Magnetometer Calibrations and the Inertial Labs INS-P

Posted by Luke Wilson on Sep 16, 2020 12:33:07 PM

Understanding The Magnetometer

Magnetometers measure the direction, strength, or relative change of a magnetic field at a particular location. (1) Though phonetically complex, magnetometers can be common devices used in everyday life such as compasses and metal detectors. In general, there are two basic types of survey magnetometers: vector and scalar magnetometers. Vector magnetometers measure magnitude and direction of a magnetic field. Alternatively, scalar magnetometers measure the absolute or vector magnetic field, using an internal calibration or known physical constants of the magnetic sensor.

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Topics: INS-P, Magnetometer, calibration

Point Cloud Generation for Mapping and Scanning Industries Using the INS-B

Posted by Luke Wilson on Aug 10, 2020 9:00:00 AM

What is a Point Cloud?

A point cloud is created by scanning an area with a 3D Laser Scanner. This scan is then imported into post-processing software (unless desired accuracy is obtained in real-time) where errors are removed. After processing the data, modeling software is used where the clouds can either be geo-referenced to a ground plane or manipulated locally without reference. From here, point clouds are then exported into computer-aided design (CAD) or building information modeling (BIM) systems, where they can be manipulated further, generating meshes and applying boundary conditions to generate accurate and realistic 3D models (1). Even with an explanation of a point cloud it is still hard to understand what a point cloud is if one has not been familiarized with the technology. When the user performs a scan, the laser scanner sends out beams of light in many different directions. As these light beams are reflected to the scanner, the system uses a datalogger to record reflected positions as localized vectors. These scan files can contain as little as thousands of logged vectors or as many as millions, if not billions depending on the scanning project at hand. These 3D vectors are then used in the post-processing software to generate a visualized point cloud.

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Topics: Surveying, Mapping, LiDAR, Point Cloud

“Tunnel Guide” Feature for GPS-Aided INS Improves Performance During GNSS Outage

Posted by Will Dillingham on Jul 27, 2020 10:08:58 AM

Defining the Problem

For years Inertial Labs has produced high accuracy Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) at the world’s best price-performance ratio. An INS estimates the position, attitude, and velocity using the gyroscopes and accelerometers contained inside an inertial measurement unit (IMU). Position accuracy can be greatly improved when the INS is aided by Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). However, GNSS is not always available. Customer requirements demand for better performance of an INS during a GNSS outage. Outages can be caused by tunnels, urban canyons, roads under bridges, etc. 

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Topics: Motion Capture, GPS Denied Navigation, GPS-Aided Navigation, Stabilization, Aiming, Pointing, Surveying, Mapping, Navigation

Twenty Years in the Making: The Inertial Labs Robust and Modular Kalman Filter

Posted by Luke Wilson on Jul 9, 2020 5:29:25 PM

What is Sensor Fusion?

Sensor fusion plays a large role in any device that is attempting to produce estimated, quantifiable data. Sensor fusion is the ability to bring together inputs from multiple sensors to produce a single model whose result is more accurate than that of the individual inputs alone. There are three fundamental methods of sensor fusion:

  • Redundant Sensors- All sensors give the same information for the environment.
  • Complementary Sensors- The sensors provide independent, disjointed information about its environment.
  • Coordinated Sensors- The sensors collect information about its environment sequentially.

From there, the information is communicated in one of three different ways. In a centralized setup, all sensors provide information to a common central node. If the configuration is decentralized, no information is communicated between the sensors and the nodes. If it is a distributed organization, then the nodes interchange sensor information at a given rate.

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Topics: GPS Denied Navigation, Remote Sensing, Sensor Fusion, Kalman Filter

Marine Navigation and the Development of the Motion Reference Unit

Posted by Will Dillingham on Jun 18, 2020 3:22:54 PM

History of Marine Navigation

                The Stars

Early sea-fairing explorers utilized the stars as their navigational aid. Celestial navigation, or otherwise known as astronavigation utilized devices such as the gnomon, Kamal, sea astrolabe, quadrant, cross-staff, back-staff and sextant.

               Magnetic Compass

Dating back as early as 200 BCE in China during the reign of the Qin dynasty, the Chinese originally used magnetism to construct fortune-telling boards, which turned out to be used for following directions in more than one way (1). Early magnetic compasses began to be commonly used as navigation aids in the 11th century.

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Topics: GPS Denied Navigation, GPS-Aided Navigation, Navigation, Marine, History

Inertial Labs Inc.

Solutions for all PNT Applications

Established in 2001, Inertial Labs is a leader in position and orientation technologies for commercial, industrial, aerospace and defense applications. Inertial Labs has a worldwide distributor and representative network covering 20+ countries across 6 continents and a standard product line spanning from Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) to GPS-Aided Inertial Navigation Systems (INS). With application breadth on Land, Air, and Sea; Inertial Labs covers the gambit of inertial technologies and solutions.

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