VDL 2024

Inertial Navigation Computation: History, Present and Beyond

2023 VDL Series

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Acquiring the attitude, velocity and position information is fundamental to any motion body manipulation. Inertial navigation is a self-contained method to achieve this goal by integrating inertial measurements from triads of gyroscopes and accelerometers. Over half a century has witnessed tremendous efforts in designing advanced inertial navigation algorithms for strapdown systems so as not to compromise the quality of inertial sensors. Inertial navigation computation falls into the problem category of solving ordinary differential equations (ODE) but undergone a unique history. This lecture will lead a tour of the inertial navigation algorithm development history and highlight the state-of-art functional iteration approach that is able to yield “zero computing error”. The approach itself is recently found linked to the other classical problem of orbit propagation having a long history as well. Finally, the lecture will conclude by recommending the approach as a general tool to attack general ODE problems.

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