San Diego, CA--After a year of testing and evaluation, engineers at Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical selected a solid-state, six-axis sensor unit as the inertial measurement unit (IMU) for the Miniature Air Launch Decoy (MALD). Developed by Crossbow Technology (San Jose, CA) the DMU-6--or Dynamic Measurement Unit--combines three accelerometers and three gyro rate sensors into a high-performance, compact, package.
MALD is a small, jet-powered aerial vehicle designed to deceive enemy forces into committing resources against false targets, thus enhancing the survivability of friendly aircraft. It confuses enemy defense systems by simulating attacks against early warning radar and saturating enemy air space with multiple simulated targets. The DMU-6's role is to provide guidance information for the decoy's navigation system.
Besides meeting Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical's performance objectives, the Crossbow unit also helped engineers meet specifications for use of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) technology. "This is the kind of product that the COTS approach was designed for," says Doug Fronius, MALD Program Manager. "Using this IMU will enable us to meet our aggressive cost targets."
The DMU-6's accelerometers and gyro rate sensors are served by high-speed DSPs and wide A/D and D/A converters. This architecture permits engineers to extract a high level of performance from the basic sensor technology by incorporating into the unit a variety of compensation strategies that account for environmental, production variation, and other factors.