$7.3M to Honeywell to Design New IMU Guidance
Honeywell International Inc. in Minneapolis, MN received a $7.4 million cost-plus-fixed fee contract to design and develop “new performance and design parameters for Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) hardware and software of tactical grade and Deeply Integrated Guidance and Navigation Unit hardware and software.” Work will be performed in Minneapolis, MN and is expected to be complete by Sept 28/12. One bid was solicited on May 22/08 by the U.S. Army & Aviation Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-08-D-0025).
Developments in this field may appear arcane and technical, but advances in this area have widespread military and even commercial applications.
IMUs are small, puck-shaped units that play a critical role in a number of advanced guidance and navigation technologies. Honeywell developed the ring laser gyro in the 1960s and 1970s for commercial, space and military systems, and these systems are now in widespread use. As one example among many, JDAM bombs receive a lot of attention for their GPS satellite guidance, but inertial navigation (INS) that doesn’t require a satellite plays an important complementary role. The firm is also pioneering super-miniaturized inertial navigation systems using Micro ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) technology. MEMS systems are smaller and can survive more intense shocks – like being fired from a gun. Raytheon’s M982 Excalibur GPS guided shells, for instance, depend on this complementary INS technology in order to function. See also Honeywell’s Inertial Measurement Units page.