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New Mini-Navigator Fiber Optic Gyroscope for Man-Portable and Remote/Unmanned Weapon Systems

EMCORE Corporation, a leading provider of compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the fiber optics and space solar power markets, announced today the introduction of the MINAV Mini-Navigator Fiber Optic Gyroscope (FOG) designed for man-portable and remote/unmanned weapon systems requiring accuracy in the absence of Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

MINAV or Micro Inertial Navigator is sought by The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's, Aviation & Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) to improve on Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) of navigation and azimuth sensing technology. Current navigation and azimuth sensing technology has placed a premium on accuracy and performance without too much concern for SWaP. Typical systems range from 100 in3 to 400 in3, weigh 7.0 to 15 pounds and require 20 to 50 watts. With many weapon systems now becoming man-portable or remote/unmanned, the vulnerability of GPS requires an inertial/GPS blended solution, or stand alone inertial back-up if GPS is not available. These systems put a premium on smaller size, less weight and lower power consumption.

EMCORE's MINAV is a three-axis design using solid-state FOG technology with advanced integrated optics and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) electronics that delivers a high level of precision, but in a compact, portable form-factor that exceeds the requirements of the AMRDEC specification. EMCORE's MINAV provides performance approaching that of traditional aircraft navigation systems, including the ability to self align from 1 to 3 milliradians with very low power consumption of less than 7 watts. It is compact and lightweight, weighing less than 2 pounds and is insensitive to base motion, making it ideal for use in man-portable and remote/unmanned systems.

"The ultimate goal of MINAV technology is to improve on the size and cost of navigation and azimuth sensing equipment with the use of affordable lightweight sensors that reduce overall system weight and increase accuracy," said Dr. K.K. Wong, Director of Fiber Optic Gyro Products for EMCORE. "We continually strive to achieve industry-leading performance in size, weight, power consumption and cost in the development of our fiber optic gyro components to meet the demanding requirements of current and emerging navigation systems."

"EMCORE's research and development in advanced optics for defense and homeland security applications including UAV and missile guidance has paved the way for the adaptation of our FOG technology for micro inertial navigation applications," said Frank Weiss, EMCORE's Vice President of Advanced Systems. "The inherent small size and lightweight nature of our optics, combined with FOG electronics, enables EMCORE to deliver a cost-effective, reliable, high-performance MINAV system."

EMCORE's MINAV and the Company's complete line of Fiber Optic Gyro products will be featured in booth #2 at the 2014 Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), hosted by the Military Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION), June 16-19 at Renaissance Orlando-Seaworld in Orlando, Florida. The JNC is the largest U.S. military navigation conference with joint service and government participation.


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