EMCORE-Orion Fiber Optic Gyro-Based Micro Inertial Navigation System

EMCORE announced today the introduction of its new Micro Inertial Navigation system (MINAV), the first product in the new EMCORE-Orion™ series of inertial navigation products for use in unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-based military operations, aeronautics and aviation. The EMCORE-Orion™ MINAV is being debuted at the 2017 Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), June 6-7 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio, booth #310A.

Advancements in micro inertial navigation technology have been highly sought by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) to improve on the Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) of navigation and azimuth sensing systems. Legacy navigation and azimuth sensing technology has placed a premium on accuracy and performance, but not SWaP. Typical systems have been large and heavy, ranging from 100 in3to 400 in3, weighing 7.0 to 15 pounds with power requirements of 20 to 50 watts. Many modern weapon systems are now remotely operated, unmanned or man-portable, and may need to operate where GPS is unavailable or denied. An ultra-compact, standalone inertial system or inertial/GPS blended solution is ideal for these applications. These newer systems put a premium on accuracy, but also on smaller size, less weight and lower power consumption.

The new EMCORE-Orion™ MINAV is a three-axis design utilizing the Company’s proprietary, solid-state Fiber Optic Gyro (FOG) transceiver with advanced integrated optics and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) electronics to deliver standalone aircraft grade navigator performance at 1/3 the size of legacy or competing systems. There is an option for internal or external GPS and the system can gyrocompass to approximately 0.5-1 milliradian (depending on configuration) in a GPS denied environment. The EMCORE-Orion™ MINAV is very compact and lightweight, weighing approximately 3 pounds, with very low power consumption of only 12 watts. It has lower noise and greater stability than competing inertial navigators or Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs). Its low SWaP makes it an ideal inertial navigation system for unmanned aerial vehicles and dismounted soldier applications.

“Our new MINAV is designed to operate as a navigator or very precise IMU, and the digital interface is fully programmable within EMCORE’s factory enabling it to directly replace competing units,” said Dr. K.K. Wong, Director of Fiber Optic Gyro Products for EMCORE. “Our inertial navigators improve dramatically on the size and cost of navigation and azimuth sensing equipment by utilizing affordable lightweight sensors that reduce overall system weight and increase accuracy,” added Dr. Wong.

“EMCORE’s research and development in advanced optics for defense and homeland security applications has provided the foundation for the adaptation of our FOG technology to micro inertial navigation systems,” said David Faulkner, EMCORE’s Vice President and General Manager of Aerospace & Defense. “The inherent small size and lightweight nature of our optics, combined with FOG electronics, enables EMCORE to deliver a class-leading, cost-effective, reliable, high-precision navigation system with the MINAV.”

The new EMCORE-Orion™ Micro Inertial Navigation system and the Company’s complete line of Fiber Optic Gyro and Inertial Navigation products are being showcased at the 2017 Joint Navigation Conference (JNC) hosted by the Institute of Navigation (ION), June 6-7 at Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio, booth #310A.


EMCORE Corporation is a leading provider of advanced Mixed-Signal Optics products that provide the foundation for today’s high-speed communication network infrastructures and leading-edge defense systems. Our optical chips, components, subsystems and systems enable broadband and wireless providers to continually enhance their network capacity, speed and coverage to advance the free flow of information that empowers the lives of millions of people daily. The Mixed-Signal Optics technology at the heart of our broadband transmission products is shared with our fiber optic gyros and military communications links to provide the aerospace and defense markets state-of-the-art systems that keep us safe in an increasingly unpredictable world. EMCORE’s performance-leading optical components and systems serve a broad array of applications including cable television, fiber-to-the-premise networks, telecommunications, wireless infrastructure, satellite RF fiber links, navigation systems and military communications. EMCORE has fully vertically-integrated manufacturing capability through its world-class Indium Phosphide (InP) wafer fabrication facility at our headquarters in Alhambra, California and is ISO 9001 certified in Alhambra, and at our facilities in Warminster, Pennsylvania and China.

For more information, please visit www.emcore.com.

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