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.
History of Marine Navigation
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.
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.
What is a Remote Weapons Station?
A Remote Weapons Station (RWS) is a remotely operated weapons platform that utilizes light and medium caliber artillery shells. Typically, an RWS contains sensing components (angular rates, accelerations, etc.), motor drives, a turret, and a computer. Today, companies like Electro Optic Systems Pty Ltd are patenting next generation Electro Optic RWS that are gyro-stabilized, combat ready, and built for precision targeting(1).
Since the two most important characteristics for an RWS are aiming speed and accuracy, advanced methods of stabilization are required to ensure that targets are correctly dealt with. The most important component in this task is the gyroscope.
Ensuring our infrastructure is running, and our job and construction sites are safe should be a top priority. However, the maintenance and inspections needed is inherently dangerous and often time-consuming and repetitive, making drones instrumental and valuable tools.
Drones can capture all kinds of data from images and videos, LiDAR scanning, mapping data, and a variety of data types related to air conditions, location, and precision location, including inertial data. As a result of using drones for these initial inspections, we can more quickly pinpoint the location and cause of the problem, and ensure that fewer humans are put in harm’s way.
The main limitation for many microelectromechanical (MEMS) based inertial measurement units (IMUs) is the realization that drift will always be a factor when left uncompensated for. In today's market many solutions have been developed using GNSS data, magnetics, or optical sensors.
Optical data, when fused with an IMU, is useful for both dynamic and static applications depending on the level of computer vision implemented into the system. By using the IMU as a reference for orientation, optical data can be used to mitigate drift of the gyroscopes.
Inertial Labs has been continuously developing next generation systems that can use a combination of day and night operation cameras to stabilize heading.