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Thread: Compass swing on an RV6

  1. #21
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airmutt View Post
    Yes, GPS in its pure sense does not know or provide heading.
    At the risk of beating a horse that may be drawing its last breaths.....

    Yes, in its purest sense GPS doesn't know or provide heading. Matter of fact....in any sense it doesn't know or provide heading. It can only provide ground track.

    Perhaps this can be an informational thread for aviators who may not fully understand the function and limitations of GPS; the poorly written AC could be misleading. Maybe this will help.....and I hope this hasn't sounded snarky.
    Last edited by Sam Buchanan; 01-17-2023 at 10:48 PM.
    Sam Buchanan
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
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  2. #22
    Dana's Avatar
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    How does an INS work in practice? I know how it works, in theory, but there has to be some way to initialize at startup it so that it knows its initial heading, no? Or does it have an internal magnetic sensor? Otherwise it seems like a DG, you'd have to set it to match the mag compass before takeoff, but if it's the mag compass you're trying to calibrate...

  3. #23
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Here is a brief excerpt from Honeywell….

    An inertial navigation system (INS) calculates the location, orientation and velocity of a moving object without the need of GPS technology.
    An INS device typically uses accelerometers and gyroscopes, meaning motion and rotation sensors, that communicate with a computer unit which then translates the data into actionable controls. This is your basic inertial navigation system, to which other features can be added. For example, inertial navigation systems can be upgraded with magnetic sensors and barometric altimeters.
    INS devices operate on a dead reckoning system, which means that the initial position, velocity and orientation of the vehicle are provided by an external source, which can be a GPS satellite receiver or an operator. Equipped with this data, the INS can begin calculating position, velocity and other movement elements. As the vehicle continues to move, the INS device will keep calculating and updating, on its own, all motion elements via the information received from motion sensors.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

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