VectorNav Technologies has introduced the VN-360 GPS-compass heading and position sensor, which the company says is geared for technology such as multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and aerostats.
According to the VectorNav, the VN-360 provides an accurate, true-north heading solution for systems integrators seeking an alternative to magnetic-based sensors. Other applications include antenna pointing, automated agriculture, heavy machinery, ground robots, weapons training and warfare simulation.
Many systems depend on digital magnetometers for providing heading measurements of a manned or unmanned platform, the company explains. However, the majority of these platforms (e.g., multi-rotor UAVs, ground robots or satellite antennas) also include ferrous materials, motors, batteries or electrical components, which can drastically limit the ability of a magnetometer to provide an accurate heading solution.
VectorNav says the VN-360 is a miniature, cost-effective, GPS-based alternative that is unaffected by these magnetic disturbances and changes. Incorporating two onboard global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers, the VN-360 calculates the relative position between its two GNSS antennas to derive a heading solution. It supports a variety of GNSS antennas, which can be mounted on the host platform with a separation distance from a few centimeters to several meters.
“VectorNav’s GPS-compass technology marks a turning point in the way we approach heading measurement and will improve the capabilities and performance of a variety of next-generation manned and unmanned systems,” notes John Brashear, president of VectorNav.