GPS IMU Applications

IATech's SmartIMU GPS IMU sensor is an ideal sensor choice for systems that are limited in their weight and power requirements. The combination of orientation sensors along with the GPS accurately measures platform dynamics and provides a position solution in a compact footprint. The SmartIMU is fully functional and requires no additional hardware for operation. The GPS antenna can be either external or fully integrated into the sensor package. A flexible, programmable output format allows for easy integration into a UGV, UAV, or other unmanned system.

GPS IMU Sensor for Unmanned Systems

This sensor provides combined position and orientation information which can be applied to unmanned systems. Its compact size allows it to be placed on a variety of unmanned systems. It is an ideal sensor for obtaining precise motion information of the system.

GPS IMU Sensor for Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV)

The SmartIMU product is an ideal UAV GPS IMU sensor suite. The fast update rate and response of the IMU make it the sensor of choice for UAV platforms. A compact and lightweight design provides the UAV with an all-in-one sensor for position and orientation simplifying wiring and integration. When onboard, the IMU can be used for platform stabilization, control, and automation. The images below show the SmartIMU equipped on one of our testing aircraft. This system demonstrates full pitch control and tracking using only the feedback from the SmartIMU sensor.
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The SmartIMU GPS IMU sensor provides the orientation of the UAV in the form of Euler angles (roll, pitch, yaw). In addition it also provides the 3D angular rates and accelerations about the longitudinal, lateral, and vertical axes of the aircraft. Depending on the type of aircraft the SmartIMU GPS IMU sensor is to be installed, the orientation, rates, and acceleration information can be used as feedback data for stabilization, automation, and control. The SmartIMU GPS IMU sensor provides internal or external GPS antenna options. For applications where the sensor is to be enclosed by a container or fuselage that does not attenuate the GPS signals, the internal GPS antenna option is beneficial. It provides a complete position, orientation, rate, and acceleration sensor with a single interface cable for power and RS232 communication. For applications that require an external GPS antenna, we provide external active antennas which allows remote location of the GPS antenna. We have observed that collocating the internal GPS antenna near high powered RF equipment, power supply lines, or motor leads can cause interference with the GPS reception. In these cases an external remotely located GPS antenna is beneficial and can improve system performance dramatically.

GPS IMU Sensor for Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV)

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The SmartIMU sensor provides the functionality required to perform waypoint navigation of unmanned ground vehicles. The image below shows the SmartIMU equipped on a skid steer ground vehicle. This system was programmed to perform waypoint navigation using only feedback data from the SmartIMU Sensor. The system employed a control system that utilized the SmartIMU's orientation and angular rate messages along with the GPS position for waypoint navigation.

Both small and large UGVs can benefit from the compact size of this IMU. This sensor is easily integrated into an existing platform for a global position and orientation solution. In addition, the IMU can be used to augment obstacle detection systems onboard a UGV. It provides the detection system with position and orientation information that is used to construct an "area map" that the UGV traverses.

For UGV applications such as waypoint navigation and path tracking, the SmartIMU GPS IMU sensor can provide heading and heading rate feedback for steering control. The SmartIMU GPS IMU sensor provides dynamic calibration of the magnetometer, removing the requirement of user calibration and disturbances caused by changing magnetic signature of the UGV. Our dynamic calibration allows for accurate compass heading even in when the UGV has a significant magnetic signature. This accuracy allows for reduced cross track error in the UGV path tracking controls.

GPS IMU Sensor for Unmanned Underwater and Surface Vehicles - UUV, AUV, USV

The compact form factor and low power consumption of the IMU sensor makes it ideal for use in a marine environment where minimizing payloads is crucial. In an environment where orientation is of utmost importance, this sensor provides accurate orientation information about the vehicle platform.

Other Applications

In addition, this orientation sensor is an invaluable tool when applied to remote sensing. Accurate position and orientation measurement of the measurement sensor is essential in order to obtain useful data from onboard sensors (i.e. stereo vision cameras or laser measurement devices). This sensor provides detailed information of the motion of the platform relative to the scene being surveyed.