Gyroscopes based on surface acoustic waves
© Oh et al.; licensee Springer. 2015
Received: 12 June 2014
Accepted: 20 October 2014
Published: 25 February 2015
This review gives an overview of the development of surface acoustic wave (SAW) based gyroscopes. Different types of SAW based gyroscope are first presented, which are categorized into standing-wave based or progressive-wave based gyroscopes according to their respective mechanisms. In addition, multi-axis detectable SAW based gyroscopes are also introduced in this review. Different principles, structures, production methods, and control technologies are analyzed.
A gyroscope is a sensor for measuring an angular rate or angle based on the principles of angular momentum. Early gyroscopes (e.g., ball electrostatic and ring laser gyroscopes) were generally large with poor portability. For several decades, micro-gyroscopes based on MEMS(Micro electro mechanical systems) technology have been studied, and there has been a steady improvement in their performance and in the technology used for their production. Recently, a number of outstanding micro-gyroscopes have demonstrated sufficient inertial grade performance to potentially replace fiber-optic and ring laser gyroscopes [1-4]. The micro-gyroscope has advantages such as a scale of a few millimeters, low-power consumption, scope for mass production, and it is low cost. However, currently available MEMS gyroscopes have suffered from a low mechanical Q-factor due to atmospheric viscosity, production difficulties due to the demand for a three-dimensional construction-suspended mechanical structure, and a large susceptibility to external shock and vibration.
The surface acoustic wave (SAW) gyroscope was proposed by Lao in 1980 [5,6]. Several research groups have worked on this concept, and a number of related studies were published between 2000 and 2011 [7-19]. SAW gyroscopes detect a change in SAW velocity as a function of the angular rate of the medium in which the SAW propagates. When an RF power supply to interdigital transducers (IDT) is deposited on the surface of a piezoelectric substrate, the IDT generates a SAW. The change in SAW velocity due to rotation is then detected as a phase shift between the generated and detected wave velocities. In comparison with conventional MEMS gyroscopes, SAW gyroscopes are very attractive for these reasons. As opposed to the MEMS gyroscope, the SAW gyroscope does not need a suspended vibrating mechanical structure. Therefore, it is more resistant to external shocks and vibrations. Frequency matching between the drive- and sense-mode frequencies in the absence of active tuning and feedback control is very easy to achieve. Finally, temperature effects that cause variations in the Young’s modulus and residual stress can be almost completely eliminated easily.
In this review, an overview of the development of SAW based gyroscopes is provided. According to their functional principles, SAW gyroscopes are categorized into different types such as standing-wave-mode type gyroscopes, progressive-wave-mode type gyroscopes, and multi-axis detectable SAW gyroscopes, all of which are introduced in this article [10-19].
SAW gyroscope using standing wave mode
Properties and characteristics of SAW gyroscopes based on standing waves
Kurosawa et al.
- (128° LiNbO3)
Varadan et al.
1 × 1 mm2 (128° LiNbO3)
Wang et al.
1.2 × 0.75 mm2 (128° LiNbO3)
Oh et al.
1.2 × 0.8 mm2 (128° LiNbO3)
SAW gyroscope based on progressive wave
Properties and characteristics of SAW gyroscopes based on progressive waves
Other gyroscopes using SAW
Gyroscopes based on SAW have been reviewed. In comparison to existing silicon-based MEMS gyroscopes, a SAW gyroscope is very attractive for a number of reasons. First, it has no suspended vibrating mechanical structure and is therefore more resistant to external shocks and vibrations. Second, frequency matching between the drive- and sense-mode frequencies in the absence of active tuning and feedback control is very easy. Finally, the temperature effect that causes a variation in the Young’s modulus and residual stress can be almost completely eliminated. By comparing different structures of SAW-based gyroscopes and their mechanisms, we can see that the SAW gyroscope has the potential to be the highest performing gyroscope in the near future.
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), grant funded by the Korean government (MEST) (No. 2009-0081200).
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