Military Embedded Systems

Mini-navigation device with GPS/INS capability released by VectorNav for UAVs


September 04, 2012

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

RICHARDSON, TX. Engineers at VectorNav Technologies have developed a navigation device for avionics in manned aircraft and for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) payloads that combines a GPS module with MEMS inertial and pressure sensor technology.

The patent-pending VN-200 device enables embedded navigation in component a small footprint. The VN-200 consolidates INS in a small package and is ideal for small applications such as UAV payloads where it can help stabilize camera platforms and keep it pointing in the right direction, says John Brashear, President of VectorNav. It is tiny enough to be placed in the camera itself, he adds.

The device has an on-board extended Kalman filter running at 200 Hz, coupled position, velocity, and attitude estimates, and dynamic accuracy better than .25 degrees in pitch/roll and .75 degrees in heading. The VN-200 also is compatible with external GPS pressure or magnetic measurements and comes with a temperature range of -40 to 85 degrees Celsius. The surface mount package –30-pin LGA – is 22 by 24 by 3 millimeters and weighs 3 grams. The rugged package is 36 by 34 by 9.5 millimeters and weighs 14 grams. The VN-200 development tool set has a sensor explorer GUI that enables users to display sensor output as a 3D object, graph inertial data, configure sensor settings, and perform data-logging.

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