IMU is a self-contained system which is used to measure angular and linear motion with a triad of accelerometers and triad of gyroscopes. An IMU can either be strap down or gimballed, thereby outputting the integrating quantities of acceleration and angular velocity in the sensor or body frame. The rising advancement of global lifestyle has encouraged the use of equipment with better ergonomics. This is generally supported by the use of motion sensing technology which includes inertial sensors. IMUs are used majorly for applications like industrial, marine and military, for effective control, stabilization, navigation, guidance, and surveying.
The demand across these applications is majorly driven by ability of IMUs to function in extreme environmental conditions, including heavy buildings, tunnels, and underwater. These IMUs can also be used in places with no or very limited GPS access. The end products of IMU include Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) and Inertial Navigation System (INS), which are used as a major component in ships and submarine, aircrafts, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.(UAV), Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), spaceships, high-end automotive and guided missiles, among others.
The growing advancement in Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) is one of the most prominent factors which are bolstering the demand of IMUs. This is generally triggered by the advancements across digital signal processing space. Also, the market demand is fuelled by the increasing need for better navigation techniques and growing manufacturing of aircrafts worldwide. The market growth is also driven by improved product solutions such as the small quartz-based MEMs, which are seeing higher adoption being economical and energy efficient as compared to the traditional IMUs. These new MEMs IMUs are considered to be very efficient in underwater applications due to their ability to withstand high vibration and temperature conditions which allows these systems to function for much longer period. However, the market growth is restricted by the greater operational complexity with high maintenance and operational cost.
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The global IMU market has been segmented on the basis of components, platforms, gyro technology, applications and geographical regions. On the basis of various components, the market is classified into gyroscope, magnetometer, and accelerometer. Based on different platforms where these IMUs are implemented, the market has been divided into airborne, land and naval (water). Based on various gyro technologies, the market is classified into Ring Laser Gyro (RLG), Fiber Optic Gyro (FOG), Hemispherical Resonator Gyro (HRG), Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and vibrating gyro among others. In terms of applications, the global IMU market has been classified into control and stabilization, measurement and testing, navigation and correction, unmanned control, payloads, underwater systems, mobile mapping, automotive testing and bore industry. Based on various geographical locations, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. The global IMU market in North America is mainly driven by the high levels of investment done by the U.S. government in these advanced technologies which is supporting the military prioritization on IMU.
Some of the prominent players in the global IMU market include Honeywell International Inc., Thales Group, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Kvh Industries, Inc., Moog, Inc., Rockwell Collins Inc., Fairchild Semiconductor, Analog Devices, Inc., Xsens, Sensonor AS, and VectorNav Technologies, LLC, among others.
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