Patent Number: 7,762,133

Title: Inertial measurement unit with gas plenums

Abstract: An inertial measurement unit comprises a mounting plate with an opening therethrough, and a sensor assembly disposed in the opening of the mounting plate. Upper and lower support shells having shell flanges are attached to upper and lower surfaces of the mounting plate. The upper and lower support shells surround the sensor assembly. A plurality of gas bearing pads each extends through apertures in the upper and lower support shells. Upper and lower gas plenums have plenum flanges attached to the shell flanges of the upper and lower support shells, with the upper and lower gas plenums surrounding the upper and lower support shells. Pressure relief valves are coupled to the plenum flanges of the upper and lower gas plenums. The gas bearing pads and the sensor assembly are separated by a gap when pressurized gas is fed into the upper and lower gas plenums, thereby creating a gas bearing that allows the sensor assembly to be freely suspended and rotated in all directions.

Inventors: Chappell; Charles D. (Treasure Island, FL), Bowen; David A. (Seminole, FL)

Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.

International Classification: G01P 1/02 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 7/27/12018