Modal Analysis of MEMS Gyroscopic Sensors

Thumbnail Image
Burnie, Marc
MEMS , Angular Rate Sensors , Mode Shapes
Microgyroscopes find popular applications in modern life, such as, vehicle navigation, inertial positioning, human body motion monitoring, etc. In this study, three unique MEMS gyroscopic sensors were investigated using experimental methods and finite element analysis (FEA) modelling, particularly their modal behaviour. The analytical, simulated and experimental results were compared and the discrepancy between resonant frequencies of the significant mode shapes was discussed. Three microfabricated gyroscopes were investigated: a thermally-actuated in-plane gyroscope, an electrostatically-actuated in-plane gyroscope and an electrostatically-actuated out-of-plane gyroscope. Numerical finite element modal analysis for these three gyroscopes was conducted using COMSOL Multiphysics. The experimental testing was conducted using a microsystem analyzer (MSA-400 PolyTec) with an integrated laser vibrometer. The simulation models predicted that the frequencies for driving and sensing modes were 4.948kHz and 5.459kHz for a thermally-actuated gyroscope, which agreed well with experimentally determined results of 5.98kHz and 6.0kHz respectively. The power requirements of a thermally-actuated gyroscope were 363.39mW to elicit a maximum peak-to-peak displacement of 4.2μm during dynamic operation. Similarly, the simulated frequencies for the driving and sensing modes were 1.170kHz and 1.644kHz for an electrostatically-actuated in-plane gyroscope, which corresponded to experimentally determined resonant frequencies 1.6kHz and 1.9kHz. Simulation for the electrostatically-actuated out-of-plane gyroscope was conducted and the frequencies for the driving and sensing modes were found to be 2.159kHz and 3.298kHz. Due to some fabrication defects, the experimental testing for this microgyroscope was not successful. Some recommendations to improve the design were provided for the future work.
External DOI