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.
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.