Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dissertation Defense

Fused Silica Precision Shell Integrating (PSI) Navigation-Grade Micro Gyroscopes

Sajal Singh


Though GPS is popularly used for navigation in daily life, it is however not reliably available in situations like inside the tunnel, on a battlefield, in a mine, underwater or in space. It doesn’t matter much to pedestrian walking on the road or driving a car, but a self-driving car could get quickly lost with a loss of GPS signal. They therefore use a backup navigation system consisting of high-performance gyroscopes which can track precise location in situations when GPS signal becomes unavailable or is intentionally jammed. State-of-the art gyroscopes currently used are large, power hungry and expensive. Miniaturized gyroscopes on the other hand are cheap and small but offer poor performance just like the ones in smartphones which can only detect flips to switch the screen between portrait and landscape.  In this thesis we have developed small, precise and inexpensive MEMS gyroscopes which are 1,000 times less expensive and half the size of larger gyroscopes with similar performance. This has been possible using a unique 3D wineglass millimeter-scale resonator with quality factor more than 5 Million. Such high Q and other factors impart ultra-high rotation rate resolution and stability of 10 milli-deg/hr. Such high-performance gyroscopes mean high-precision location awareness, indoor navigation, and long-term autonomy may soon be much more achievable for mobile devices, autonomous vehicles, and underground robots.

Chair: Professor Khalil Najafi