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The Complete Guide to Understanding Inertial Navigation Systems

What is an Inertial Navigation System  ?

- inertial refers to the acceleration of a body due to forces other than gravitation. Inertia is an object's resistance to being accelerated by a force. The inertial navigation system uses inertial sensors and motion-sensing devices that help determine position coordinates for aircraft, spacecraft, watercraft or land vehicles without outside references such as GPS. However, inertial navigation systems are not perfect and have been known to drift from time-to-time. There are many different types of inertial systems used today including: accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers. This article will discuss these three different types in detail as well as how they work together with one another in order to make up a typical inertial navigation system.

What kind of systems are present in the inertial navigation system?

What inertial navigation systems are used today and how do they work together to make up a typical inertial navigation system?

Inertia is an object's resistance to being accelerated by a force. What does this mean in relation to the inertial navigation system?

How does inertial navagation compare with other navigational systems such as GPS, radio direction finding (RDF), Loran C or Omega Navigation System ?

To what extent can inertial navigation systems drift from time-to-time?

What are motion-sensing devices?

Motion sensing devices use inertial sensors in order to determine where they are located and what the surroundings look like around them. How do inertial navigation systems work together with one another? All three types of inertials need each other for a complete system, as explained below: Accelerometers - Measure acceleration experienced by an object or platform Gyroscopes - Detect rotational movement Magnetometer - Determine position coordinates via measuring Earth's magnetic field Inertia is an object's resistance to being accelerated by a force. What does this mean in relation to the inertial navigation system? The inertial navagation system uses inertal sensor which helps determine position coordinates for aircraft, these coordinates are then follow and the inertial system is able to detect any changes in velocity.

What are inertial sensors?

Inertial sensors measure inertial properties which include the acceleration, rotation and magnetic field around an object or platform relative to a moving reference frame e.g Earth . What do you mean by "relative" movement of an inertial sensor? An inertal senors measures it's inertal properties against another objects' motion picture reference frame , so instead of measuring its own movements against fixed point within itself, it makes measurements relative to that external reference frame i.e earth How does inertia navigation compare with other navigational systems such as GPS, RDF, Loran C or Omega Navigation System ? All three types of inertials need each other for a complete inertial navigation system.

To what extent can inertial navigation systems drift from time-to-time? There are many factors that influence the ability of an inertial to remain accurate over time. For example, since they do not require any outside references for operation (such as GPS), inertials will never lose their accuracy.

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