The GCAH-21
Pursues Versatility
and Opens up New Paths


Equipped with the Northfinder™ module, it has general-purpose applications as a true north position/attitude angle detection gyroscope (AHRS). The Northfinder™B/GCAH-21 device has made it possible to use it in a wider range of fields than ever before. It is opening up new possibilities through deployment in offshore wind power generation and a variety of other fields.

The backdrop is growing demand for general-purpose MEMS gyro sensors

A gyrocompass can accurately detect north, even when GPS is unavailable. In resource excavation sites, it is an essential system for understanding direction. The Northfinder™A/GCAH-12C, which is based on our company's newly developed MEMS gyroscope sensor and algorithm, has been well-received for its low cost and superior accuracy. However, this Northfinder™A is a product developed specifically for drilling. Despite its high performance, one difficultly was that the possible applications for it were limited by its shape. "We want products that can be used in a wide range of fields." This development was started in response to this customer demand for a gyrocompass with a more general-purpose shape. The result was the Northfinder™B , which is a product that has retained the functions and high precision of the Northfinder™A while evolving into a system that can be used in a variety of fields and products. The software updates and sensor improvements found during the use of Northfinder™A are also reflected in the Northfinder™B, so the detection precision and operational stability are improving every day. There is also a PC interface and a software development environment provided so that users can use the Northfinder™B. This makes it possible for the customer to acquire the detection data and to develop the best algorithm for each field.

Utilizing the features to help reduce the costs of offshore facilities

Given its high precision and low cost, we received a request to utilize the product with offshore wind power generation. In the past, the client used general-purpose gyroscope sensors, but there were problems with shake detection accuracy and durability. In offshore wind power generation, the impact of the waves means that the power generation at sea is always being conducted in an unstable environment. This makes the "detection of shaking" extremely important. If we can detect the expected shaking and unexpected shaking separately, we can quickly detect abnormalities in the equipment and more precisely control the wind turbine attitude. In addition, it is difficult to perform maintenance on offshore facilities once they have been installed, so this was another factor making the highly durable Northfinder™B/GCAH-21 a perfect product choice.

Further improvements produced a system creating new collaboration

Northfinder™B demonstrates its true value in environments where GPS is not available. It is expected to be used in fields such as acquisition of direction information and attitude control underwater, in mountainous areas, in tunnels, in closed buildings, and so on where radio waves do not penetrate, as well as in aircraft where the installation of heading reference systems other than GPS is required. In addition, we have designed the housing to allow for the mounting of functions not included in the standard functions. For example, it is equipped with a GPS receiver, battery, radio module, etc., and expanded functions are also planned. We aim to meet customer needs.