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Lecture Note for the Examination Course of Electro- UT-ENG-DMA-031
Technical Officer (STCW Reg. III/6) Rev-00

2.2.1.3 Inertial Navigation system

2.2.1.3.1 Inertial navigation system

Inertial navigation system is a dead reckoning type of navigation system that computes its position
based on motion sensors. Once the initial latitude and longitude is established, the system receives
impulses from motion detectors that measure the acceleration along three or more axes enabling it to
continually and accurately calculate the current latitude and longitude. Its advantages over other
navigation systems are that, once the starting position is set, it does not require outside information,
it is not affected by adverse weather conditions and it cannot be detected or jammed. Its disadvantage
is that since the current position is calculated solely from previous positions, its errors are
cumulative, increasing at a rate roughly proportional to the time since the initial position was input.
Inertial navigation systems must therefore be frequently corrected with a location 'fix' from some
other type of navigation system. The US Navy developed a Ships Inertial Navigation System (SINS)
during the Polaris missile program to ensure a safe, reliable and accurate navigation system for its
missile submarines. Inertial navigation systems were in wide use until satellite navigation systems
(GPS) became available. Inertial Navigation Systems are still in common use on submarines, since
GPS reception or other fix sources are not possible while submerged.

An inertial navigation system (INS) is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors
(accelerometers) and rotation sensors (gyroscopes) to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the
position, orientation, and velocity (direction and speed of movement) of a moving object without the
need for external references.[1] It is used on vehicles such as ships, aircraft, submarines, guided
missiles, and spacecraft. Other terms used to refer to inertial navigation systems or closely related
devices include inertial guidance system, inertial instrument, inertial measurement units (IMU)
and many other variations. Older INS systems generally used an inertial platform as their mounting
point to the vehicle, and the terms are sometimes considered synonymous.

Dead Reckoning, a type of navigation from a known starting point, and then by using vector
information (direction and speed) against a clock an estimate of the current position can be made. An

Function Competence Knowledge & Understanding of Teaching Hours
2.3.1 Maintenance and repair of bridge Navigation
2 2.3 T-1/P-1
equipment
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Position accuracy is dependent on the accuracy of vector information and the time since the last “known” position. UT-ENG-DMA-031 Technical Officer (STCW Reg. Inertial Platform.3. or the neutral aircraft position (pitch. to which a strap-down inertial navigation system is firmly attached. III/6) Rev-00 INS will calculate a continuous dead-reckoning position. Function Competence Knowledge & Understanding of Teaching Hours 2. or refers to the aircraft. roll and yaw axes). refers either to the self-referencing gyro-stabilised platform on which the accelerometers are mounted.3 T-1/P-1 equipment P a g e | 173 .1 Maintenance and repair of bridge Navigation 2 2. UNITEAM TRAINING LIMITED Course Code: Lecture Note for the Examination Course of Electro.

spacecraft.3 T-1/P-1 equipment P a g e | 174 .3. nowadays is predominantly used to describe an Inertial Platform. Inertial navigation is a self-contained navigation technique in which measurements provided by accelerometers and gyroscopes are used to track the position and orientation of an object relative to a known starting point. Recent advances in the construction of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) have made it possible to manufacture small and light Function Competence Knowledge & Understanding of Teaching Hours 2. and often used to describe all three of these units (as one system) . Gyroscope/Gyro has traditionally referred to mechanical spinning gyros set within gimbals and frames allowing a platform to be stabilised in space regardless of the motion of body which attached. tactical and strategic missiles. submarines and ships. measuring angular velocity and linear acceleration respectively. they may also contain quartz accelerometers. By processing signals from these devices it is possible to track the position and orientation of a device. Inertial Reference Unit (IRU). Inertial measurement units (IMUs) typically contain three orthogonal rate-gyroscopes and three orthogonal accelerometers. Inertial Reference System (IRS) and Inertial Reference Unit (IRU). refers to a solid-state unit of three Ring Laser Gyros detecting accelerations in 3 dimensions. UNITEAM TRAINING LIMITED Course Code: Lecture Note for the Examination Course of Electro. Inertial Navigation System .1 Maintenance and repair of bridge Navigation 2 2. Inertial navigation is used in a wide range of applications including the navigation of aircraft.Nowadays the term Gyro usually refers to a solid-state Ring Laser Gyro (RLG). refers to a computer that integrates IRS outputs and provides inertial reference outputs for use by other navigation control systems. which is predominantly used in modern aircraft INS. orientation and velocity. UT-ENG-DMA-031 Technical Officer (STCW Reg. III/6) Rev-00 Inertial Reference System (IRS).

