Silicon Sensing Systems’ high performance DMU30 micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) inertial measurement unit (IMU) has been selected by the Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (iQPS) of Fukuoka, Japan, for the control system of Japan’s first X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) small satellite.

This is a 1 meter resolution, high-performance, X-band SAR satellite weighing only 100 kg. Ultimately, iQPS plans to deploy 36 of these satellites, offering an Earth Observation (EO) data service to support tasks such as disaster management as well as land and infrastructure surveying.

In this environment the advantages of Silicon Sensing’s MEMS technology over traditional high-performance options, such as fibre optic and ring laser gyro devices, are clear. The DMU30, Silicon Sensing’s highest performing IMU, is an ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)-free product that matches the performance of a FOG unit but is far more rugged, ideal for operating over extended periods in the harsh space environment.

This high-integrity IMU is calibrated to deliver precision performance over the full rated temperature range and is also much smaller, weighs less and is less costly than a comparable FOG device, freeing up capacity on the satellite for other technologies.

On board the iQPS satellite DMU30 commences operation immediately after separation from the launch rocket and continues throughout each mission, working with other systems to monitor and control angular velocity and attitude angle and to assess and correct any rocking motion that occurs as key structures, such as the large antenna, are deployed.


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