Kinematic navigation may be defined as the task to determine and propagate vehicle’s position, velocity and orientation from measurements. Attitude/Heading-Reference Systems feed the basic cockpit flight instruments: Altimeter, vertical speed indicator, attitude indicator, (gyrocompass) heading indicator or (magnetic) compass and airspeed indicator. Positioning either converts signal travel time into (pseudo-)range information from a sufficient number of known transmitter locations or uses flight path or surface ranging measurements for database matching to compute the unknown user position. Data fusion is the art to integrate measurements from different sensors with their individual weaknesses into a navigation system with all their strengths and best possible performance.
Knowing vehicle’s navigation state is crucial, especially for autarkic or autonomous unmanned vehicle operations. The application areas cover the full range from in space, in air, at land, on streets, consumer, on rails, drilling, at sea, submarine and health monitoring. Today navigation has become a multi-billion Euro business within its blossom. Hence many companies have emerged into rapidly growing markets, sometimes struggling with technological leadership and often not yet prepared to manage the consolidation phase at the unavoidable end of market growth. Cooperation with a center of excellence like ours is key on the one hand to achieve or to maintain technological leadership and on the other hand to master any company’s paramount goal to secure and foster its market shares.