Crossbow Technology

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This article is about the company. For alternate uses, see Crossbow (disambiguation).
Crossbow Technology, Inc.
Industry Electronics-Specialized
Founded 1995
Headquarters Milpitas, California, USA
Key people
Mike Horton, founder
Products Inertial measurement units, Logistics and Asset tracking devices
Number of employees
Approximately 50 (2011)
Parent Moog Inc.

Crossbow Technology, Inc. (also referred to as XBOW) was a California-based company with two distinct product lines. One is based on sensors and fibre optic gyroscope inertial sensor systems. This includes inertial measurement units, attitude and heading reference systems, digital inclinometers and guidance, navigation and control units. The other is based on GPS and radios using cellular phone technology with multiple environmental sensors that includes asset tracking products.


Crossbow was founded by Mike A. Horton in 1995 to exploit microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors. It was initially based on technology developed at the University of California, Berkeley supported by A. Richard Newton.[1] Crossbow Technology had investment from Cisco, Intel and the Paladin Capital Group in 2005.[2][3]

Past products included the AHRS500GA, used in the Capstone Program of the US Federal Aviation Administration. When introduced in 2003 it was the first stand-alone, completely solid-state FAA certified attitude and heading reference system (AHRS).[4] A follow-on product, the AHRS510GA was designed into the Eclipse Aviation mode 500 very light jet.[5]

Crossbow products include the CTXD02 digital inclinometer, VG700 vertical gyroscope and GNAV540 INS/GPS guidance, navigation and control unit. These products were used on airborne, marine and ground platforms such as the Hunter RQ-5A Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, ITAS and LRAS targeting systems.

Crossbow supplies products for shipment visibility and asset tracking. The company provides integrated peel and stick devices, featuring GSM/GPRS radios, GPS and sensors. These environmental sensors provide shippers with asset tracking and shipment environment exposure history and tracking capabilities.

Crossbow was one of the first suppliers of the Berkeley-style MICA sensor nodes that it called "motes".[6] These run the TinyOS operating system. Follow-on products included the MICA2 (868/916 MHz) and MICAz (2.4 GHz) motes, and the Intel-designed IMOTE2. Crossbow also made a software design platform for its hardware called MoteWorks.

Crossbow received awards for these products, including a "Best of Sensors Expo Gold 2006"[7] and the BP Helios Award.[8]

In 2008, Crossbow released eKo Pro Series System,[9] a wireless sensor system that monitors crops, vineyard, agriculture and the environment. Its sensors can monitor soil moisture, ambient temperature, leaf wetness of a crop. In the same year, Crossbow Japan released the NeoMote to monitor energy usage in a building and provide a visual display for energy saving.[10] Formerly a joint venture, Crossbow Japan became Sensor Networks and Systems department of Sumitomo Precision Products.[11]

On June 5, 2011, Crossbow was acquired by Moog Inc. for about $32 million.[12]


  1. ^ Olga Kharif (October 18, 2004). "Bringing MEMS and Motes to Life". Business Week. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ Crossbow Technology : Inertial Systems : Company Overview – Crossbow, Investors
  3. ^ "Crossbow". Investment portfolio page. Paladin Capital Group. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ "New Products: MEMS-Based AHRS". Avionics Magazine. April 1, 2003. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  5. ^ Eclipse Aviation – Partners
  6. ^ Marshall Brain. "How Motes Work". How Stuff Works web site. Archived from the original on April 7, 2004. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ Report From Sensors Expo Part 1: Best of Sensors Expo Gold Winners – Sensors
  8. ^ BP Global – Press – Winners announced in 2005 helios awards
  9. ^ Reuters
  10. ^ "Wireless Sensor Network and NeoKIT: green technology for clean energy use". Commercial product page. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Global Leader in Sensory Systems". official Crossbow Japan website. 住友精密工業㈱ センサネットワーク事業室 営業グループ.  (In Japanese)
  12. ^ Moog Inc. (November 30, 2011). "Annual Report for the fiscal year ended October 1, 2011". Form 10-K. US Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 

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