Inertial navigation system
Barbour, Neil The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Howell, William C. Science Directorate, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:December 2019
- Principle of operation
- Gimbaled inertial system
- Strap-down inertial system
- Other terminologies
- System initialization and calibration
- System accuracies
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A self-contained system that can automatically determine the position, velocity and attitude of a moving vehicle for the purpose of directing its future course. Based on prior knowledge of time, gravitational field, initial position, initial velocity and initial orientation relative to a known reference frame (coordinate system), an inertial navigation system (INS) is capable of determining the vehicle's present position, velocity and orientation without the aid of external information. The generated navigational data are used to determine the future course for the vehicle to follow in order to bring it to its destination. Such systems have found application in the guidance and control of submarines, ships, aircraft, missiles and spacecraft. The sensors making these measurements, based on one of the basic properties of mass (inertia), are gyroscopes (gyros) and accelerometers. See also: Mass
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