• What is the VN-200?

    The VN-200 builds on the architecture of the VN-100 by incorporating a GPS module in addition to the accelerometers, magnetometers, gyros, and barometric pressure sensors (standard on the VN-200).

  • What kind of inertial sensors are in the VN-200?

    The VN-200 is a GPS Aided Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) that couples outputs from the GPS module with IMU measurements to provide position, velocity, and attitude (PVA) estimates of higher accuracies and with better dynamic performance than a standalone GPS or AHRS sensor (6-DOF sensor).

  • What is the main operation in the VN-200?

    The VN-200 also has a built-in microprocessor that runs a larger and more robust GPS/INS Kalman Filter at 200Hz.

    The attitude accuracies are improved by the addition of the position and velocity measurements, and the “raw” GPS position and velocity measurements are improved by the accelerometer, gyro, and pressure sensor measurements.

    When the VN-200 is in motion, the heading angle can be determined by comparing the position and velocity measurements to the accelerometers, such that the magnetometers can be ignored by the INS filter.  The heading accuracy, relative to True North, is improved compared to an AHRS and magnetic disturbances no longer have an effect on the attitude solution.  

    • Note that the VN-200 can still use the magnetometers for providing a heading estimate upon start-up or when the GPS signal is lost). 

    Vertical position measurements from GPS modules typically have lower accuracies than the horizontal measurements.  The barometric pressure sensor provides another measurement of vertical position to improve accuracy.

    The INS filter also uses the GPS outputs to estimate the real-time accelerometer bias drift in addition to the gyro bias drift.

  • What are the main outputs of the VN-200?

    VN-200 outputs include but are not limited to:

    • Position Estimates in the following reference frames:
      • Latitude, Longitude, and Altitude
      • X, Y, Z position in Earth Centered Earth Fixed frame
      • X, Y, Z position in North, East, Down frame
    • Velocity Estimates in the following reference frames:
      • X, Y, Z velocities in Earth Centered Earth Fixed frame
      • X, Y, Z velocities in the North, East, Down frame
    • Attitude Estimates:
      • Yaw, Pitch, Roll
      • Quaternions
      • Rotation Matrix
    • INS Filter Uncertainties
      • Position, Velocity, & Attitude
    • GPS Time 
    • Angular Rate Measurements:
      • Bias compensated angular rates
      • Calibrated gyro measurements
    • Acceleration Measurements:
      • Bias compensated acceleration
      • Calibrated acceleration measurements
      • Gravity vector
    • Magnetic Measurements
    • Pressure Measurements / Altitude
  • What are the VN-200 performance and technical specifications?

  • What is the operation and storage temperature for the VN-200?

    Operating Temp:  -40°C to +85°C

    Storage Temp:  -40°C to +85°C

  • Which Communication Protocols are supported by the VN-200?

    The VN-200 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-200.

  • What are the VN-200 Sensor Packaging Options?

    Surface Mount Device (SMD) –the VN-200 is available in a 30-pin surface mount package that is well suited for customers looking to integrate a sensor at the electronics level.  

    VectorNav VN-200 SMD
        VN-200 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-200 are also available installed in a robust, precision aluminum enclosure with mounting tabs and alignment holes for customers looking for an off-the-shelf solution.  The VN-200 Rugged has slightly larger dimensions than the VN-100 Rugged in order to accommodate a MMCX connector for the GPS antenna, but both modules share a common locking 10-pin connector.

    • Dimensions:  34 x 36 x 9 mm
    • Single Power Supply:  3.3 to 17 V
    • Low Power:  < 330 mW
    • Communication Interface:  Serial RS-232 & TTL

    VectorNav VN-200 Rugged
        VN-200 Rugged

  • What are the connector part numbers for the VN-200 Rugged?

    Harwin M80-05001042:  Male connector on the VN-200 Rugged.

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

  • What pins are connected when using the VN-200 Rugged USB/Serial Adapter Cables?

    Power, Ground, RX1 and TX1.

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

    Yes, We can provide custom cables with connection to any of the VN-200 Rugged pins upon request. 

  • What are the standards that the VN-200 complies with?

    The VN-200 sensors are assembled in an ISO-9001:2008 facility.

    Sensor calibrations are performed to IEEE 1293-1998 standards.

    Stock VN-200 sensors are not tested to any mil-spec standards, but VectorNav can provide custom testing upon request.

  • What is the Surface Mount Development Kit for the VN-200?

    The VN-200 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 either the VN-200.

    Kit Contents:

    • Development Board with Pre-Installed VN-200
      • 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 Control Center & Software Development Kit
    • User Manual, Quick Start Guide & Documentation
    • Carrying Case 
    • Pre-Installed U.FL to U.FL Antenna Connector
    • 4.8 m (16 ft) Magnetic Mount GPS Antenna 

    VectorNav VN-200 Development Board
        VN-200 Development Board

  • What is the Rugged Development Kit for the VN-200?

    The VN-200 Rugged Development Kits include a Rugged sensor along with custom adapter cables for operation, all relevant documentation, as well as 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-200 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
    • 4.8 m (16 ft) Magnetic Mount GPS Antenna
    • MCX to SMA Antenna Adapter 

    VectorNav VN-200 Rugged Development Kit
        VN-200 Rugged Development Kit

  • What are the differences between the VN-200 Surface Mount Development Kit and the Rugged Development Kit?

    The Surface Mount Development Kits include a Surface Mount VN-200 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-200 directly to a PC and test the sensor using Control Center or other software applications.  An additional 30-pin header is also convenient for bread-boarding or testing the SPI communication interface.

    The Rugged Development Kits include VN-200 Rugged module as well as all the necessary cabling, connectors, and antennas to quickly begin working with VectorNav inertial sensors.  While the Rugged kits provide a simple, off-the-shelf solution, the Rugged modules do not provide access to all of the pins on the VN-200 such as the SPI communication lines and GPS battery back-up.

  • Can I purchase the VN-200 Rugged Module without purchasing the entire Rugged Development Kit?

    Yes, the VN-200 Rugged modules can be purchased individually as can the USB and Serial adapter cables.

  • Does the VN-200 do everything that VN-100 can do?

    Yes, the VN-200 can operate as a VN-100, but includes the GPS module and position and velocity algorithms.
  • What are the Limitations of the VN-200?

    The VN-200 INS filter requires a GPS 3D fix in order to maintain specified accuracies over time.  If the GPS fix lost, the INS filter will continue to run; however, the position estimates will quickly degrade (on the order of 50 to 60 meters in a minute) as will the velocity estimates.  Without a GPS fix, the INS filter is essentially integrating noisy accelerometer measurements, which degrade in accuracy very quickly.  We typically recommends a maximum GPS outage of about 30 to 60 seconds without resetting the INS filter.

    The INS filter requires motion to maintain inertial alignment and will only be able to maintain the heading estimate for a short duration as the sensor platform comes to a rest.  The duration that the INS filter can maintain heading estimates within specification is typically about 3 minutes.  Prolonged stationary operation requires reliance on the magnetic measurements to bound the heading estimate errors.