Woman using navigation system while driving a car

Inertial Navigation Systems in Day to Day Lives

The world as we know it is ever-changing. With the constant pursuit of advancement in all aspects, humans have placed great care and knowledge in pursuing ways to make our lives even easier than it already is. We have used machines to guide us in our travels, jobs, education, etc. Brilliant scientists have figured out ways for machines to aid us in our daily lives. They take complex science, tinker with them for a bit and fashion them in a way that would be simple enough to be employed in our daily lives.

Inertial Navigation Systems

One such example is the use of Inertial Navigation Systems. Simulation and systems aid in the position and orientation tracking of an object. This self-contained navigation technique has measurements which are provided by accelerometers and gyroscopes. All this positioning and tracking is based relatively on a single starting point, orientation and velocity.

Angular velocity and linear acceleration of the object being tracked and positioned is measured in Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs). This is done with the use of three orthogonal rate-gyroscopes and three orthogonal accelerometers, respectively. Once signals are released from these devices, it is now possible to track the position and orientation of a device.

INS in Daily Lives

Now that INS is thoroughly understood, how is this particular technology employed in the daily lives of the users? As previously mentioned, the world is ever-changing, ever in motion; everything moves. INS is used to track and position things. Since we are all moving, tracking and positioning objects in our daily lives is exceedingly useful.

Autonomous Navigation

Although not exceedingly popular yet, drive-less cars are being used today. These cars are equipped with INS technology that will provide real-time roll, pitch and heading. Not only that, but it also provides a filtered GNSS position that will maintain a robust position in case of GNSS outages. In cars like these, there is also a sensor used to precisely synchronize and stabilize equipment such as LiDAR or a camera. Autonomous navigation is not only on drive-less cars. There are also industrial vehicles, USV, ROV, AUV, UAV and UGVs that also employ INS for autonomous navigation.

Surveying

Getting to explore and survey various locations is also made possible with the use of INS. Mobile mapping, indoor mapping, UAV-based survey and even hydrography is readily doable. It has even gone mobile with new solutions that require inertial navigation systems that would deliver a precise point cloud. These mobile mapping and surveying applications apply to land, air, and even marine environments. These will then show you the lay of the land, or water, as needed.

Motion Analysis

For precise dynamics and motion testing, INS can also be used. Motion is monitored and analyzed if a machine is a land, a marine or an aerial one. The gyroscopes are with very low noise, low latency and they are equipped with extended calibration to ensure that analysis on the motion of the object is sensitive. This is used in various ways such as in Heli-deck motion monitoring, car testing, and even in ship racing and monitoring.

Pointing and Stabilization

man holding a gimbal camera

INS can also be used in gimbal cameras and antenna tracking. Inertial sensors provide latency between physical motion and output. This would then provide the best synchronization and timing to achieve the best accuracy in-camera stabilization and antenna tracking.

Conclusion

Life is made simpler with technology such as Inertial Navigation Systems. Upon purchasing these products, one only has to ensure maintenance and training so that they will serve their purpose accordingly. Monitoring the position, location and orientation of an object has never been this easy.