May 2nd, 2006


New MEMS micro gyros.

The ADXRS gyros take advantage of the Coriolis effect by using a resonating mass analogous to the person moving out and in on a rotating platform. The mass is micromachined from polysilicon and is tethered to a polysilicon frame so that it can resonate only along one direction. To measure the Coriolis acceleration, the frame containing the resonating mass is tethered to the substrate by springs at 90° relative to the resonating motion. This figure also shows the Coriolis sense fingers that are used to capacitively sense displacement of the frame in response to the force exerted by the mass, as described further on. If the springs have a stiffness, K, then the displacement resulting from the reaction force will be 2ΩvM/K.

(If bare microchips scare you, there's usually someone selling pre-made modules.)

Gee, I wonder what uses someone could find for those...
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[MeFi] Can we please get the hell out of Iraq now??

Two facts, however painful, must be recognized, or we will remain perilously confused in Iraq. First, invading Iraq was not in the interests of the United States. It was in the interests of Iran and al Qaeda. For Iran, it avenged a grudge against Saddam for his invasion of the country in 1980. For al Qaeda, it made it easier to kill Americans. Second, the war has paralyzed the United States in the world diplomatically and strategically. Although relations with Europe show signs of marginal improvement, the trans-Atlantic alliance still may not survive the war. Only with a rapid withdrawal from Iraq will Washington regain diplomatic and military mobility. Tied down like Gulliver in the sands of Mesopotamia, we simply cannot attract the diplomatic and military cooperation necessary to win the real battle against terror. Getting out of Iraq is the precondition for any improvement.

Lt. Gen. William E. Odom (Ret.) is senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and professor at Yale University. He was director of the National Security Agency from 1985 to 1988.