High-Performance Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) for Unmanned Systems

VectorNav IMU/AHRS to be Integrated into EOD Robotic System

By Mike Ball / 10 May 2017
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AEODRS Robotic System
VectorNav Technologies has announced that it will supply its surface mount VN-100 IMU/AHRS to Neya Systems for a custom version of its UxAB module. Neya Systems LLC, a part of Northrop Grumman’s team for the AEODRS (Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System) Increment 1 Autonomous Behavior Capability Module, will deliver its custom version of the UxAB platform to Northrop Grumman for their AEODRS Increment 1 delivery.

About the size of a postage stamp, VectorNav’s surface mount VN-100 is a temperature calibrated MEMS-based IMU/AHRS that includes 3-axis accelerometers, gyros and magnetometers. The module delivers to users a real-time 3D orientation solution that is continuous over the complete 360 degrees of motion at rates of up to 400 Hz. In addition to calibrated IMU and AHRS functionality, the VN-100 includes VectorNav’s Vector Processing Engine (VPE), a suite of proprietary sensor fusion algorithms running onboard the sensor that deliver real-time magnetic & acceleration disturbance rejection, adaptive signal filtering, dynamic filter tuning, and on-board Hard & Soft Iron compensation.

The VN-100 surface mount module is being integrated directly into the electronics board of Neya Systems’ UxAB platform, a fully self-contained semi-autonomy and autonomy capability module that includes GPS waypoint navigation, multi-joint manipulator control (with self-collision avoidance), retrotraverse, return-to-comms and optional obstacle avoidance behaviors. Neya is using the calibrated pitch and roll estimates to assist in its controller functionality, for example to provide warning when the robotic module is in danger of tipping. The VN-100 AHRS magnetometer-based heading solution is used for waypoint navigation. VectorNav is providing platform specific hard/soft iron calibration expertise to ensure the magnetometer based heading solution takes into account the magnetic signature of the UxAB module and provides accurate navigation in a variety of environmental conditions.

“We are glad to have VectorNav as a technology partner on this program,” said Dr. Parag Batavia, founder of Neya. “The custom UxAB being delivered for this program had difficult IMU operational requirements. We needed a high-quality, calibrated, small form-factor solution that delivered accurate heading in challenging environments, and the VN-100 delivered on these requirements. The expertise of their team in navigation and magnetic calibration continues to add value to the platform.”

AEODRS is the next generation of Explosive Ordnance Disposal robotic systems, designed as a follow-on and capability upgrade to existing deployed platforms. AEODRS is based on an open architecture, and Neya’s Autonomy Module will conform to the logical, electrical, and physical interfaces that are required by this architecture. Neya will be adapting its commercially available UxAB platform to comply with AEODRS Capability Module requirements.

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact