• What is the VN-100?

    The VN-100 is considered both an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) in that it can output acceleration, angular rate, and magnetic measurements along the X, Y, & Z axes of the sensor, as well as an Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) in that it can output filtered attitude (i.e. orientation) estimates (3-DOF sensor).

  • What kind of inertial sensors are in the VN-100?

    The VN-100 incorporates a set of three-axis accelerometers, magnetometers, and gyroscopes and a barometric pressure sensor (this combination of sensors is commonly referred to as a 10-axis part).

  • What is the main operation in the VN-100?

    The VN-100 has a built-in microprocessor that runs a quaternion based Extended Kalman Filter at 400Hz, which provides estimates of both the attitude of the sensor and the real-time gyro biases (500 Hz custom firmware is also available).

  • What are the main outputs of the VN-100?

    Outputs from the VN-100 include but are not limited to:

    • Attitude:
      • Yaw, Pitch, & Roll
      • Quaternions
      • Direction Cosine Matrix
    • Angular Rates:
      • Bias-Compensated
      • Calibrated X, Y, & Z Gyro Measurements
    • Acceleration:
      • Calibrated X, Y, & Z Measurements
    • Magnetic:
      • Calibrated X, Y, & Z Measurements
    • Barometric Pressure / Altitude
  • What are the VN-100 performance and technical specifications?

  • What is the operation and storage temperature for the VN-100?

    Operating Temp:  -40°C to +85°C

    Storage Temp:  -40°C to +85°C

  • Which Communication Protocols are supported by the VN-100?

    The VN-100 support two communication interfaces: serial and SPI.  On the serial interface, the sensors communicate over a universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (UART) at TTL levels and use ASCII text for command and output data in a format very similar to the NMEA protocol commonly used by GPS modules. On the SPI interface, the sensors communicate as a slave device on a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) data bus and use a binary command and data format. Both communication interfaces support the complete command set implemented by both the VN-100.

  • What are the VN-100 Sensor Packaging Options?

    Surface Mount Device (SMD) –the VN-100 is available in a 30-pin surface mount package that is well suited for customers looking to integrate a sensor at the electronics level.

    VN-100 SMD
               VN-100 SMD

    • Footprint: 22 x 24 x 3 mm
    • Single Power Supply: 3.2V to 5.5V
    • Communication Interface: Serial TTL & SPI

    Rugged Module – The VN-100 is also available installed in a robust, precision aluminum enclosure with mounting tabs and alignment holes for customers looking for an off-the-shelf solution. 

    VN-100 Rugged
        VN-100 Rugged Module

    • Dimensions:  36 x 33 x 9 mm
    • Single Power Supply:  4.5 to 5.5 V
    • Low Power Requirement:  < 165 mW
    • Communication Interface:  Serial RS-232 & TTL
  • What are the connector part numbers for the VN-100 Rugged module and adapter cables?

    Harwin M80-5001042:  Male connector on the VN-100 Rugged.

    Harwin M80-4861005:  Female connector used on adapter cables.

  • What is the VN-100 Surface Mount Development Kit?

    The VN-100 SMD (surface mount device) is also available pre-installed onto a small, common PCB for customers looking to test sensor performance, features, or software prior to implementation into their electronics. The Development Board provides USB and RS-232 serial communication ports as well as a 30-pin header for direct access to the pins on the surface mount device. The Development Kit also includes all of the necessary cabling, documentation, and software support for getting started with the VN-100.

    Kit Contents:

    • Development Board with Pre-Installed VN-100
      • Board Size:  76 x 76 x 14 mm (3 x 3 x 0.55 in)
      • Onboard USB -> Serial Converter
      • Onboard TTL -> RS-232 Converter
      • 30-pin 0.1” Header
      • Power Supply Jack (can also be powered from USB)
    • 3 m (10 ft) USB Cable
    • 1.8 m (6 ft) Serial Cable
    • 5V Wall Power Supply
    • CD with Sensor Explorer & Software Development Kit
    • User Manual, Quick Start Guide & Documentation
    • Carrying Case 

    VN-100 Development Board

    VN-100 Development Board

  • What is the VN-100 Rugged Development Kit?

