Six-axis IMUs bring high-end features in low-cost miniature offerings

Thales has expanded its NavChip inertial measurement unit (IMU) family with the introduction of the InterSense NavChip Series 3. The new series of six-axis IMUs brings the same high-end features in a low-cost and miniature component. Based on price/performance, it now targets a variety of commercial applications including drone navigation, robotic control, camera/antenna platform stabilization, augmented/virtual reality, aiming and alignment, and GPS/INS integration.

Innovation of the IMU is based on a combination of Thales proprietary technologies and advanced signal-processing techniques. Thales claims that it is superior to competing IMUs that are based on standard off-the-shelf MEMS sensors. It features a very low drift, a full-scale acceleration range of ±16g, and a full-scale angular rate of 2,000°/s. Fully factory-calibrated and temperature-compensated over an operating range of −40°C to 85°C, the IMU includes a gyro bias in-run stability of 3°/hour, 5°/hour (max.); angular random walk of 0.18°/√hour; velocity random walk of 0.03 m/s per √hour; and an exceptionally quiet acceleration noise performance of >83 μ/√z.

Housed in a miniature package of less than 2.0 cm3 (12.5 × 24.4 × 6.1 mm) and with a weight of 3 g, the IMU enables flexible integration. Power consumption of 135 mW makes the device suited for power-sensitive remote and battery-operated systems. Also included is a 1,000-Hz update rate, embedded AHRS, and the ability to accept external inputs such as a magnetometer to enhance performance. It features selectable built-in-test (BIT) modes for command and diagnostic monitoring and multiple output interfaces such as I2 C, TTL UART, or SPI-compatible. Single supply operation is from 3.25 V to 5.5 V.

The six-axis IMUs are currently available as a discrete component with a snap-fit connector. Per-unit pricing is $899 for 50-per-hour gyro bias in-run stability and $450 for 100-per-hour gyro bias in-run stability, both in small quantities, with volume pricing available.

Evaluation kits are also available with integration software, USB, and external sync cable. Pricing for the 50 kit is $1,495, and the 100 kit is $895. Adapter boards are also available. Devices and kits are available through Digi-Key .

>> This article was originally published on our sister site, Electronic Products: “Thales expands performance options of six-axis IMUs.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.