Product News: Sensors Monitors & Transducers

Orientation Sensor targets embedded applications.

Press Release Summary:

Apr 01, 2010 - Housed in surface mount package for integration into existing enclosures, VN-100 Attitude Heading Reference System combines all sensors needed to accurately compute full 3D orientation, angular rates, and inertial acceleration. Attitude estimation algorithm, installed onboard 32-bit ARM processor, fuses sensor data from separate onboard MEMS sensors together with statistical data, which represents uncertainty, or expected amount of error, in each corresponding measurement.

VectorNav Technologies - Richardson, TX

Original Press Release

High Accuracy Orientation Sensor Targets Embedded Applications

Press release date: Mar 30, 2010

College Station, TX - VectorNav Technologies has introduced the world's first Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) as a surface mount part, making it the smallest, lightest, and lowest power AHRS available on the market. The VectorNav VN-100 provides a simple solution for embedded applications that require high accuracy orientation measurements. On a footprint smaller than a postage stamp, the VN-100 combines all the sensors needed to accurately compute full 3D orientation, angular rates, and inertial acceleration. The new orientation sensor combines high accuracy with a exceptionally small form factor and low power consumption at a very competitive cost, meeting the growing market demand for embedded orientation sensors.

The VN-100 is the first in a line of products to incorporate VectorNav's proprietary attitude estimation algorithm designed specifically for embedded applications. Installed onboard a 32-bit ARM processor this algorithm fuses sensor data from the separate onboard inertial, angular rate, and magnetic sensors together along with statistical data which represents the uncertainty, or expected amount of error, in each of the corresponding measurements. This type of attitude estimation is known as an "optimal estimator" and is typically found only in high-end systems. By combining this advanced algorithm with low cost MEMS inertial sensors VectorNav has produced a orientation sensor that provides high performance at a fraction of the cost of units with comparable accuracies.

To ensure optimal performance of each MEMS sensor, VectorNav has developed proprietary automated robotic test and calibration equipment capable of calibrating all nine sensor axes simultaneously. This calibration ensures that the accelerometer, angular rate gyro, and magnetometer are all aligned to the same orthogonal coordinate frame to within 1/20th of a degree. Every VN-100T unit that leaves the factory is individually calibrated and tested to ensure complete operability and performance over the full operating temperature range of -40C to 85C.

The new surface mount packaging allows for integration directly into existing enclosures, reducing the overall volume requirements. The surface mount design along with the new automated calibration equipment reduces manufacturing cost while maintaining overall sensor performance. The small size, high performance, low cost, and reduced power demand offers an attractive option for new designs as well as an economical alternative for existing systems.

Low cost development kits are available to provide engineers with a simple way to test the performance and functionality of the VN-100. The small size, minimal footprint, and reduced power demand make the cost of adding accurate orientation sensing to a device lower than ever before.

About VectorNav Technologies:
VectorNav is a privately held company based in College Station, Texas. VectorNav consist of a highly specialized engineering staff with extensive experience in high performance inertial navigation and attitude determination algorithms, state-of-the-art sensor calibration routines, and embedded programming experience. For more information please visit VectorNav's website at or call 512-772-3615.