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Pentagon Seeks Inertial Navigation Tech as Second Choice to GPS

IMUsThe Pentagon is looking to replace or supplement the U.S. military’s GPS systems with inertial technology in a move aimed at addressing security concerns, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Zachary Fryer-Biggs writes Al Shaffer, research and development lead at the Defense Department, is interested in inertial measurement units as an alternative to GPS.

The inertial system works to measure direction and velocity change using three gyroscopes and accelerometers, according to the report.

Andrei Shkel started missile applications work on IMUs in 2009 when he was working as a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense News reports.

Shkel’s research revealed that IMUs helped fly 70 percent of missile flights accurately for three minutes or less and 98 percent of flights for 20 minutes or less, Fryer-Biggs writes.

Each IMU unit has an estimated manufacturing cost of less than $1,000 per unit, the report says.

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