Precision Gyros Exploit Unique Photonic Chip

(KVH Industries)

KVH Industries has integrated its photonic chip technology into its high-precision fiber optic gyro (FOG) products and began delivering working prototypes of a new Photonic Gyro IMU to select leading automotive customers in late December. The photonic chip technology is designed to enable the centimeter-level localization accuracy that autonomous vehicle developers have indicated is a requirement.


During development, the Photonic Gyro IMU prototype exhibited navigation performance superior to KVH’s existing FOG-based IMUs in angle random walk (ARW) and bias instability, two of the most important performance parameters that contribute to the safety of any autonomous vehicle.

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The ARW, or noise, of the Photonic Gyro IMU prototype has been calculated at <0.0097°/√hr, a very low value that supports extremely accurate navigation. In addition, the bias instability, or drift, of KVH’s Photonic Gyro IMU prototype is extremely low, measuring 0.02°/hour. Low drift is a key parameter for maintaining position and delivering precise turning measurement, which contributes to safety.


With the development of the photonic chip technology, KVH expects to be able to mass-produce high-performance inertial systems at lower cost; manufacturing processes are expected to be less labor-intensive than were previously possible in the fiber optic gyro industry. KVH manufactures its FOGs and FOG-based inertial products in its Tinley Park, Illinois, facility, and controls the design and manufacturing process. For more information, checkout the photonic chip page.


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