Equipment designers have quite a range of sensor technologies to choose from — from simple pressure and limit switches to those used in global positioning systems. Perhaps the newest type is the Inertia-Link wireless inertial sensor, from MicroStrain, Inc., Willistin, Vt.

Inertia-Link can arm machines with the ability to sense their own angular position and estimate transient linear displacements. The new sensors can be used for yaw and roll control of vehicles and implements and to stabilize sensitive equipment on moving platforms. Typical applications include attitude sensing, unmanned vehicle navigation, platform stabilization, biomechanics, and borehole surveying.

Inertia-Link includes three orthogonal rate gyroscopes, three orthogonal accelerometers, a microprocessor, data logger, and RF transceiver. The sensor provides user adjustable sampling rates and digital data output rates. It supports wireless IEEE802.15.4, USB, RS-232/485, CAN bus, and others.

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