    The VN-100 Rugged Development Kits include a VN-100 Rugged sensor, along with custom adapter cables for operation, all relevant documentation, and support software. There are two custom adapter cables included in the kit: one for RS-232 communication using a DB-9 pigtailed with a USB connector for power and a second with a built-in FTDI converter for power and communication via USB.

    • Kit Contents:
      • VN-100 Rugged Sensor
      • 3 m (10 ft) Serial Adapter Cable
      • 3 m (10 ft) USB Adapter Cable
      • Cable Connection Tool
      • CD w/Software Development Kit
      • User Manual, Quick Start Guide & Documentation
      • Carrying Case

    VN-100 Rugged Development Kit
        VN-100 Rugged Development Kit

  • What are the differences between the VN-100 Surface Mount Development Kit and the Rugged Development Kit?

    The VN-100 Surface Mount Development Kits include a Surface Mount VN-100 pre-installed on a 3 in x 3 in board and is well suited for customers in the early stages of designing an inertial sensor into their application. The USB and DB-9 ports on the Surface Mount Development Board allow the user to connect the VN-100 directly to a PC and test the sensor using Sensor Explorer or other software applications.  An additional 30-pin header is also convenient for bread-boarding or testing the SPI communication interface.

    The VN-100 Rugged Development Kits include a VN-100 Rugged module as well as all the necessary cabling, connectors, and antennas to quickly begin working with the sensor. While the VN-100 Rugged Development Kit provides a simple, off-the-shelf solution, the Rugged modules do not provide access to all of the pins on the VN-100, such as the SPI communication lines.

  • Can I purchase the VN-100 Rugged Module without purchasing the entire Rugged Development Kit?

    Yes, the VN-100 Rugged modules can be purchased individually, as can the USB and Serial adapter cables.

  • What pins are connected when using the VN-100 Rugged USB/Serial Adapter Cables?

    Each of the Serial and USB adapter cables provide access to Power, Ground, RX1 and TX1.

  • Can I purchase a pigtailed adapter cable with additional pins connected?

    Yes, VectorNav can provide custom cables with connection to any of the VN-100 Rugged pins upon request. 

  • What are the standards that the VN-100 complies with?

    The VN-100 sensors are assembled in an ISO-9001:2008 facility.

    Sensor calibrations are performed to IEEE 1293-1998 standards.

    Stock VN-100 sensors are not tested to any mil-spec standards, but VectorNav can provide custom testing upon request.

  • Does VectorNav provide customers with custom VN-100 software/hardware solutions?

    VectorNav regularly provides customers with custom hardware and software solutions that include:

    • Application-specific models that run onboard the VN-100
    • Algorithm development  
    • Integration with external gyros, accelerometers, GPS, positioning systems, or other sensors
    • Controls & closed-loop  navigation solutions
    • Custom form-factors & packaging
    • Displays, GUIs, & other supporting software packages
    • Tailored calibrations & modified production
    • Custom communication protocols
    VN-100 USB Module 
    Custom Packaging Example: VN-100 USB Module

  • What are the limitations of the VN-100?

    The VN-100 Kalman Filter is based on the assumption that the accelerometer measurements should only be measuring gravity down.  If the sensor is subject to dynamic motion that induces accelerations, the pitch and roll estimates will be subject to increased errors. The VN-100 does have a built-in option to input external velocity, or in the case of airborne vehicles, airspeed data, which can be used to compensate for these induced accelerations and minimize these errors (note: only for velocities along the x-axis).  

    The more difficult limitation arises from the fact that the VN-100 filter relies on comparing the onboard magnetic measurements to the local magnetic north direction in determining its heading angle. The background magnetic field changes direction and magnitude based on location and is subject to variations that even the best models can predict to only within 2 degrees of accuracy. For example, you might see a variation in the background magnetic field of 2 degrees at the same location when compared in the morning and again in the evening. In addition, common objects such as batteries, electronics, cars, rebar in concrete, and other ferrous materials can bias and distort the background magnetic field, making it very difficult to distinguish between the background magnetic field and the disturbance. The onboard Vector Processing Engine algorithms include a number of tools, including 2D, 3D, real-time and manual hard and soft iron calibration routines, as well as magnetic disturbance rejection features that account for disturbances due to magnetic interference.