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The U.S. IMU and Inertial Navigation System (INS) market size was valued at USD 4.57 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 4.89 billion in 2023 to USD 8.96 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.0% during the forecast period.
IMU device consists of an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to measure the movement and orientation of an object. The gyroscope measures the angular rate, and an accelerometer measures and reports the specific force. Accelerometer sensors can also measure acceleration and velocity. The IMU device can also measure the specific gravity and the angular rate of the object attached to it. The magnetometer measures magnetic field strength. These sensors can measure the current speed of any inertial sensor integrated platform. They can measure turn rate, heading, inclination, and acceleration. An IMU device provides a target location in three-dimensional space.
Inertial Navigation System is an electronic device that determines an object’s direction, velocity, location, and orientation using locally acquired inertial sensors and inertial dead shaking strategies. An inertial navigation system consists of a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver, Inertial Measurement Unit, or other motion-sensing devices. All of these components work together to determine the exact location of an object. The INS also includes a computational unit that analyzes and tracks the measured data from inertial sensors. Rising applications of IMU and Inertial Navigation System across autonomous cars, UAVs, and robots will boost the market across the U.S.
COVID-19's Dual Effects: Automotive & Aerospace Deterred while Healthcare and Electronics Thrived
The pandemic disrupted global supply chains, leading to delay in several project schedules which ultimately impacted the demand. For instance, in 2021, U.S.-based KVH Industries announced that the COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted the company’s supply chain and caused delays in the delivery of raw materials, parts, and other supplies necessary for its business operations. In KVH’s Inertial Navigation segment, TACNAV product sales decreased by 27%. TACNAV is a tactical navigation system used for military applications.
Additionally, many industries that rely on IMUs, such as aerospace, automotive, and others, experienced reduced demand due to travel restrictions, economic slowdowns, and lockdown measures. Aircraft, industrial robots, autonomous cars, UAVs, satellites, and other platforms, which are major end-users of IMU and Inertial Navigation System (INS), faced delay due to shortage of raw materials, skilled labor, and temporary shutdown of manufacturing facilities due to the pandemic.
However, healthcare, consumer electronics, gaming, and sports industries experienced positive growth. IMUs were used in some cases for monitoring patient movement and assisting in telemedicine applications. Physical activity detection enables automated patient monitoring without physical interaction with caregivers/doctors. Moreover, rising application of wearable sensors during COVID-19 has catalyzed the U.S. market growth.
Russia-Ukraine War Positively Impacts the U.S. IMU and Inertial Navigation System Market
The Russia-Ukraine war increased the demand for IMU/INS as aerospace and defense is one of the largest end use industries. Major companies are investing in new technologies further to improve IMU/INS in aerospace and defense applications to counter the anti-jamming technologies.
Russia's new barrage jammer appeared to have been able to reduce the effectiveness of INS backup by jamming GPS signals quickly and far from the target. This indicates that IMU and Inertial Navigation System received incorrect location updates and failed to perform an effective backup for GPS. This was already recognized as a potential problem a year before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Israeli military announced that Israel was the primary sponsor of the new Advanced Navigation Technology Center.
This new division of the state-owned IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) will develop and manufacture a new generation of INS technology that complements or replaces satellite guidance (GPS). The IAI has not provided any details about the new INS technology. It is designing and manufacturing its IMU and Inertial Navigation System system as an uninterruptible backup for GPS systems. However, the future holds a promising outlook for better INS.
In defense, these technologies are pivotal for fighter jets, ground vehicles, and naval vessels to enhance navigation in challenging environments and support guided munitions. IMUs and INS play a critical role in military submarines, ground-based radar systems, and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) by enabling accurate positioning, tracking, and guidance for successful mission outcomes in various applications within the aerospace and defense sectors.
In January 2023, the Ukraine government announced the increasing procurement of UAVs for the Armed Forces by allocating USD 550 million. Ukrainian and Russian forces have used various UAVs for reconnaissance and attack missions.
