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Navigation-Grade Integrated Micro Gyroscopes (NGIMG)

General Information

Document Type: Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: BAA05-02
Posted Date: Oct 13, 2004
Original Due Date for Applications: Dec 17, 2004
Current Due Date for Applications: Dec 17, 2004
Archive Date:  
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Procurement Contract
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Expected Number of Awards: Not Available.
Estimated Total Program Funding: Not Available.
Award Ceiling: none
Award Floor: none
CFDA Number: 12.910 -- Research and Technology Development
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No

Eligible Applicants

Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity above), subject to any clarification in text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility"

Agency Name

Department of Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Contracts Management Office


Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting research proposals in the area of Navigation-Grade Integrated Micro Gyroscopes (NGIMG). The proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvement to the existing state-of-practice.

DARPA seeks innovative proposals in the area of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) implementations of NGIMG, with the ultimate objective being the realization of tiny, low-power, rotation rate sensors capable of achieving performance commensurate with requirements for GPS-denied navigation of small platforms, including individual soldiers, unmanned (micro) air vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles, and even tiny (e.g., insect-sized) robots. By harnessing the advantages of micro-scale miniaturization, the NGIMG program is expected to yield tiny (if not chip-scale) gyroscopes with navigation-grade performance characteristics, such as (but not limited to):

(1)       Angle random walk (ARW) better than 0.001 degree/square root(hours).
(2)       Bias drift better than 0.01 degree/hr.
(3)       Scale factor stability better than 40 ppm.
(4)       Full scale range greater than 500 degrees/s.
(5)       Bandwidth from 1-300 Hz.
(6)       Temperature range from -55 degrees C to 85 degrees C.
(7)       Overall size less than 1 cubic cm, not including the power source, but including control electronics and any required device packaging.
(8)       Power consumption less than 5 mW.

Note that the above are merely meant to provide rough order of magnitude expectations of what is ultimately deemed possible by the end of the NGIMG program, and are not to be construed as rigid program specifications.

Although methods for rate sensing based on vibrating micromechanical mass-spring systems have successfully achieved tactical-grade performance, with bias stabilities nearing 1 degree/hr, they have done so with considerable difficulty. Pursuant to navigation-grade performance, arguments can be made to justify the use of similar approaches, but if such approaches are evolutionary in nature, they will be of only limited interest here. Instead, NGIMG approaches based on novel or alternative strategies or phenomena, not yet miniaturized using MEMS technologies, are of most interest, especially those capable of greatly enhancing the bias stability?perhaps the most difficult of the navigation-grade needs?of the proposed gyroscope. As such, research topics and activities relevant to the implementation of NGIMG might include, but are not limited to: (1) buoyant or levitated microstructures, or other approaches to isolating the sensor from unwanted inputs so as to minimize bias drift; (2) atomistic mechanisms for inertial sensing; (3) micro-optical techniques; (4) micro-fluidic approaches (both liquid and gas); (5) resonant or acoustic microstructures that sense inertial inputs through previously unexplored mechanisms; and (6) technologies that integrate the inertial sensing mechanisms together with transistor electronics.

Among the more compelling drivers behind the NGIMG program is the need for portable navigation sensors for future small or miniature platforms. As such, low power consumption is as important as small size, if not more so, in any chosen implementation. Part of the impetus behind the technical approach of the NGIMG program stems from the recognition that micro-scale miniaturization in all physical domains generally provides advantages (beyond size reduction) in speed, power consumption, and other variables, that make certain approaches more attractive on the micro-scale that would otherwise not be options on the macro-scale. For example, the enhanced degree of thermal isolation achievable via MEMS implementation is expected to offer thermal resistances and capacitances that enable substantial reductions in the power consumption for approaches that require heating or cooling. In addition, levitation is expected to require much less power on the micro-scale than on the macro, perhaps making it practical only on the micro-scale. Although miniaturization can lead to performance loss?a fact well known to those experienced with traditional approaches to micro-scale inertial sensing?the performance advantages it offers can often counteract losses to the point of achieving a net gain in overall performance. Clearly, approaches that benefit most (or lose least) from scaling are of most interest, here.

