ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
AQUILA: Development of a European High-Accuracy Accelerometer for Space Applications
InnaLabs Ltd, a privately held limited company incorporated in Ireland since 2011, is producing European ITAR-free Quartz Pendulous accelerometers since 2013. The AI-Q-2000 series of single axis-axis analog accelerometers is now mature and achieves top-end navigation performance with thousands of units integrated into a wide range of land, marine, and aerospace Inertial Navigation Systems, worldwide. Europe is lacking space grade, high performance accelerometers, matching the Honeywell QA3000 performance. AQUILA development has thus been engaged under an ESA contract to derive a robust and high-performance radiation-hardened single-axis accelerometer from InnaLabs AI-Q-2000 series accelerometer. The AQUILA accelerometer is suitable for high-accuracy Space IMUs used in launchers, landers, and rovers, but also for delta-V monitoring in interplanetary probes as well as satellites that leave Earth Orbit (like science missions in Lagrange points). This paper describes the technology and design of AQUILA, its key specification parameters, together with test data at breadboard level showing compliance to the specification requirements. The development approach is also presented, including a description of the development models and a timeline for the design and qualification reviews until the product release planned in 2023. Additionally, a three-axis unit based on three AQUILA accelerometers is currently in development under ESA contract. The preliminary specifications and development schedule are presented in this paper.