FEW branches of science or technology have made such rapid strides since the Second World War as inertial navigation. Although the principles of measuring vehicle acceleration and performing successive integrations to obtain velocity and distance travelled from a known starting point are as old as Newton's laws of motion, it is only within the last twenty years or so that precision engineering has developed to the stage where the requisite component accuracy could be obtained. Milestones along the route to the general application of inertial techniques to missiles, spacecraft and aircraft were the appreciation of Schuler tuning (1923), the use of a rudimentary guidance system with single‐axis integrating accelero‐meters in the German V2 (1942) and the development of floated gyros and accelerometers by a team working under Dr Draper at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1946).
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