NGIMG-enabled devices with characteristics similar to that listed above and achieved via low cost, batch fabrication methods are expected to enable a myriad of strategic capabilities. In particular, the sheer portability of the rotation rate sensors sought by the NGIMG program should introduce a host of new applications and deployment scenarios, including wearable inertial measurement units (IMU?s) for dismounted warriors capable of GPS-denied navigation for lengthy periods; small IMU?s for unmanned air and underwater vehicles, and for guidance of small, long-range munitions; and tiny IMU?s for insect-like robots intended for a variety of future applications, including first warning perimeter sensing. Together with chip-scale atomic clocks (CSAC?s) and location-tracking algorithms that harness additional kinetic information (e.g., biokinetic), chip-scale NGIMG?s should allow man-portable dead-reckoning devices with unprecedented precision, with and without GPS. By enabling a swelling of applications, as illustrated above, miniaturization via NGIMG technology is expected to generate a need for high volume manufacturing that, together with wafer-level batch fabrication methods enabled by MEMS technology, should substantially lower the cost of miniature navigation systems, and thus, further fuel expansion of the application suite for NGIMG technology.

DARPA strongly encourages well-coordinated, interdisciplinary research and development activities that take into consideration all significant and relevant engineering tradeoffs and optimizations. Teaming among academic, industrial and/or government partners is encouraged, and it is anticipated that the contributions of the team members are complementary as well as essential to the critical path of the research plan. A technology insertion plan is encouraged and research that holds promise of insertion into Department of Defense (DoD) relevance is of great interest.


The Navigation-Grade Integrated Micro Gyroscope program will consist of a Phase I effort (12 months) followed by optional Phase II (12 months), Phase III (12 months), and Phase IV (18 months) periods, for those efforts that appear to have the greatest potential for production, insertion, transition or overall benefit to DoD. Awards are expected to be made during the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2005.     Organizations wishing to participate in Phase II, Phase III, and/or Phase IV, should include them as options in their proposal (separate options for each phase).       Multiple awards are anticipated.     The formation of multi-disciplinary teams consisting of industry, academia, and/or national laboratories with complementary areas of expertise is strongly encouraged, especially given the sub-system flavor of the MGA program. A web site? has been established to facilitate formation of teaming arrangements between interested parties.     Specific content, communications, networking, and team formation are the sole responsibility of the participants.     Neither DARPA nor the Department of Defense (DoD) endorses the destination web site or the information and organizations contained therein, nor does DARPA or the DoD exercise any responsibility at the destination.     This web site is provided consistent with the stated purpose of this BAA. Cost sharing is not required and is not an evaluation criterion, but is encouraged where there is a reasonable probability of a potential commercial application related to the proposed research and development effort.     Questions concerning this BAA may be directed to the technical POC for this effort, Dr. Clark T.-C. Nguyen, phone: (571) 218-4586, fax: (703) 696-2206, electronic mail:


