Micro technology for positioning navigation and timing pnt
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Micro-Technology for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (µPNT). Dr. Andrei M. Shkel. Aggregation. Overall goal: Enable self-contained chip-scale inertial navigation Reduce SWaP of existing Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) What we have now: CSAC , IMPACT , NGIMG , PINS (DSO) - Components

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Micro-Technology for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (µPNT)

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Micro technology for positioning navigation and timing pnt

Micro-Technology forPositioning, Navigation and Timing(µPNT)

Dr. Andrei M. Shkel



  • Overall goal:

    • Enable self-contained chip-scale inertial navigation

    • Reduce SWaP of existing Inertial Measurement Units (IMU)

  • What we have now:

    • CSAC, IMPACT, NGIMG, PINS (DSO) - Components

    • MINT, TUNS (DSO), SoOP (STO) – System Integration

  • Unaddressed need:

    • Limited dynamic range

    • Unacceptable long-term drift

    • Size, Weight, Power and Cost (no path for chip-scale IMU)

  • New approaches:

    • Exploit inertia of elastic waves for increase in dynamic range

    • Self-calibration on-a-chip for compensation of long-term bias drift

    • Integration of time and inertial measurement units for cross-calibration and SWaP&C

  • Why now?

    • Recently emerged precision manufacturing of 3D structures

    • Lab demonstration of bias stability improvement via mimicking inertial forces and persistent excitation

    • Accumulated knowledge in heterogeneous integration and algorithms

Durations of dod missions

Durations of DOD Missions

Over 70% of missile missions are less than 3 min

Precision Engagement with

GPS-assisted guidance


10 sec

3 min

Missile 5

Missile 9

Missile 8

Missile 7

Missile 4


Missile 2

SEALs Underwater Mission

Soldier Walking in Cave

Soldier Walking in Open Field

New Starts




Missile 6

Missile 3

Missile 1

Missile 11


Missile 10

Grenade Launcher


1 hr


Speed of Platform (km/hr)

Personal navigation GPS-assisted


Currently Funded

24 hr






Range of Mission (km)

Enable self-contained inertial navigation with micro systems

Micro technology for positioning navigation and timing pnt

µPNT Technology Drivers

  • Navigation

  • Guidance

Driving Operation Characteristics

High Dynamic Range

Low Power Consumption


Focus Area


  • NGIMG: Navigation Grade

  • Integrated Micro Gyroscopes

  • Gyros, clocks,

  • accels, velocity

  • sensors

  • MRIG: Micro Rate Integrating

  • Gyroscopes

  • CSAC: Chip Scale Atomic Clock

  • IMPACT: Integrated Micro Primary

  • Atomic Clock Technology

System Calibration

  • MINT: Micro Inertial

  • Navigation Technology

  • ZUPting, persistent

  • excitation with

  • micro stages,

  • algorithms

  • PASCAL: Primary and Secondary Calibration on Active Layer

  • IT-MARS: Information Tethered

  • Micro Automated Rotary Stages

Device Integration



  • Fabrication

  • approaches,

  • architectures

  • TIMU: Deep Integration of Time and Inertial Measurement Unit

  • - New Starts

Precision engagement

Precision Engagement

Active Guidance

Define Orientation

Define Target

Today: large & expensive sensors on static platforms

Vision: small SWaP sensors extended to mobile platforms

Today: GPS-assisted

Vision: self-contained guidance (no GPS) in fast precision engagement

Today: GPS, magnetic compass, and range finder

Vision: eliminate magnetic compass with ultra-small gyro compassing solutions

Pnt challenges

µPNT Challenges

Challenging dynamic environment, bias drift, ultra miniaturization on system-level

  • Deep integration of clocks & IMU

    • SoA clocks and sensors are incompatible, and implemented separately

    • Multiple non-synchronized frequency sources are used in Navigation system routinely

    • (power consumption, grows in uncertainty of time-position-orientation)

2 mm

2 mm

  • Long-term bias drift

    • Increased surface- to-volume ratio makes micro devices sensitive to surface effects: charging, contamination, out-gassing, trapping

    • This results in long-term fluctuation of physical parameters, reflected in long-term sensor drift

  • Fabrication processes

  • Dissimilar and incompatible with wafer-level parallel fabrication →SWaP & C

  • Can build small, but cannot build precise (~10-2relative tolerance) → performance

  • SoA micro-structures are fundamentally flat, non-ideal for high-g environment and fast-agile sensor concepts

2 mm

  • Sensors for dynamic environment

    • Frequency miss-match grows proportionally to input rotation rate.

