigation systems. Inertial navigation systems provide critical capabilities to determine the exact calculation, including in a scenario with GPS failure, for example, resulting from a vehicle between tall buildings in an underground parking lot and other obstacles that are widespread in an urban environment. Given that the lane is usually three meters, autonomous vehicle engineers focus on centimeter-level accuracy to ensure safe operation of the vehicle within the lane.
“The operation of sensors is essential for the autonomous operation of vehicles, and the accuracy of our FOG and FOG-based devices has been recognized in the industry as setting the highest bar for inertial navigation in non-driver vehicles,” said Keats van Hainingen. – Now, with the high accuracy that we observe thanks to our technology of photonic chips, we think photonic gyroscopes can become the basis for the success of autonomous vehicles. We are delighted with the opportunities. ”
Based on the photon integrated circuit, the patented KVH photon chip technology relates to the entire line of FOG and FOG-based inertial systems, which are already considered high-performance inertial sensors.
KVH is a leading innovator in guaranteed navigation and autonomous accuracy using high-performance sensors and built-in inertial systems. Widely used KVH TACNAV systems are currently used in the US Army and Marine Corps