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Designing the World's Smallest

Integrated Navigation System for Micro Aerial Vehicles

Miniature aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) hold the possibility of inexpensive solutions for many kinds of applications—commercial, military, and scientific. Designing and building autonomous navigation and flight guidance systems for UAVs, however, pose a number of engineering challenges. Among these are size, weight, and power requirements. A team at the Institute of Aerospace systems, Technical University of Braunscheweig, describe how they build and tested a GPS/MEMS-IMU navigation system with a power consumption of only 1.5 watts and a mass of less than 50 grams, which will first fly on an Antarctic weather mission.

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