Ronald S. Vaughn

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: WHEN CONTEMPLATING t’he purchase of an inertial navigat’ion system, the potential customer is often faced with two extremes of information concerning accuracy. He may be presented with a wealth of data on the various elements in the system, such as detail gyro and accelerometer performance data including scale factor stabilities and sensitivities, environmental sensitivities, and correlation functions. On the other hand, he may be given only a single parameter which purports to typify the performance of the system. Normally this single value will be the circular probable error (CPE) rate, expressed in nautical miles per hour. Let us presume the the potential customer to be an expert in the field of inertial navigation. It is not difficult to predict that he will turn in delight to the reams of detailed data, devouring it with obvious relish, since of such is his daily diet. In short, given enough data, he knows what to get out of it. However, expert inertial engineers seldom buy inertial navigators. Consider the more probable customer. Although probably an engineer by training, he is now in the position of project manager, or eventual owner or user of the system, or he may be the overall avionics or weapons systems engineer. As such, he has neither the time to ingest, nor the expertise to digest the voluminous detailed data. Yet our manager-owner-user-systems-engineer (or MOUSE, as he shall hereinafter be called) realizes that the single performance parameter, CPE rate, does not adequately describe the system, even in terms of the distilled essence of t,he system, which is the information he desires.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 13, Number 4
Pages: 348 - 352
Cite this article: Vaughn, Ronald S., "ESTIMATING AIRCRAFT INERTIAL NAVIGATOR PERFORMANCE", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter 1966-1967, pp. 348-352.
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