Useful navigation devices
Gyroscopes are instruments whose task is to measure and maintain the angular position of an object. Gyroscopes are most often used on objects that do not usually rotate very quickly around their axis. Aircraft, such as aeroplanes and helicopters, usually rotate several degrees around their axis, e.g. when turning manoeuvres or changing altitude (excluding aerobatic flights). By detecting these slight deviations, the gyroscopes help stabilize the flight of the aircraft, but changing the acceleration or linear velocity of the vessel does not affect the measurement of the angular displacement of the machine. The MEMS gyroscopes enable measurement of the angular velocity and take up little space. Such gyroscopes can be used to determine the orientation of an object and are successfully used in autonomous navigation systems in land and air traffic, including in extraterrestrial space. What's the easiest way to use a gyroscope? Imagine a bicycle wheel turning at a speed of one revolution per second. This is equivalent to saying that it rotates at an angular velocity of 360 degrees per second. How to check the direction of wheel rotation using the measuring method? It is precise with the help of the MEMS gyroscope enabling three-dimensional measurement of the angle of rotation - around the X, Y and Z axes. You can also find gyroscopes that enable measurement in one or two axes, but it was the three-axis gyroscopes in the form of a small plate with electronics that proved to be a low-cost solution and at the same time, high popularity among DIY enthusiasts.
Accelerometer - the simplest way of acceleration measurement
Accelerometers are devices whose task is to measure acceleration - a quantity that describes how quickly the speed of an object changes over time. Accelerometers are helpful tools in measuring systems to detect vibration of the test object and in navigation systems. The accelerometer detects the static and dynamic effects of acceleration. Static forces include gravity, while dynamic forces include vibration and movement. Accelerometers can measure acceleration in one, two, or three axes of the coordinate system, but like gyroscopes, the triaxial solution is superior. The structure of a typical accelerometer consists of microscopic electrodes forming a capacitor suspended on springs. Under the influence of acceleration, the electrodes move in relation to each other, changing the capacitance among themselves - the speed of these changes makes it possible to determine the acceleration of the object on which the accelerometer works. There are also piezoelectric accelerometers in which a suitable material, under the influence of mechanical impact, generates an electric charge on its surface - this phenomenon is used, among others, by when performing seismic measurements.