At Opti-cal towers we’re in the privileged position of seeing how survey equipment is developing, playing with the latest releases and seeing what’s coming on the horizon, and because of this sometimes we can identify trends in the industry. One of these is the emergence of small, accurate Inertial Navigation Systems. This technology has already found its way into some ranges of equipment and we can assume it will be included in others (some perhaps we won’t expect).
Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) were started to be developed for rocket guidance systems. They are a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and occasionally magnetic sensors to continuously calculate the orientation and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references. In short it allows the instrument to track its movement as its position changes.
The technology is now small and (relatively) affordable so you’ll find it in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect it. Leica’s GS18 T GNSS antenna had one fitted into it and it allows you to take readings without holding the detail pole upright. The INS allows it to “know” which way it’s facing and what angle it’s leaning at. Don’t want to get too near that trench? Just lean the pole in and take a reading.
Leica’s latest laser scanners also have the technology in-built. Both the RTC360 and the BLK360 have them fitted instead of a dual axis compensator. The RTC360 also uses it along with its visual tracking system to determine where you’ve moved the scanner to in relation to your last scan position. It allows you to see what data you’ve captured, whether you’ve captured what you want, and give you instant feedback on your data capture.
They’re also the central technology for the maturing Mobile Mapping technology which is starting to reach the mainstream. Combining them with high speed Lidar scanners, high spec imagery and GNSS to record large areas quickly on the move. Opti-cal’s recent purchase of two Leica Pegasus:Two Ultimate systems put’s us right in the forefront of this technology and we are looking forward to helping you get to grips with what will become a new standard in data capture.
The INS is out there in the market place and is changing the way we measure the world around us.