Military Embedded Systems

VectorNav IMU used in Autopilot solutions from Unmanned Innovations


February 06, 2013

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

DALLAS, TX. Engineers at Unmanned Innovation and VectorNav Technologies joined hands to integrate VectorNav's VN-100 iniature, calibrated MEMS-based, surface-mount measurement unit (IMU) into Unmanned Innovation's os-Series Autopilots. The autopilots enable rapid prototyping for helicopter, fixed-wing,, multi-rotor, and custom configuration Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs).

"We're very excited about working with VectorNav as their well calibrated hardware has added enhanced accuracy to our os-Series Autopilots," says Jonathan Downey, CEO of Unmanned Innovation.

The partnership between the two companies was initiated during AUVSI's Unmanned Systems North America 2012 conference last summer, Unmanned Innovation officials saw VectorNav's IMU as an attractive alternative to their existing inertial measurement sensors because of its small form factor, low-cost, and high-precision calibration, company officials say. VectorNav provided custom firmware with a faster update rate to make the IMU compatible with Unmanned Innovation's requirements. The VN-100 IMU is calibrated for bias, scale factor and misalignment errors at room temperature or over the entire thermal operating range of the sensor. It increased the accuracy of the os-Series Autopilot navigation solution. The VN-100 IMUs are now integrated within Unmanned Innovation's os-Series Autopilots.

Unmanned Innovation's os-Series Autopilots combine modular hardware with an open architecture, enabling each autopilot to be a Development Platform. The systems come in multiple form factors with features tailored for different vehicles, payloads, and applications. Each os-Series Autopilot has an INS/GPS with air data integrating the VectorNav VN-100, payload interfaces, datalink radio, and a Linux computer within one miniature package; starting at just 32 grams. The systems have professionally written flight control and mission software, which is provided under a royalty-free license that enables easy modification, extension, and inclusion in proprietary products.

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