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Redstone Arsenal Rides into the Future on BAE SYSTEMS Inertial Sensors for Precision Weapons.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 20, 2003

The future of low-cost, lightweight inertial sensors rolled into the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal on two wheels today in the form of a Segway(TM) Human Transporter (HT). BAE SYSTEMS, whose joint-venture company, Silicon Sensing Systems Ltd., builds the tiny silicon gyroscopes that balance and stabilize the innovative personal transportation device, is providing a Segway HT for the Army to use around the arsenal.

BAE SYSTEMS Inertial Products provides the inertial measurement technology that helps keep the Segway HT upright and also underpins the stability and intelligent braking systems in hundreds of thousands of automobiles. More than 5 million of these MEMS (micro electro-mechanical systems) gyros have been produced to date. BAE SYSTEMS Inertial Products is working with the Army to bring this innovative, yet affordable, commercial technology into the Army's next-generation weapon systems to meet the goals of Objective Force.

The same MEMS gyro technology that balances Segway HT also is at the heart of BAE SYSTEMS MEMS inertial measurement unit, SiIMU(R), for the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System's (APKWS) 2.75-inch guided rocket. Inertial Products' sister business unit, BAE SYSTEMS Information & Electronic Warfare Systems, incorporates the unit into the APKWS rocket guidance system. BAE SYSTEMS is working with the Army and other industry partners to evaluate SiIMU(R) insertion into other weapon programs such as Excalibur XM982, NLOS-LS (Non Line of Sight-Launch System), C-KEM (Compact Kinetic Energy Missile), and JCM (Joint Common Missile).

"Future Army weapon systems will rely more heavily on precision guidance technology than ever before, and silicon inertial measurement units -- being inherently smaller, lighter, and less expensive than conventional mechanical gyroscopes -- will play a major part in this transformation," said Art Siegel, vice president of Inertial Products for BAE SYSTEMS.

Dr. William McCorkle, director of the Army's Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, formally received the Segway HT during a ceremony at the Space and Missile Defense Conference. "A goal of the Army is to make increasing use of COTS (commercial, off-the-shelf) equipment, such as these silicon MEMS gyros, which were designed initially for commercial use," McCorkle said. "We applaud companies whose products have successfully made this transition and are grateful to BAE SYSTEMS for providing this unit for our evaluation."

BAE SYSTEMS' SiVSG(R) vibrating-structure MEMS gyroscope measures inertial force using a vibrating silicon ring in place of a spinning wheel, as in a conventional mechanical gyro. The silicon gyro is combined with other precision sensors and electronics to create the SiIMU(R), which measures less than 4 cubic inches, weighs less than 4 ounces, can be launched from a gun, and costs a fraction of its conventional counterpart. Originally developed for automotive use, the gyro has enabled BAE SYSTEMS to create a new generation of miniature inertial measurement units that are finding their way into missiles, guided rockets, gun-launched guided projectiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles.


BAE SYSTEMS is a systems company, innovating for a safer world. BAE SYSTEMS employs nearly 100,000 people including joint ventures, and has annual sales of around $18 billion. The company offers a global capability in air, sea, land, and space, with a world-class prime contracting ability supported by a range of key skills. BAE SYSTEMS designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, space systems, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, guided weapon systems and a range of other defense products. BAE SYSTEMS is dedicated to making the intelligent connections needed to deliver innovative solutions.

BAE SYSTEMS North America is a high-technology U.S. company employing more than 25,000 people who live and work in some 30 states, the District of Columbia, and the United Kingdom. The company is dedicated to solving its customers' needs with highly innovative and leading edge solutions across the defense electronics, systems, information technology, and services arenas.

BAE SYSTEMS Inertial Products provides inertial systems for the control, navigation, and guidance of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, precision weapon systems, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, aerial targets and drones, tanks, and fighting vehicles. Inertial Products specializes in small and very small precision rate gyro assemblies for specialized, space-critical applications. Inertial Products employs about 1,500 people at five facilities in the United States and England.

BAE SYSTEMS Information & Electronic Warfare Systems employs 5,500 people at 10 major facilities in eight states. The business unit is a major producer of aircraft self-protection systems and tactical surveillance and intelligence systems for all branches of the armed forces. Other major business areas include microwave, mission and space electronics; infrared imaging; and automated mission planning systems.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 20, 2003
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