People in SpaceExploration has always been the pursuit of mankind. For over three thousand years, humanity has discovered an array of navigation tools and references; from stars, sea currents, sensors, to radio, among other things. While these methods prove useful in marital and terrestrial navigation, they are dependent on external references, which make them susceptible to harsh conditions.

A navigation system necessary for flight and space exploration should be impervious to these conditions and independent of external references or influences. These considerations led to the development of inertial navigation systems in the 1940’s.

Inertial Guidance in Space Exploration

Inertial guidance uses motion sensors or accelerators and gyroscopes to establish the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external information. Since then, INS systems have evolved to achieve extreme accuracy and reliability.

In human spaceflight, inertial navigation systems provide guidance for lift-off until the shuttle separates from the booster. Because inertial systems have limitations, engineers have been finding ways to update these for outer space explorations. Celestial tracking is still a major requirement, especially for aircraft traveling to and landing on planets, and those returning to earth.

Navigational Aids

To improve capabilities and meet accuracy requirements, scientists have integrated other navigational instruments and methods to inertial guidance systems. One example is the GPS-aided inertial navigation system

In this scheme, the INS provides short-term data, while the GPS corrects accumulated errors and delivers more refined information. These systems are common in large passenger jet aircraft. There are also specialty labs that continuously develop algorithms and hybrid systems to perform specific functions, from human motion tracking, weapon orientation tracking, virtual and augmented reality and more.

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Exploration has always been the pursuit of mankind. For over three thousand years, humanity has discovered an array of navigation tools and references; from stars, sea currents, sensors, to radio, among other things. While these methods prove useful in marital and terrestrial navigation, they are dependent on external references, which make them susceptible to harsh conditions.

A navigation system necessary for flight and space exploration should be impervious to these conditions and independent of external references or influences. These considerations led to the development of inertial navigation systems in the 1940’s.