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What is MEMS Gyrocompassing? Comparative Analysis of Maytagging and Carouseling


North-finding based on micromachined gyroscopes is an attractive possibility. This paper analyzes north-finding methods and demonstrates a measured 4 mrad standard deviation azimuth uncertainty using an in-house developed vibratory silicon MEMS quadruple mass gyroscope (QMG). We instrumented a vacuum packaged QMG with isotropic Q-factor of 1.2 million and Allan deviation bias instability of 0.2 °/hr for azimuth detection by measuring the earth's rotation. Continuous rotation (carouseling) produced azimuth datapoints with uncertainty diminishing as the square root of the number of turns. Integration of 100 datapoints with normally distributed errors reduced uncertainty to 4 mrad, beyond the noise of current QMG instrumentation. We also implemented self-calibration methods, including in-situ temperature sensing and discrete ±180° turning (maytagging or two-point gyrocompassing) as potential alternatives to carouseling. While both mechanizations produced similar azimuth uncertainty, we conclude that carouseling is more advantageous as it is robust to bias, scale-factor, and temperature drifts, although it requires a rotary platform providing continuous rotation. Maytagging, on the other hand, can be implemented using a simple turn table, but requires calibration due to temperature-induced drifts. [2012-0378]. © 2013 IEEE.

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