VectorNav Technologies, a provider of inertial navigation solutions for the industrial and military markets, announced Tuesday that it will supply its VN-200 GPS-aided inertial navigation system (GPS/INS) for use in Troll Systems’ SkyLink MINI II directional antennas. The next-generation version of the SkyLink antenna provides Troll Systems’ customers with a lower-cost and easier to integrate update to its existing SkyLink antenna solution, the company said.
VectorNav made the announcement at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America 2013 Conference, August 12-15, in Washington, D.C., where both companies are exhibiting.
About the size of a postage stamp, VectorNav’s VN-200 is a calibrated MEMS-based GPS/INS that provides a coupled position, velocity, and attitude solution suitable for a wide range of static and dynamic operating conditions. The VN-200 incorporates an onboard high sensitivity 50-channel u-blox GPS module. The microprocessor runs an aerospace-grade Kalman filter algorithm at a rate of up to 200 hertz and provides accuracies better than 0.25 degrees in pitch and roll and 0.75 degrees in heading. The upgraded version of Troll Systems’ SkyLink MINI II antenna features a deeply embedded, surface mount VN-200 GPS/INS module that delivers control and stabilization for the gimbaled antenna system.
The only airborne directional antennas to pass DO-160 testing, Troll Systems’ SkyLink antennas are compact, lightweight and steerable airborne tracking antennas that equip its users with an industry leading air-to-ground data-link solution. The upgraded SkyLink antenna system featuring the VN-200 GPS/INS enables Troll’s customers to eliminate the need for external hardware or GPS input, reducing the cost of installation and the need to certify or calibrate external positioning devices.
The performance of the VN-200 GPS/INS enabled the upgraded antenna system to maintain the high degree of accuracy required to replace the existing SkyLink navigation system, which was comprised of a Quartz MEMS-based attitude heading reference system (AHRS) and high-end GPS receiver, VectorNav said. Several rounds of ground and air testing and qualification with engineers from both teams demonstrated the capacity of the miniature MEMS-based GPS/INS solution to provide high performance in high dynamic conditions and when subjected to high-frequency vibration. VectorNav worked closely with Troll Systems to implement several features to add to the robustness of the solution, including an embedded magnetic hard and soft iron calibration routine and dynamic start-up routine.
“We are very pleased to be working with Troll Systems on their SkyLink line of antennas, which represent the gold standard for directional antennas in the industry,” said John Brashear, VectorNav’s President. “We are also proud to demonstrate the capacity of our VN-200 GPS/INS to provide a solution comparable to much higher-end systems and for an application that has very demanding and sophisticated navigation and control requirements.”