In September 2022, according to the state-owned corporation Rostec, Russia's KUB and Lancet kamikaze drones were extensively deployed during combat operations in Ukraine. The Russian military is actively employing ZALA Aero's unmanned aerial vehicles. These drones are primarily used to strike remote ground targets. Such developments led to higher demand for IMU and inertial navigation system sensors for UAVs.
Miniaturization and Integration of Multiple Sensors with IMU/INS, MEMS Technology are Prominent Market Trends
Miniaturization and integrating multiple sensors is a key trend gaining popularity in the market. Major players in the market are focusing on integrating multiple sensors and producing compact IMU and Inertial Navigation System to increase their market share.
Integrating multiple sensors into one package creates a smaller yet more powerful unit. This trend aims to improve performance, accuracy, and efficiency in various applications such as self-driving cars, wearables, robotics, and aerospace. Some of the advantages of miniaturization include space optimization, weight reduction, increased accuracy, lower power consumption, ease of integration, and cost efficiency.
Kernel Series IMUs are fully integrated inertial solutions integrating the latest MEMS sensor technology. Due to its compact design and low power consumption, kernel IMUs can be easily integrated into a wide range of higher-order systems while consuming little space and power. These compact units drive advances in navigation, motion tracking, and immersive experiences. They are widely used in the automotive, defense, and consumer electronics industries.
Furthermore, MEMS technology (Micro-electromechanical Systems) based IMU/INU are becoming an increasingly essential trend in the market. MEMS consist of components that range in size from 1 to 100 microns, with MEMS device sizes typically ranging from 20 microns to 1 millimeter.
MEMSIC uses a reliable three-proof mass MEMS architecture to provide users with a smooth motion detection experience. The MIC6100AL 6-axis IMU sensor has a large FIFO and supports I2C/I3C/SPI communication modes. The LGA package size is 2.5 x 3 x 0.83mm, and the data output frequency is up to 2200 Hz.
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Rising Demand for Autonomous Cars and UAVs to Catalyze the Inertial Navigation System Market Growth
Autonomous driving is the future of the mobility industry; therefore, leading automakers and technology firms are highly interested and focused on investing in autonomous vehicles. This rising investment in self-driving vehicles will likely boost market growth in the coming years.
The market growth is also driven by the increasing use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the military for attack, ISR activities, and search & rescue operations. For instance, in April 2021, Inertial Labs announced that it developed the next generation of GPS-aided systems such as INS-DH-OEM, IMU-NAV-100, and INS-U. These INS are designed for airborne platforms such as UAVs.
Key Developments and Adoption of Industrial Robots to Drive the Inertial Measurement Units Market across the U.S.
An inertial measurement unit can check a robot’s position and movement information. It can also command and control the robot remotely. Robots are increasingly programmed to carry out dangerous or repetitive activities with high accuracy and precision. Industrial robots are used in a wide range of sectors and applications.
Calibration Errors May Pose Major Challenge to IMU and INS Market Growth
An Inertial Navigation System uses the output from an Inertial Measurement Unit, combining information on acceleration and rotation with initial information about position, velocity, and attitude. It then delivers a navigation solution with every new measurement.
The IMU's motion information is sent to the Inertial Navigation System. The combination of the IMU data with GNSS data provides position, velocity, and attitude. IMU data can be integrated over time. As a result, any measurement errors increase over time. Bias errors in the measurement, if not eliminated from the measurement data, are integrated twice as a part of mechanization.
A constant bias of acceleration is converted into a linear error of velocity and quadratic position. These errors have a significant impact on navigation. A gyroscope or accelerometer may change its bias based on the way the sensor perceives acceleration. This is a common error in Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS).
A converged and well-designed INS filter estimates and removes errors from the IMU measurements, leading to higher attitude accuracy and longer solution stability during periods of poor GNSS.
In May 2020, Micron Digital announced that it developed an IMU that eliminates drift, making it the first of its kind globally. ROMOS emits drift free orientation and position information in millimeters directly to the host device/processor. Unlike traditional IMUs that rely on external reference signals such as GPS, ROMOS does not require additional external signals to compensate for the drift error. The position data is produced at high speed by internal MEMS-based inertial sensors directly to the host application for direct use.
