The goal of this text is to concisely present the mathematical blocks needed for implementing the main body of a strapped down Inertial Navigation System (INS) in a manner that provides a mental image of the contribution of each block and their interrelation. The text describes the makeup of each block and provides the derivation of its equations.
Towards this objective, when the need for clarifying or justifying a certain idea arises, it is presented in an appendix so as not to interfere with the flow of the main ideas.
This treatment should benefit both the novice as well as a practitioner in the field. For a journeyman in the area of navigation, this book can be used to pinpoint the equations that are the basis of such a system, how they are developed and how they are implemented. Those with more experience may use this book as a quick reference guide.
What is navigation anyway? It is the ability to set the course of a ship to move between two desired locations. To do that the navigator must be able to know his location and set the velocity vector towards the desired destination. Thus the prime function of a navigation system is determining the craft’s position and velocity.
We will be primarily concerned herein with a special type of navigation: inertial navigation. And why inertial navigation in particular? Inertial systems are self-contained: they are independent of weather conditions and are operable anywhere in seas, underwater, lands, tunnels, or in air. Short of a reliable source of power, they can work almost indefinitely.