Inertial Navigation System.

I want to make INS system using arduino and imu 6050.I want to ask how can i calculate the position in lat,lon coordinates?

Without knowing your initial position, you can't.

and imu 6050.

That link doesn't seem to work.

The device is an accelerometer and gyro in one unit. It has no idea where it is. It can only tell you how its current orientation has changed with respect to its previous orientation.

lat/lon needs a GPS.

AWOL: Without knowing your initial position, you can't.

So if i take intial position from GPS how can i calculate the position from then onwards?

By inertial navigation. But drift will be a massive problem.

INS made sense before there was GPS. And maybe it's still used in submarines if they can't receive GPS signals (but I'm not security cleared to know about that sort of stuff).

If you use a GPS to set the initial position of an INS it seems pretty strange not to keep using the GPS and ditch the INS.

I think, in the old days, aircraft with INS used to zero them at a specific position on an airfield where the latt, long was known. Then I think if you flew across the Atlantic you could be pretty sure of reaching Britain rather than Spain. It was probably much better than dead reckoning.

Of course you could always work out latt, long from a map. That worked reasonably well for a few hundred years.


Hello All,

I just started in this arduino world and I have small knowledge about it..

I would like to do a navigation system in order get position and attitude of small aircraft, then the idea is to guide an aircraft pilot, showing him lines where to fly.

I was thinking in to use a GPS module, IMU module, Arduino module, then developing a software in Visual Basic in order to display information about where the aircraft is, attitude (Roll, pitch and yaw), altitude, speed, etc... and where the lines are.

  • Anyone can give me some advises on - what GPS module, - IMU and - arduino should I buy?

  • I have at home arduino one, do you think is good enough?

  • Do you think Visual Basic is a good choice for this purpose?

As I am totally beginner I would like to start by connecting a gps module in arduino and try to display in visual basic some information as coordinates, speed, etc.. from the gps... I guess it will take me long time to get done the total idea...

Help would be so much appreciated, Thank you in advance! :)

Not sure where you got with the INS project. I am about to start one using a 6050.

What you need to keep in mind is that without GPS (or some other reference measurement), your INS "propagates" the position and orientation based on accelerometer and gyro measurements. So with an initial "alignment" it should propagate. You can do this by keeping the unit in a fixed known position initially as the sensors are powered on. Then, as the unit moves through space, the sensors should help you know which way you are oriented. Keep in mind that the sensors are not perfect and over time there will be accumulation of errors, so much so that the readings will become completely wrong after a certain amount of time. How much time depends on the quality and resolution of the sensors. In order to correct that "drift" you need to incorporate another measurement of "real" position and orientation. That's where the GPS would come in, or perhaps a compass/magnetometer... depends on what the application is.