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Types of Equipment
Inertial Navigation System

Equipment

IPOZ Systems is your answer to any navigation and orientation need. We are specialized in the integration of Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) to provide position and orientation in any environment and scenario.

Traditional positioning systems such as GPS on land and the surface of the oceans, or acoustic underwater, are limited by obstacles and signal reflection or noise.

GPS doesn’t work in tunnels or under tree canopy. Acoustic is affected by seabed structures, interferences from nearby transmitters and general noise. INS on the other hand is autonomous and operates everywhere. For land surface survey, it works in open areas, as well as in the thickest forest, in caves and underground, inside buildings, vessels and facilities. Offshore the INS will keep on navigating and positioning your instruments and structures with extreme accuracy from the surface to the seabed and anywhere in between. An INS also provides full 3D orientation and solutions at 500Hz and more.

Types of Equipment

Being the Inertial Center of Excellence, IPOZ can integrate any INS to any other position or velocity sensor and create the orientation and measurement tool that you need. We use any level of technology from MEMS to Ring Laser Gyroscopes and any Fiber Optic sensor in between. We sell and rent tools and provide survey and navigation services in any environment. We integrate INS with GPS, Acoustic, Odometers, (etc) and provide services with these tools.

Inertial Navigation System

An Inertial Navigation System (INS) is an instrument composed of accelerometers and gyroscopes and is used to measure 3D positions and orientations autonomously (without the need for external aiding).

On land it replaces GPS and theodolites to deliver a very highly productive survey in any condition (in a forest, underground, in open grounds etc…)

Offshore it can be used at the surface to dynamically position vessels in case of GPS failure, or underwater to replace or complement acoustic positioning.

An INS positions and orients itself. In order to obtain the position and orientation of a vehicle or an object, the INS must have a fixed mounting in or on it. The difference in angles (Boresight) and in position (Lever arms) to the object we want to measure must be fixed and known.

An INS can be used in association with other technologies to complement them or replace them when they fail: for example an INS integrated with a GPS, can follow the position and accuracy of the GPS receiver when this one is working properly (i.e in an open field where it receives satellite signals and differential corrections), and then the INS takes over the navigation when the system enters an area where GPS fails (i.e. in a forest, a tunnel, or inside a building or a cave). The same applies to INS-acoustic positioning underwater.

In order to function properly and navigate an INS only needs a starting position and a period of alignment, which can be a period where it is very still on the surface of the earth for a static alignment, or a period of well defined dynamics or position aiding for a dynamic alignment (in air or at sea).

Usually an INS is aligned and operational (navigating), after an alignment of 15 to 60 minutes (depending on circumstances). It will usually keep its alignment as long as it is powered.

The draw backs of inertial systems are the need for a known start position, as well as the need for an initial alignment (and in some cases a need for regular stops or position updates). Another draw back is their relatively high cost compared to other navigation systems.

The advantages of INS are:

  • Autonomy. They can provide complete 3D positions and orientations from internal functions and computations, without receiving a signal from the outside (unlike GPS for example).
  • Immunity to interference. A large number of INS can be working on the same project without affecting one another. (unlike acoustic systems for example)
  • High rate of deliverables. An INS typically can provide its solutions at more than 100Hz, which is useful in a fast moving survey vehicle.
  • Deliver orientations. Most navigation systems deliver only positions (X,Y,Z, or Lat, Lon, Height). INS do deliver 3D orientations (Heading, pitch, roll) at the same rate (or faster) than the positions. They can also be programmed to deliver heave and other motions as well.
  • They run powerful navigation Kalman Filters that can estimate and weight other navigation aids and use them sparingly.
  • Tightly integrated INS will be at the core of future "super-instruments" that will use incoming and sensed information in an optimal way, even with sparse data, to deliver full navigation solutions. For example such an instrument might receive only one or two acoustic baselines, plus 2 Glonass and 3 GPS satellite signals, and still deliver full 3D orientation and position solutions with valid QA/QC.

These are additional Inertial Navigation System topic areas you can explore here:

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