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Technological Leadership

As the pioneer of Quartz MEMS and microelectromechanical technology, EMCORE’s Systron Donner Inertial product line continuously applies the newest technologies in device miniaturization coupled with the integration of industry’s latest Six Degree of Freedom (6DoF) and GPS engine disciplines, to create one of industry’s most complete families of high-quality, high-performance Inertial Sensing Systems and Components. Several resulting products and virtually self-contained systems are nearly one-third the size of similar devices in their class, establishing a broad base of market futures for Quartz MEMS design across several industries.

EMCORE’s Systron Donner QRS14 signified industry’s first true success in manufacturing a high-yield, one-piece, solid-state implementation of the needed performance and reliability strengths of a single-chip sensor, creating an unprecedented direction in the inertial sensing industry. Today, SDI supplies leading Integrators and OEMs with both system solutions and precision components to solve technically challenging applications and creating new design paths towards the future.

Historically, Systron Donner Inertial has been a proven leader in supplying high-performance devices to aerospace, tactical military and commercial aviation, marine and industrial applications for over half a century. Wherever motion must be accurately measured in rate of change, direction or position, the principles of Quartz MEMS technology are being applied and can be readily designed into the newest products affordably and with a trust in long-life, high reliability performance. The evolution of these products has been underscored by a passion of excellence in achieving consistently high manufacturing yield and system performance achievements, arriving at industry’s most reliable Quartz MEMS devices.

An Introduction To Quartz Sensor Technology

EMCORE’s Systron Donner Inertial evolutionary Quartz MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical) inertial sensors use a one-piece, micromachined inertial sensing element to measure angular rotational velocity. Fundamentally, these sensors produce signal output proportional to the rate of rotation sensed. They serve also, as the heart of a new generation of system solutions and offer the tools that make them an excellent choice for use by Integrators and OEMs.

Our unique quartz inertial sensors are micromachined using sophisticated photolighthographic processes which are at the forefront of MEMS technology. Similar to those processes used to manufacturer millions of quartz digital watches each year, with even greater yield and evolutionary improvements in materials and performance characteristics, the use of piezoelectric quartz material simplifies the sensing element, resulting in exceptional stability over temperature and time, and increases reliability and durability.


Systron Donner QRS14

EMCORE’s Systron Donner Inertial QRS14 uses vibrating quartz tuning tines to sense rate, acting as a Coriolis sensor, coupled to a similar fork as a pickup to produce the rate output signal. Aligned with their support fixtures and frames, these paired tines are batch fabricated from thin wafers of single crystal piezoelectric quartz.

The QRS14 piezoelectric quartz tines are driven by an oscillator to vibrate at a precise amplitude, causing the tines to move forward and away from one another at a high frequency. This minute vibration causes the drive fork to become sensitive to angular rate about an axis parallel to its tines, defining the true input axis of the sensor.

The vibration of the tines causes them to act similar to the arms of a pining ice skater, where as the arms are drawn in, it causes the skater’s spin rate to increase, and moving them out causes a decrease in his spin rate. For the tines of the sensor, an applied rate of rotation causes a sine wave of torque to be produced, resulting from the drive tines oscillating torque at frequency. This, in turn, cause the tines of the pickup fork to move up and down (not forward and away from one another) out of the plane of the fork assembly.

Electrical output signals are produced by the pickup amplifier as the pickup tines respond to the oscillating torque by moving in and out of plane. These signals are amplified and converted into a DC signal proportional to rate by use of a synchronous switch (demodulator) which only responds to the desired rate signals.

Since the Coriolis Effect reverses phase when the input rate reverses, the DC output signal of the QRS14, which is directly proportional to input rate, also reverses sign as the input rate reverses. The result of the QRS14’s use of quartz MEMS technology creates a very accurate, solid-state sensing device capable of packaging into highly miniaturized rate sensors, multi-axis sensor systems and advanced inertial systems with integrated electronics.