Silicon Sensing Systems Ltd

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Silicon Sensing Systems Ltd
  • Inertial systems
  • Sensors
United Kingdom
  • Space satellites
  • Underwater vehicles
  • Camera platforms
  • Ship navigation
  • Industrial robotics
  • Downhole mining
Number of employees
employs approximately 100 people

Silicon Sensing Systems (SSS) is a supplier of inertial systems and sensors that are used in a wide range of applications, wherever there is need to measure motion precisely.[1] The company's inertial products are used in space satellites, underwater vehicles, camera platforms, ship navigation, industrial robotics and downhole mining, among others.[2], [3] This is a joint venture operation that was founded in 1999 between Collins Aerospace and Sumitomo Precision Products.[4], [5] Its head office is in Plymouth, UK and it employs approximately 100 people.

SSS manufactures its gyro sensors at its foundry in Japan.[6] These are MEMS sensors (micro electro-mechanical systems) with a patented vibrating ring design that is unique to the company. When these sensors are powered up a silicon ring vibrates, like the rim of a wine glass.[7] Rotation of the sensor changes the pattern of this vibration due to coriolis forces and these changes can be measured and delivered as a precise analogue or digital signal.[8] This silicon ring-based sensor design has been shown to be more rugged than comparable 'tuning fork' or simple beam-based sensors and will continue to function well in extremely severe conditions - such as those experienced sub-sea and in space.[9], [10]

SSS partner company, Collins Aerospace, traces its history back to Elmer Ambrose Sperry, the inventor of the gyroscope, and his Sperry Gyroscope Company that was founded in 1918.[11] Sumitomo Precision Products is also a long-established company with roots in 17th century Japan, and a move into gyroscopes in the 20th century.


  1. "Silicon Sensing | MEMS Inertial Sensor & IMU Manufacturers".
  2. "Advanced Tech Helps Guide Pioneering Spirit". Marine Technology News. April 18, 2019.
  3. "Silicon Sensing AMU30 IMU to guide autonomous Mayflower voyage". The Robot Report. January 20, 2020.
  4. "Collins Aerospace".
  5. "Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd".
  6. "Silicon Sensing Expands MEMS Foundry in Japan". Marine Technology News. June 3, 2019.
  7. "Silicon Sensing | MEMS Gyroscopes".
  8. "Silicon Sensing | Coriolis".
  9. "Silicon Sensing's inertial measurement technology to equip first small SAR satellite from iQPS". GeoConnexion.
  10. "Silicon Sensing - DMU30 High Performance IMU". GeoConnexion.
  11. "Silicon Sensing | The Gyro 100 years on".

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