Offerors must obtain a pamphlet entitled ?BAA 05-02, Navigation-Grade Integrated Micro Gyroscopes, Proposer Information Pamphlet? which provides further information on Navigation-Grade Integrated Micro Gyroscopes, the submission, evaluation, and funding processes, proposal abstract formats, proposal formats, and other general information.     This pamphlet may be obtained from the FedBizOpps website:, World Wide Web (WWW) at URL or by fax, electronic mail, or mail request to the administrative contact address given below.       Proposals not meeting the format described in the pamphlet may not be reviewed.     In order to minimize unnecessary effort in proposal preparation and review, offerors are strongly encouraged to submit proposal abstracts in advance of full proposals. An original and seven (7) copies of the proposal abstract and 2 electronic copies (i.e., 2 separate disks) of the abstract [in PDF (preferred), or MS-Word readable, each on a single 3.5 inch High Density MS-DOS formatted 1.44 Megabyte (MB) diskette, a single 100 MB Iomega Zip (registered) disk, or a CD-ROM] should be submitted. Each disk must be clearly labeled with BAA 05-02, offeror organization, proposal title (short title recommended), and Copy __ of 2. The proposal abstract (original and designated number of hard and electronic copies) must be submitted to DARPA/MTO, 3701 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1714 (Attn.: BAA 05-02) on or before 12:00 p.m., local time, Friday, October 29, 2004. Proposal abstracts received after this time and date may not be reviewed. Upon review, DARPA will provide written feedback on the likelihood of a full proposal being selected and the time and date for submission of a full proposal, which may differ from the originally published date below. Offerors not submitting proposal abstracts must submit an original and seven (7) copies of the full proposal and 2 electronic copies (i.e., 2 separate disks) of the full proposal [in PDF (preferred), or MS-Word readable, each on a single 3.5 inch High Density MS-DOS formatted 1.44 Megabyte (MB) diskette, a single 100 MB Iomega Zip (registered) disk, or a CD-ROM]. Each disk must be clearly labeled with BAA 05-02, offeror organization, proposal title (short title recommended), and Copy __ of 2. The full proposal (original and designated number of hard and electronic copies) must be submitted to DARPA/MTO, 3701 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1714 (Attn.: BAA 05-02) and received by DARPA on or before 12:00 p.m., local time, Friday, December 17, 2004, in order to be considered during the initial round of selections; however, proposals received after this deadline may be received and evaluated up to one year from date of posting on FedBizOpps.     Full proposals submitted after the due date specified in the BAA or due date otherwise specified by DARPA after review of proposal abstracts may be selected contingent upon the availability of funds. This notice, in conjunction with the BAA 05-02 Proposer Information Pamphlet, constitutes the total BAA. No additional information is available, nor will a formal RFP or other solicitation regarding this announcement be issued. Requests for the same will be disregarded. The Government reserves the right to select for award all, some, or none of the proposals received and to make awards without discussions. All responsible sources capable of satisfying the Government?s needs may submit a proposal which shall be considered by DARPA. Input on technical aspects of the proposals may be solicited by DARPA from non-Government consultants/experts who are bound by appropriate non-disclosure requirements.     Non-Government technical consultants/experts will not have access to proposals that are labeled by their offerors as ?Government Only?.     Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Institutions (MIs) are encouraged to submit proposals and join others in submitting proposals; however, no portion of this BAA will be set aside for HBCU/ MI participation due to the impracticality of reserving discrete or severable areas of research in Navigation-Grade Integrated Micro Gyroscopes.

All administrative correspondence and questions on this solicitation, including requests for information on how to submit a proposal abstract or full proposal to this BAA, should be directed to one of the administrative addresses below; e-mail or fax is preferred.     DARPA intends to use electronic mail and fax for correspondence regarding BAA 05-02.     Proposals and proposal abstracts may not be submitted by fax or e-mail; any so sent will be disregarded.     DARPA encourages use of the WWW for retrieving the Proposer Information Pamphlet and any other related information that may subsequently be provided.


Evaluation of proposal abstracts and full proposals will be accomplished through a technical review of each proposal using the following criteria, which are listed in descending order of relative importance: (l) overall scientific and technical merit, (2) potential contribution and relevance to DARPA mission, (3) plans and capability to accomplish technology transition, (4) offeror's capabilities and related experience, and (5) cost realism. Note: cost realism will only be significant in proposals which have significantly under or over-estimated the cost to complete their effort.

The administrative addresses for this BAA are:

Fax:     (703) 351-8710 (Addressed to: DARPA/MTO, BAA 05-02),

Electronic Mail:

Mail:        DARPA/MTO, ATTN: BAA 05-02
             3701 North Fairfax Drive
             Arlington, VA 22203-1714     

This announcement and the Proposer Information Pamphlet may be retrieved via the WWW at URL in the solicitations area.

Link to Full Announcement

Navigation-Grade Integrated Micro Gyroscopes (NGIMG)

If you have difficulty accessing the full announcement electronically, please contact:

Ulrey, Scott, Director, Technology Division, Phone 703 696-2434, Fax 703-812-3316, Email Ulrey, Scott

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