Micromechanical gyroscopes may be designed and operated in a variety of ways, but the disclosed micromechanical gyroscopes use the concept of vibrating objects to sense angular velocity. Micromechanical gyroscopes that use vibration to induce and detect Coriolis forces have no rotating parts and no bearings, and have proven to be mass-produced using micromachining techniques.
Most micromechanical gyroscopes rely on alternating Coriolis forces caused by mutually orthogonal vibrations and rotations. The vibrating object is suspended from the substrate by a soft elastic structure. The overall dynamics system is a two-dimensional elastic damping system in which vibration and rotation induced Coriolis forces transfer energy proportional to angular velocity to the sensing mode.
The improved design and electrostatic tuning allow the drive and sense resonance frequencies to be consistent to achieve the maximum possible energy transfer for maximum sensitivity. Most micromechanical gyroscope drive and sensing modes are perfectly matched or closely matched. It is extremely sensitive to changes in the vibration parameters of the system. These system parameters change the natural frequency of the vibration and therefore require a good control architecture for correction. If a high quality factor (Q) is required, the bandwidth of the drive and sense must be narrow. Increasing the bandwidth by 1% may reduce the signal output by 20%. Also the amount of damping affects the signal output.
A general micromechanical gyroscope consists of a driving portion of a comb structure and a sensing portion in the shape of a capacitor plate. Some designs also have a structure that is driven and sense coupled.
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