Inertial Sensor Includes Photonic Integrated Chip Technology

Date
07/01/2020

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New patented technology is designed to enhance inertial sensor performance and reliability for the growing autonomous market

KVH Industries, Inc., announced that the P-1775 inertial measurement unit (IMU) featuring KVH’s new PIC Inside photonic integrated chip (PIC) technology is now available and the first units have started shipping. KVH has been developing and testing the technology for more than three years and is now incorporating it into existing product lines. One of the first customers has integrated the P-1775 IMU with PIC Inside into their next-generation rocket launch vehicle.

KVH’s PIC Inside technology features an integrated planar optical chip that replaces individual fiber optic components to simplify production while maintaining or improving accuracy and performance. The PIC Inside product is designed to deliver 20 times higher accuracy than less expensive MEMS inertial measurement units, uses modular designs for ease of integration, and has outstanding repeatability unit-to-unit.

“I applaud the tremendous effort by our incredible engineers in developing this groundbreaking technology and I am thrilled that we have begun to incorporate PIC Inside technology into our existing products, a process that we expect to continue throughout the year,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH CEO.

The PIC technology will be added to KVH’s inertial sensor product line for use across a broad range of applications from navigation to stabilization and pointing. KVH’s fiber optic gyros (FOGs) and FOG-based products are particularly well-suited for the large and growing autonomous market. This market includes applications on land, sea, and air, such as drones, people movers, trucks, and mining and construction equipment.

Autonomous applications rely on high quality inertial sensors to deliver an extremely accurate navigation solution, delivering the performance required in critical metrics such as angle random walk (ARW) and bias instability. Next-generation driverless cars, which require centimeter-level precision for safety, are the ideal application for KVH’s inertial products. Employing the PIC design allows for a lower cost and scalable solution due to the elimination of various fiber components and a reduction of labor.

Last year, KVH announced that it had delivered its first product prototypes containing PIC technology to leading automotive customers and presented the science behind the technology to an audience of engineers at a leading inertial sensor conference, describing the extensive development, testing, and benefits of the new technology.

For more information, visit KVH.

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