Inertial navigation can also be described as a process of directing the movement of a vehicle, rocket, ship, aircra, robot, and so on, from one point to another with respect to a reference axis. e vehicle’s current position can be determined from “dead reckoning” with respect to a known initial starting ref-erence position. On the Earth’s surface, the conventional reference will be north, east, and down. is is referred to as the
Earth’s ﬁxed axes
. A vehicle such as an aircra or a marine vessel will have its own
roll, pitch, and yaw, as shown in Figure 17.1.e inertial sensors of the INS can be mounted in such a way that they stay leveled and pointing in a ﬁxed direction. is system relies on a set of gimbals and sensors attached on three axes to monitor the angles at all times. is type of INS is based on a
. A sketch of a three-axis platform is shown in Figure 17.2. Another type of INS is the
that eliminates the use of gimbals. In this case, the gyros and accelerometers are mounted to the structure of the vehicle. e measurements received are made in reference to the local axes of roll, pitch, and yaw. e gyros measure the movement of angles in the three axes in a short time interval of few milliseconds. e computer then uses this information to resolve the accelerometer outputs into the navigation axes. A schematic block diagram of the strapdown system is shown in Figure 17.3.
e controlling action is based on the sensing components of acceleration of the vehicle in known spatial directions, by instruments that mechanize Newtonian laws of motion. e ﬁrst and second integrations of the sensed acceleration determine velocity and position, respectively. A typical INS includes a set of gyros, a set of accelerometers, and appropriate signal processing units. Although the principle of the systems may be simple, the fabrication of a practical system demands a sophisticated technological base. e system accuracy is independent of altitude, terrain, and other physical variables but is limited almost purely by the accuracy of its own components. Traditional INSs mainly rely on mechanical gyros and accelerometers, but today there are many diﬀerent types available, such as opti-cal gyroscopes, piezoelectric vibrating gyroscopes, and active and passive resonating gyroscopes. Also, micromachined gyroscopes and accelerometers are making an important impact on modern INSs. A brief description and operational principles of gyroscopes and accelerometers suitable for inertial navigation are as follows.Major advances in INS over the years include the development of the
(ESG) and the laser gyro. In ESG, the rotor spins at a speed above 200,000 rpm in a near-vacuum envi-ronment. The rotor is suspended by an electrostatic field; thus, it is free from bearing friction and
Inertial navigation is for monitoring the movement of an object such as a vehicle, rocket, ship, air-cra, and robot with respect to a reference axis. Vehicles such as aircras and marine vessels have their own local axes, known as the roll, the pitch, and the yaw.
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