Engineering Research Center for Navigation Technology

The Engineering Research Center for Navigation Technology (ERCNT) was founded in 2000. It can be traced back to the research group of Navigation and Automatic Control established in 1958, over half a century ago. Relying on several national key disciplines such as precision instrument, mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, electronic science and technology, automation, computer science and technology, the ERCNT mainly focus on fundamental research and engineering development of high-accuracy inertial instruments and navigation systems, as well as MEMS inertial sensors and inertial measurement systems.

With a Defense Key Laboratory of High-accuracy Inertial Instruments and Systems, the Ministry of Education, the ERCNT has excellent research conditions. The lab now has a floor space over 3000 square meters for scientific research, as well as ultra-clean and temperature-controlled rooms of 550 square meters. It offers advanced research and experiment platform for fundamental research, key technology study and equipment development of high precision inertial instruments and navigation systems. The lab has become not only a training base for advanced talents but also an innovation platform for basic theories and key technologies in the field of inertial instrument and navigation technology.

The ERCNT currently consists of 15 staffs, including 3 professors, 7 associate professors, 2 assistant professors, 2 engineers, and 1 technician.

The ERCNT now pays more attention to conduct cooperative research, academic exchange and talent training with institutions both at home and abroad. It has established good cooperative relationship with famous overseas universities and research institutions from Russia, Germany, Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and so on.

Main subjects of scientific research

1. High-accuracy electromechanical inertial instrument and inertial navigation technology.

2. MEMS inertial sensor and inertial measurement unit, including MEMS-base gyro, accelerometer, MIMU, and Inertial/satellite combined navigation system.

3. Special-purpose electromechanical control system, theories and engineering practices about high-accuracy measurement and control system, including high accuracy rating and positioning turntable, simulating turntable, gyro stabilized system and so on.

Main achievements of scientific research

The ERCNT mainly undertakes large and important projects for national defense applications. Meanwhile, many other projects from National 863, National Natural Science Foundation are also carried out here. The overall projects over 40 items are supported with research funds over 150 million RMB within the near 5 years. The ERCNT has established several laboratories involving precise measurement, special welding, electronic welding, environmental test, gyro servo-test, navigation system test and MEMS inertial sensor test, and been provided with a batch of advanced electronic instruments and test equipments. A series of achievements in national defense research have been obtained and unique research feature has been established as well. The high-accuracy electromechanical gyro and MEMS inertial sensor being developed have reached the advanced world level, and gained widely approvals from the domestic and foreign counterparts. Especially, the accuracy of the developed high-accuracy electromechanical gyro is more than one order of magnitude comparing to other domestic gyro products, which fills the gap in China’s inertial instrument development. We had won 6 national or provincial and ministerial level scientific awards including 1 Award for State Technological Invention (second prize), 1 Award for Advancement in Science and Technology of Ministry of Education (first prize) and 1 Award for Advancement in Science and Technology of Beijing (first prize).

Talents training

The staffs in the ERCNT undertake 6 courses covering fields of instrument, measurement and control for all graduate and undergraduate students at Tsinghua University. Among of them, the undergraduate course Foundation of Control Engineering was entitled as “excellent course” at Tsinghua University, Beijing city and national level, respectively. The corresponding textbook Foundation of Control Engineering has been listed as both the national-level planning teaching material in the Twelfth Five Years and Beijing’s higher education outstanding teaching material. The ERCNT enrolls 6~10 graduate students for MS and PhD degrees, and postdoctoral researcher each year. To support development of the national defense and the army modernization, we also engage in training the urgently needed defense talents such as the targeted-area and the Army-Plans related graduate students.