An inertial navigation system (INS) or inertial measurement unit (IMU) is a form of dead reckoning navigation system that uses a combination of accelerometer and gyroscope sensors working in concert to detect displacement relative to a starting point. The system measures both linear accelerations given by its three-axis accelerometer and angular velocity changes from the gyroscope measurements. World referenced-frame acceleration data can then be integrated to calculate the velocity and position of the sensors over time, but because the INS can only measure motion in relation to a starting location, the initial position must be supplied by some outside system (in the case of this project, a Global Position Sensor). Additionally, to compensate for the drift in the inertial navigation system caused by various defects in inertial sensors, this outside reference (GPS) must be polled occasionally to correct for the position error.

Using a Raspberry Pi microcomputer as the base system and an MPU 9150 IMU, an inertial navigation system will be developed. Kalman Filtering and GPS will be used to complete a “strapdown solution” - a closed-loop system which can self-correct for error.