An Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) is an inertial sensor installation that provides critical attitude reference and heading reference information for aircraft. This information can then be relayed to any of the aircraft’s systems that require it, such as flight controls, flight deck displays and weather radar antenna platforms, among others.

An AHRS can also be used in highly dynamic marine and ground environments. Typical applications include platform stabilization, undersea ROV piloting, land vehicle guidance, avionics, and robotic systems control. Solid-state AHRS offers superior reliability and accuracy to the more traditional mechanical gyroscopic instruments.

Aside from the solid-state nature of the sensors, another important reason for this improved performance is that an AHRS is a combination of sensors in one convenient package. It replaces three gyros – roll, pitch, and yaw, a flux valve or magnetometer and three axis of accelerometers. This can allow an AHRS to effectively replace seven individual line replaceable units (LRUs) with one. This is hugely advantageous in terms of the weight reduction, footprint and required power and wiring.

How Does It Work?
An AHRS integrates rate information from the gyroscopes to provide 3D orientation. Reference data – such as gravity (provided by the accelerometers) and the Earth’s magnetic field (provided by the magnetometer) – is used to compensate for the drift created by this integration. This makes the AHRS a much more cost-effective alternative to high-grade inertial measurement units (IMUs).

Watson Industries’ solid-state gyro system uses a microprocessor to integrate angular rate sensor data and provide a system of error correction, offering exceptional specifications for reliability, shock resistance, cost effectiveness and power consumption.

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