The development of a MEMS gyroscope for absolute angle measurement

Damrongrit Piyabongkarn, Rajesh Rajamani, Michael Greminger

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75 Scopus citations


Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) gyroscopes are typically designed to measure angular rate of rotation. A measurement of the angle itself is useful in many applications but cannot be obtained by integrating the angular rate due to the presence of bias errors which cause a drift. This paper presents an innovative design for a vibrating gyroscope that can directly measure both angle and angular rate. The design is based on the principle of measuring the angle of free vibration of a suspended mass with respect to the casing of the gyroscope. Several critical challenges have to be handled before the theoretical sensing concept can be converted into a reliable practical sensor. These include compensating for the presence of dissipative forces, mismatched springs, cross-axis stiffness and transmission of rotary torque. These challenges are addressed by the development of a composite nonlinear feedback control system that compensates for each of the above effects and ensures that the mass continues to behave as a freely vibrating structure. Theoretical analysis and simulation results presented in the paper show that the gyroscope can accurately measure both angle and angular rate for low-bandwidth applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Mr. Greminger received the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGF) from the Department of Energy.

Funding Information:
Manuscript received September 16, 2002. Manuscript received in final form June 7, 2004. Recommended by Associate Editor F. Zhao. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF Grant CMS-0116433. The authors are with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 USA (e-mail: Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TCST.2004.839568


  • Angle measurement
  • Angular rate
  • Gyroscope
  • Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)


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