    • Linearity of response is affected by rotation rate

Pnt technical approaches

µPNT Technical Approaches

Inertia of elastic waves, self-calibration/cross-calibration algorithms, 3D fabrication

  • Deep integration of clocks & IMU

    • Develop clocks and sensors around a compatible combination of materials (Si, SiO2, Rb, Cs)

    • Use a single master clock for time, sync, and signal processing

2 mm

2 mm

  • Long-term bias drift

    • Compensate by applying persistent excitation via calibration stage integrated along side with sensors

  • Fabrication processes

    • Utilize under-explored process: post-release assembly, chip-level welding, stacking

    • Explore precision fabrication based on surface tension (~10-6projected tolerance)

    • 3D processes: blow, stretch, stamp, roll

2 mm

  • Sensors for dynamic environment

    • Utilize inertia of elastic waves. Precession of standing waves preserves linearity and extends the dynamic range.

    • Explore new materialswith large Young Modulus

New approach for solving dynamic range limitations

New Approach for Solving Dynamic Range Limitations

  • Hemispherical Resonance Gyro (HRG)

    • Highly successful

    • “Boutique” process

New approach

Rate Integrating


Rate Response

Northrop Grumman HRG



Rate Gyroscope

20 Hz

40 Hz

Input Angular Rate


Rate Gyroscope

New Approach

Rate Integrating Gyroscope

Axis of Rotation

Elastic wave

  • HRG on micro scale

    • Exploits inertial properties of elastic waves in solids

    • Relies on wafer-scale fabrication of isotropic 3D solids

    • Results in unprecedented increase in dynamic range

Price Range per axis: $50,000-$100,000

Self calibration on a chip

Self-Calibration On-a-Chip



  • Why Now?:

  • Previously, technology pushed towards the “perfect” sensor

    • community now realizes the challenges of this approach

  • Phenomenon of drift not well understood

  • Re-calibration circumvents knowledge about the cause of drift

  • New emerging technological advances permit the miniaturization of rate tables for on-chip calibration






Bias Drift (illustration)

Ideal response

Drifted response

  • Current options when sensor drifts:

  • Use inaccurate data

  • Remove sensor from system

    • re-calibrate in lab &

    • re-insert in system

    • discard & replace

Calibration Stage

1. Co-fabricate

2. Excite

3. Extract

4. Reset



New Approach:

  • Fabricate sensor directly on calibration stage

  • Periodically apply reference stimulus (e.g. oscillatory)

  • Extract reference stimulus and sensor response

  • Recover new I/O relationship and reset bias

Pnt objective

µPNT Objective

  • This program

  • HG9900 Nav grade IMU

  • HG1930 MEMS IMU

2 mm

2 mm

The program addresses the emerging DOD need to

  • Decrease reliance on GPS

  • Increase system accuracy

  • Reduce co-lateral damage

  • Increase effective range

  • Reduce SWAP&C

Micro technology for positioning navigation and timing pnt

µPNT Organization







Nav-Grade Integrated Micro Gyro (NGIMG)


Demo 3D isotropic


Demo Rate

Integrating Gyro

SWaP and



Micro Rate Integrating

Gyroscopes (MRIG)

System Calibration

Micro Inertial Navigation Technology (MINT)

Prim. and Sec. Calibration on Active Layer (PASCAL)

Demo Sensors on

Calibration Stages

Demo Improvement

in drift characteristics


Integrated System

Information Tethered Micro Automated Rotary Stages (ITMARS)


Device Integration

Chip-Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC)

Timing and IMU Integration (TIMU)

Demo functional

T+IMU unit

Demo tactical

grade performance

Demo Nav. grade


Integrated Micro Primary Atomic Clock Technology (IMPACT)


=End of Phase


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