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Inertial Navigation Systems

What is an inertial navigation system?

An inertial navigation system, or INS, is a device used to determine the relative position, orientation and velocity of an object as accurately as possible. There are several different kinds of INS, but at heart of each one is an inertial measurement unit (IMU), which uses sensors – usually gyroscopes and accelerometers – to measure acceleration and angular velocity. This is processed by a computer, which then calculates and outputs the data. For a detailed explanation of how an INS works.

OxTS: Experts In Inertial Navigation Systems (INS)

What we do

OxTS has 20 years of experience producing satellite-aided INS that combine high-precision global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers with an IMU. By blending the satellite inputs with data from the IMU, an OxTS GNSS/INS is able to provide real-time centimetre-level accuracy at high update rates and with orientation and acceleration in all three axes.

Inertial navigation systems have many uses, but the kind of GNSS/INS in which OxTS specialises have two main applications:

  • Automotive development, including vehicle dynamics testing, advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) sensor validation and autonomous vehicle development
  • As a precise georeferencing solution for the mobile surveying and mapping industries, including land-based, marine and aerial data collection

All OxTS products are supplied with a full suite of free software that handles the configuration, monitoring, processing and analysis of the navigation data captured on our inertial navigation systems.




Many aspects of automotive testing and development require the collection of precise position, orientation and velocity data, both as a ground truth reference and in relation to other vehicles and objects.

OxTS’ RT-series of GNSS/INS are widely used by major automotive manufacturers, developers and test facilities around the world. The RT-3000 has become the industry benchmark for gathering precise, repeatable real-time data, while the RT-Range S measurement solution can calculate the range, orientation and relative motion of multiple targets, including the gathering of data from up to 12 sensors at once using the new Multiple Sensor Points feature.


Surveying and mapping

As our world becomes increasingly digitised, the demand for precision surveying and mapping technologies has grown across a diverse range of industries.

OxTS has a range of GNSS/INS products developed specifically for surveying and mapping use. They are designed to integrate seamlessly with LiDAR, camera or other sensors to provide precise position, roll, pitch and heading data in a variety of applications and environments.

Our Survey+ is a fully integrated GNSS/INS that provides a robust and flexible georeferencing solution, while the compact xNAV GNSS/INS is designed for space-limited applications. We also offer our xOEM board sets and xOEMcore IMU products, which are ideal for system integrator use in UAV applications when minimum payload is an absolute priority.

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