ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. military researchers are asking industry to develop micro-mechanical oscillators for future micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) for precision positioning and navigation in handheld devices that must operate in GPS-denied environments.
Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued a disruption opportunity earlier this month (DARPA-PA-23-03-08) for the Levitated and Trapped Accurate microSystems (LeviTAS) project.
LeviTAS seeks to develop rugged micro-mechanical oscillators for shock-and-vibration-resistant MEMS positioning and navigation systems in military handheld devices, and explore sensors able to levitate a heavy mass with high confinement bandwidth simultaneously in a compact form factor.
Specifically, the project seeks to demonstrate levitating and trapping a sugar-cube-sized mass that weighs between 100 micrograms and 1 gram inside an 8-cubic-inch Ribik's cube-size volume in the Z-direction with minimal residual velocity.
The last two decades have seen development of MEMS for commercial positioning and navigation applications, yet the core technology has not been able to provide navigation for a warfighter in GPS-denied environment with handheld devices, researchers say. Problems involve mechanical noise and bias stability.
The overall goal of the LeviTAS project is to support development of a small-scale navigation sensor, yet today it is unclear whether one magnetic, ultrasonic, optical, or RF transducer can meet research needs.
Companies interested should submit proposals no later than 15 Feb. 2024 to the DARPA BAA portal at https://baa.darpa.mil. Email questions or concerns to Sunil Bhave, the LeviTAS program manager, at [email protected]. More information is online at https://sam.gov/opp/d0f66661f1fd4176b00a0ad4863a0f28/view.