Thales has announced at Sensors Expo 2019 the availability of its NavChip Series 3, the latest in its family of high precision Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs). The Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based high-precision NavChip Series 3 features advanced proprietary signal processing techniques. The NavChip Series 3 provides users with the ability to choose the optimum performance to price in the market of 6-axis IMU’s from both its NavChip and now its NavChip Series 3 with varying performance levels and corresponding price points.
The NavChip Series 3 enhanced level of performance, miniaturization, and environmental ruggedness further extends Thales product offering of IMUs, suitable for applications including drone navigation, robotic control, camera/antenna platform stabilization, augmented/virtual reality, aiming and alignment, and GPS/INS Integration.
The rationale behind the development of the NavChip Series 3 was to increase the performance accuracy of a key parameter….bias in-run stability to 3º/hr (typical), 5º/hr (max.); and thus make it more competitive for a broader range of applications over the +/- 16 g operating range (other ranges available upon request). The previously introduced NavChip had a bias in-run stability of 5º/hr (typical), 10º/hr (max.).
The enhancement in performance is part of the strategy to expand the number of products in the IMU product line and provide the user with options to pick the performance to best suit the application while minimizing the cost of the solution. Other significant enhancements include a 1,000 Hz update rate, embedded AHRS which reduces system complexity, cost and power consumption, and its ability to accept other external inputs such as a magnetometer to enhance the overall systems’ performance while maintaining cost and easing the system’s design complexity.
The NavChip Series 3 provides the highest performance to price in the market of 6-axis IMUs and is fully factory calibrated for bias, scale factor and misalignment over the full operating temperature range. Embedded temperature sensors enable excellent compensation over the entire -40° C to 85° C temperature range. MEMS sensor technology, propriety advanced sensor fusion processing techniques, a small and easily mountable package and low power dissipation make this IMU ideally suited for applications including drone navigation, robotic control, camera/antenna platform stabilization, and augmented/virtual reality.
The NavChip Series 3 achieves a level of performance, miniaturization and environmental ruggedness higher than competing IMUs while maintaining an affordable price point. The NavChip Series 3 is a very low drift IMU with a full-scale acceleration range of +/- 16 g and a full-scale angular rate of 2,000 degrees/sec. Typical specifications include a gyro bias in-run stability of 3º/hr, 5º/hr (max.); angular random walk of <0.18º/√hr; velocity random walk of <0.3º/√hr and an exceptionally quiet acceleration noise performance of better than 83 µg/√Hz.
Its miniature package of less than 2.0 cm3 (12.5 x 24.4 x 6.1 mm) and weight of 3 g allows for flexible integration. Power consumption is a low 135 mW, making it suitable for power- sensitive remote and battery-operated systems. It has selectable built-in-test (BIT) modes for command and continuous diagnostic monitoring. Multiple output interfaces, including I2C, TTL UART or SPI-compatible provide the designer with exceptional flexibility. The external sync pin can accept optional GPS pulse-per-second or faster synchronization signals. Single supply operation is from 3.25V to 5.5 V.
“The NavChip Series 3 is the latest offering in our rapidly expanding NavChip family of precision IMUs. It brings the performance, ruggedness and reliably of our legacy aerospace product line to a low-cost component, that meets the requirements of a broad range of commercial applications. We have listened to the voice of the customer to maximize their performance requirements while mainlining a low-cost approach compatible with the commercial market. Our plan is to continue on our path to providing the highest performance to price solutions to our customers with the introduction of newer additions to the NavChip family in the very near future which will offer a broad range of options at varying performance, functionalities and price points,” said Lou Taddeo, Director of Business Development.
The NavChip Series 3 per unit pricing are as follows: 50 per hour gyro bias in-run stability @ $899 and 100 per hour gyro bias in-run stability @ $450 both in small quantities, with volume pricing available. Evaluation kits are available with accompanying integration software, USB and External Sync cable, the use of which facilitates the introduction of the IMU function into the customers’ system is available for $1495 for the 50 kit and $895 for the 100 kit. Adapter boards are also available. These items can be procured through Digi-Key at https://www.digikey.com/en/supplier-centers/t/thales-visionix.