An INS can detect a change in its geographic position (a move east or north. or velocity once it has been initialized. a GPS satellite receiver.). The advantage of an INS is that it requires no external references in order to determine its position. a change in its velocity (speed and direction of movement). Accelerometers measure the linear acceleration of the system in the inertial reference frame.3. but are not aware of their own orientation). submarines. The inaccuracy of a good-quality navigational system is normally less than 0. Gyroscopes measure the angular velocity of the system in the inertial reference frame. Since it requires no external reference (after initialization). Since the new position is calculated from the previous calculated position and the measured acceleration and angular velocity. Therefore. By using the original orientation of the system in the inertial reference frame as the initial condition and integrating the angular velocity. III/6) Rev-00 inertial navigation systems. The INS is initially provided with its position and velocity from another source (a human operator. for example). It does this by measuring the linear acceleration and angular velocity applied to the system. spacecraft—and guided missiles. and thereafter computes its own updated position and velocity by integrating information received from the motion sensors. their cost and complexity place constraints on the environments in which they are practical for use. including vehicles—such as aircraft. which are compounded into still greater errors in position. An inertial navigation system includes at least a computer and a platform or module containing accelerometers. gyroscopes. and a change in its orientation (rotation about an axis). or other motion-sensing devices. these errors accumulate roughly proportionally to the time since the initial position was input. the system's current orientation is known at all times. orientation. but in directions that can only be measured relative to the moving system (since the accelerometers are fixed to the system and rotate with the system. Error All inertial navigation systems suffer from integration drift: small errors in the measurement of acceleration and angular velocity are integrated into progressively larger errors in velocity.3 T-1/P-1 equipment P a g e | 175 . it is immune to jamming and deception. etc. Function Competence Knowledge & Understanding of Teaching Hours 2. However.6 nautical miles per hour in position and on the order of tenths of a degree per hour in orientation. the position must be periodically corrected by input from some other type of navigation system.1 Maintenance and repair of bridge Navigation 2 2. These advances have widened the range of possible applications to include areas such as human and animal motion capture. they can send planes off course. If navigation systems malfunction. UT-ENG-DMA-031 Technical Officer (STCW Reg. Inertial-navigation systems are used in many different moving objects. UNITEAM TRAINING LIMITED Course Code: Lecture Note for the Examination Course of Electro.

high reliability and low maintenance. which allows common sparing with earlier models. satisfying the needs of legacy systems. A Windows-based control and display application allows the operator to observe the status of the navigator and all reference devices. requiring one less piece of dedicated hardware. utilizes enhanced Digital Ring Laser Gyro technology. by connecting a computer to any location on the ship's network. 7.1 Maintenance and repair of bridge Navigation 2 2. even if they have different system requirements.3.3 T-1/P-1 equipment P a g e | 176 . Setup and diagnostics are now done via a network-based application instead of a remote control display unit. Further benefits include low acquisition and life-cycle costs. 3. UNITEAM TRAINING LIMITED Course Code: Lecture Note for the Examination Course of Electro. reducing the need for spares. The RLG sensor offers Function Competence Knowledge & Understanding of Teaching Hours 2. the latest generation of its MK 39 family of navigation systems based on the company's proven ring laser gyro (RLG) technology. The MK39 MOD 4A occupies 50% less deck space than our previous models. and precise attitude and heading data needed for fire control stabilization and weapons initialization. 6. and is certified for submarine applications due to its extremely low noise signature. Separating the sensor and navigation processing components presents new architectural possibilities. with or without GPS. 2. UT-ENG-DMA-031 Technical Officer (STCW Reg. such as the global positioning system and the speed log. The MK 39 Mod 4A Ring Laser Ship's Inertial Navigation System. assuring high accuracy regardless of location. The MK 39 Mod 4A is not affected by rapid changes in external magnetic fields. 5. Northrop Grumman Introduces New Marine Gyro-Based Inertial Navigation System 1. 8. 4. These ports also use the same inertial measuring unit (IMU). Fully configurable serial and Ethernet ports use the NMEA 0183 electrical specification standards and offer high-rate binary messages. III/6) Rev-00 The MK39 MOD 4A provides both high accuracy geographic position information. The Mod 4A electronics unit can support a wide variety of IMUs with different accuracy levels and environmental constraints. This enables more commonality and upgrade potential for all ships in a given fleet. Using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics streamlines supply chain logistics. . and fewer circuit boards. The user interface design provides all of the data necessary to make navigation decisions in a single view. hands-off operation that does not require operator intervention. Flexible Linux-based navigation software enables the use of COTS electronics and reduces the time to bring software and hardware enhancements to market.

III/6) Rev-00 a proven mean time between failure of more than 200.3 T-1/P-1 equipment P a g e | 177 . Function Competence Knowledge & Understanding of Teaching Hours 2.000 hours. UT-ENG-DMA-031 Technical Officer (STCW Reg.3. UNITEAM TRAINING LIMITED Course Code: Lecture Note for the Examination Course of Electro.1 Maintenance and repair of bridge Navigation 2 2.