A Vibrating Structure Gyroscope (VSG) Inertial Navigation System (INS) uses the principles of the Coriolis effect to measure angular velocity. This type of gyroscope employs a vibrating structure, such as a tuning fork or a vibrating disk, to detect rotation. When the structure vibrates, rotation induces a Coriolis force that affects the vibration pattern, which can be measured to determine the rate of rotation.

Key Components

  1. Vibrating Structure Gyroscope (VSG):

    • Function: Measures angular velocity around one or more axes.
    • Mechanism: Uses a vibrating element (e.g., tuning fork, disk, or beam). When the gyroscope rotates, the Coriolis effect causes a measurable change in the vibration pattern, which is detected by sensors.
  2. Accelerometers:

    • Function: Measure linear acceleration along different axes.
    • Mechanism: Use piezoelectric, capacitive, or MEMS technology to detect acceleration by measuring the displacement of a mass.
  3. Processing Unit:

    • Function: Integrates data from the gyroscopes and accelerometers to compute position, velocity, and orientation.
    • Mechanism: Employs algorithms to process the sensor data, correct for drift, and filter out noise.

Working Principle

  1. Initial Calibration:

    • The system starts with a known initial position, velocity, and orientation.
    • Gyroscopes and accelerometers are calibrated to ensure accurate measurements.
  2. Measurement:

    • VSG measures angular velocities by detecting changes in the vibration pattern due to the Coriolis effect.
    • Accelerometers measure linear accelerations along the three axes (x, y, and z).
  3. Integration:

    • The processing unit integrates the angular velocities over time to update the orientation of the platform.
    • Linear accelerations are double-integrated over time to update velocity and position.
  4. Correction:

    • The system may use additional sensors or external references, such as GPS, to correct for drift and improve accuracy.


  • Compact and Lightweight: VSGs are relatively small and lightweight, making them suitable for various applications.
  • Robustness: Good resistance to shocks and vibrations, enhancing durability and reliability.
  • Cost-Effective: Generally less expensive than more complex gyroscope systems like RLG and FOG.


  • Moderate Accuracy: Less accurate than RLGs and FOGs, with higher drift over time.
  • Sensitivity to Environmental Conditions: Performance can be affected by temperature changes and mechanical stress.
  • Drift Over Time: Accumulation of errors over time without external correction, leading to inaccuracies in long-term use.


  • Consumer Electronics: Used in smartphones, gaming controllers, and other devices requiring motion sensing and orientation detection.
  • Automotive: Deployed in vehicle stability control systems and rollover detection.
  • Aerospace: Employed in small drones, aircraft, and spacecraft for navigation and control.
  • Industrial: Used in robotics, automation, and machinery for precise motion tracking.
  • Healthcare: Implemented in medical devices for monitoring patient movement and orientation.


The Vibrating Structure Gyroscope INS is a practical and versatile technology for measuring angular velocity in various applications. Utilizing the Coriolis effect on a vibrating element, it offers a balance between cost, size, and performance. While it provides robustness and compactness, it does have limitations in terms of accuracy and drift compared to more advanced gyroscope technologies like RLG and FOG. Despite these drawbacks, VSG INS are widely used due to their suitability for many practical applications.