From Global Positioning Systems, Inertial Navigation, and Integration

9.1 INERTIAL SENSOR TECHNOLOGIES

A sampling of inertial sensor technologies used in inertial navigation is presented in Table 9.1. There are many more, but these will serve to illustrate the great diversity of technologies applied to inertial navigation. How these devices function will be explained briefly. A more thorough treatment of inertial sensor designs is given in [190].

The histories by Draper [47], Mackenzie [129], Mueller [144], and Wrigley [215] contain much more information on the history of inertial systems and sensor technologies and the individuals involved. See also Refs. 8, 63, 110, 168 and the cited references below for more historical and technical details.

9.1.1 Early Gyroscopes

9.1.1.1 Momentum Wheel Gyroscopes (MWGs) The earth itself is a giant momentum wheel gyroscope, the spin axis of which remains pointing at the pole

star Polaris. The toy top is essentially a MWG that is probably older than recorded history. These are devices with stored angular momentum, a vector quantity that tends to remain constant and pointing in a fixed inertial direction unless disturbed by torques.

Jean Bernard Léon Foucault (1819-1868) had used a momentum wheel gyroscope to measure the rotation of the earth in 1852, and it was he who coined...


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Topics of Interest

9.1.2 Early Accelerometers Pendulum clocks were used in the eighteen century for measuring the acceleration due to gravity, but these devices were not usable on moving platforms. 9.1.2.1 Drag Cup...

4.1 Introduction Gyroscopes are used in various applications to sense either the angle turned through by a vehicle or structure (displacement gyroscopes) or, more commonly, its angular rate of turn...

9.4.2 Initialization and Alignment 9.4.2.1 Navigation Initialization INS initialization is the process of determining initial values for system position, velocity, and attitude in navigation...

9.1.3 Feedback Control Technology 9.1.3.1 Feedback Control Practical inertial navigation began to evolve in the 1950s, using technologies that had evolved in the early twentieth century, or were...

9.5.2 Navigation Error Propagation The dynamics of INS error propagation are strongly influenced by the fact that gravitational accelerations point toward the center of the earth and decrease in...