Inertial Navigation System Segment Held the Highest Market Share due to Increased Number of Applications across Various Sectors
By component, the segment is divided into accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and inertial navigation system. The inertial navigation system segment holds the dominant position in the market and is also projected to be the fastest-growing segment. As the use of autonomous vehicles increases, the demand for low-weight, small-size, and high-performance INS also increases. In addition, the IMU and Inertial Navigation System is expected to grow due to increasing adoption of the next-generation navigation grade system based on MEMS technology, which improves the accuracy of the navigation system. Applications of INS across UAVs, military vehicles, aircraft, and others also propel the segment’s growth.
The accelerometer segment is estimated to grow significantly owing to rising applications across UAVs, industrial robots, autonomous cars, and others. The measurements taken by accelerometer are fed to IMU and Inertial Navigation System systems for accurate and automated navigation of these platforms.
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MEMS Dominates Due to Increased Demand for Automotive Applications and Smart Devices
By technology, the market is segmented into mechanical gyro, ring laser gyro, fiber optics gyro, MEMS, Hemispherical Resonator Gyroscope (HRG), and others. The MEMS segment is dominant and is projected to be the fastest growing over the forecast period. Integrating MEMS sensors into the navigation system due to higher accuracy and lightweight system drives the market.
The fiber optics gyro segment is expected to expand at a moderate rate over the next few years. The growth of this segment is driven by the growing use of fiber optic sensors in the motor boat, race car, and robotics applications.
The mechanical gyro segment is mainly used in flight control systems such as inland navigation and Airborne Positioning and Relative (AHRS) systems. The demand for mechanical gyro is expected to increase in the next few years due to increase in the number of aircraft delivered.
Increasing Focus on Ground-based Technologies for Navigation Led to Increasing Adoption of Inertial Measurement Unit for Ground Applications
By platform, the segment is divided into airborne, ground, maritime, and space. The ground segment holds the dominant position in the U.S. IMU and Inertial Navigation System market share and is projected to be the fastest-growing segment. For the ground segment, inertial sensors are used for ground-based applications such as automotive, smart wearable, medical services, and other applications.
The airborne segment is expected to grow due to the increasing global demand for air travel and military spending on space-related capabilities. The air based platform segment is expected to be the rapidly growing segment during the study period. The growth of this segment is due to the growing demand for UAVs across different countries.
Due to High Demand of UAV and Aircraft Fleets, Aerospace and Defense Domain Holds the Largest Market Share
By end-user, the market is divided into aerospace and defense, consumer electronics, marine/naval, automotive, and others. The aerospace and defense segment holds the largest market share in 2022. Aeronautic devices play an important role in controlling, navigation guidance, and stability of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and aircraft. The aerospace sector is growing rapidly due to the increasing demand for unmanned aerial vehicles and increasing aircraft fleets.
The automotive segment is projected to register the highest CAGR over the next few years. The increasing demand for autonomous cars has contributed to the growth of this segment. The U.S. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and providers of robotic vehicles. In addition, the increasing use of ROVs in the commercial and military sectors will also contribute to the growth of the marine/naval segment.
Large Companies Focus on Technological Advanced IMU & INS Sensors to Solidify Product Portfolio
Some of the prominent manufacturers in the U.S. market include General Electric Company, Gladiator Technologies, Honeywell International Inc., L3 Harris, and Northrop Grumman Corporation, among others. Key players are focusing on developing technological solutions, which can enable accurate guidance systems especially for UAVs, satellites, and autonomous cars.
An Infographic Representation of U.S. IMU and Inertial Navigation System (INS) Market
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The market research report offers an in-depth industry analysis and focuses on key factors such as top manufacturers, product categories, and common applications of their services. The report also identifies key trends in the U.S. market and offers insights into market trends. In addition, the report includes many other factors that have influenced the market’s growth prospects in recent years.
CAGR of 9.0% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Component, Technology, Platform, and End-user
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 4.57 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 8.96 billion by 2030.
The market will exhibit a CAGR of 9.0% over the forecast period.
The inertial navigation system segment is the leading component segment.
General Electric Company, Gladiator Technologies, Honeywell International Inc., L3 Harris, and Northrop Grumman Corporation are the major players in the market.
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