inertial_sense_ros repository

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VCS Type git
VCS Version master
Last Updated 2021-11-18
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Name Version
inertial_sense_ros 1.1.1


Inertial Sense ROS

A ROS wrapper for the InertialSense uINS3 RTK-GPS-INS and Dual GPS (GPS Compassing) sensor.


To use this node, the uINS should be updated with the latest firmware found on the Inertial Sense release page. Download the appropriate .hex file and use the firmware_update ROS service to update the firmware

rosservice call /firmware_update ~/Download/IS_uINS-3_<...>.hex


This ROS package, uses the inertial-sense-sdk as a submodule. Clone this package into the catkin workspace src folder, then pull the submodule.

mkdir -p catkin_ws/src
cd catkin_ws/src
git clone
cd inertial_sense_ros
git submodule update --init --recursive
cd ../..

Running the Node

rosrun inertial_sense inertial_sense_node

The user must be a member of the dailout group, or the user won't have access to the serial port.

For instructions on changing parameter values and topic remapping from the command line while using rosrun refer to the Remapping Arguments page. To set vector parameters, use the following syntax:

rosparam set /inertial_sense_node/GPS_ref_lla "[40.25, -111.67, 1556.59]"
rosrun inertial_sense inertial_sense_node

To set parameters and topic remappings from a launch file, refer to the Roslaunch for Larger Projects page, or the sample launch/test.launch file in this repository.

Time Stamps

If GPS is available, all header timestamps are calculated with respect to the GPS clock but are translated into UNIX time to be consistent with the other topics in a ROS network. If GPS is unvailable, then a constant offset between uINS time and system time is estimated during operation and is applied to IMU and INS message timestamps as they arrive. There is often a small drift in these timestamps (on the order of a microsecond per second), due to variance in measurement streams and difference between uINS and system clocks, however this is more accurate than stamping the measurements with ROS time as they arrive.

In an ideal setting, there should be no jump in timestamps when GPS is first acquired, because the timestamps should be identical, however, due to inaccuracies in system time, there will likely be a small jump in message timestamps after the first GPS fix.


Topics are enabled and disabled using parameters. By default, only the ins topic is published to save processor time in serializing unecessary messages. - ins(nav_msgs/Odometry) - full 12-DOF measurements from onboard estimator (pose portion is from inertial to body, twist portion is in body frame) - imu(sensor_msgs/Imu) - Raw Imu measurements from IMU1 (NED frame) - gps(inertial_sense_ros/GPS) - unfiltered GPS measurements from onboard GPS unit - gps/info(inertial_sense_ros/GPSInfo) - sattelite information and carrier noise ratio array for each sattelite - mag (sensor_msgs/MagneticField) - Raw magnetic field measurement from magnetometer 1 - baro (sensor_msgs/FluidPressure) - Raw barometer measurements in kPa - preint_imu (inertial_sense_ros/DThetaVel) - preintegrated coning and sculling integrals of IMU measurements - RTK/info (inertial_sense_ros/RTKInfo) - information about RTK status - RTK/rel (inertial_sense_ros/RTKRel) * Relative measurement between RTK base and rover

!!! important RTK positioning or RTK compassing mode must be enabled to stream any raw GPS data. - gps/obs (inertial_sense_ros/GNSSObservation) * Raw satellite observation (psuedorange and carrier phase) - gps/eph (inertial_sense_ros/GNSSEphemeris) * Satellite Ephemeris for GPS and Galileo GNSS constellations - gps/geph * Satellite Ephemeris for Glonass GNSS constellation


  • ~port (string, default: "/dev/ttyUSB0")
    • Serial port to connect to
  • ~baudrate (int, default: 921600)
    • baudrate of serial communication
  • ~frame_id (string, default "body")
    • frame id of all measurements
  • ~LTCF (int, default: 0)
    • Local Tangent Coordinate Frame: 0 - NED, 1 - ENU

Topic Configuration * ~navigation_dt_ms (int, default: Value retrieved from device flash configuration) - milliseconds between internal navigation filter updates (min=2ms/500Hz). This is also determines the rate at which the topics are published. * ~stream_INS (bool, default: true) - Flag to stream navigation solution or not * ~stream_IMU (bool, default: false) - Flag to stream IMU measurements or not * ~stream_baro (bool, default: false) - Flag to stream baro or not * ~stream_mag (bool, default: false) - Flag to stream magnetometer or not * ~stream_preint_IMU (bool, default: false) - Flag to stream preintegrated IMU or not * ~stream_GPS(bool, default: false) - Flag to stream GPS * ~stream_GPS_info(bool, default: false) - Flag to stream GPS info messages - ~stream_GPS_raw (bool, default: false) - Flag to stream GPS raw messages - ~publishTf(bool, default: true) - Flag to publish Tf transformations 'ins' to 'body_link'

RTK Configuration * ~RTK_rover (bool, default: false) - Enables RTK rover mode (requires base corrections from an RTK base) * ~RTK_base (bool, default: false) - Makes the connected uINS a RTK base station and enables the publishing of corrections * ~dual_GNSS (bool, default: false) - Uses both GPS antennas in a dual-GNSS configuration * ~RTK_server_IP (string, default: - If operating as base, attempts to create a TCP port on this IP for base corrections, if rover, connects to this IP for corrections. * ~RTK_server_port (int, default: 7777) - If operating as base, creates a TCP connection at this port for base corrections, if rover, connects to this port for corrections. * ~RTK_correction_protocol (string, default: RTCM3) - Options are RTCM3 and UBLOX (for M8 receiver). Rover and base must match.

Sensor Configuration * ~INS_rpy_radians (vector(3), default: {0, 0, 0}) - The roll, pitch, yaw rotation from the INS frame to the output frame * ~INS_xyz (vector(3), default: {0, 0, 0}) - The NED translation vector between the INS frame and the output frame (wrt output frame) * ~GPS_ant1_xyz (vector(3), default: {0, 0, 0}) - The NED translation vector between the INS frame and the GPS 1 antenna (wrt INS frame) * ~GPS_ant2_xyz (vector(3), default: {0, 0, 0}) - The NED translation vector between the INS frame and the GPS 2 antenna (wrt INS frame) * ~GPS_ref_lla (vector(3), default: {0, 0, 0}) - The Reference longitude, latitude and altitude for NED calculation in degrees, degrees and meters (use the set_refLLA service to update this automatically) * ~inclination (float, default: 1.14878541071) - The inclination of earth's magnetic field (radians) * ~declination (float, default: 0.20007290992) - The declination of earth's magnetic field (radians) * ~dynamic_model (int, default: 8) - Dynamic model used in internal filter of uINS. - 0 = portable - 2 = stationary - 3 = pedestrian - 4 = automotive - 5 = sea - 6 = airborne 1G - 7 = airborne 2G - 8 = airborne 4G - 9 = wrist

ASCII Output Configuration * ~ser1_baud_rate (int, default: 921600) - baud rate for serial1 port used for external NMEA messaging (located on H6-5) serial port hardware connections * ~NMEA_rate (int, default: 0) - Rate to publish NMEA messages * ~NMEA_configuration (int, default: 0x00) - bitmask to enable NMEA messages (bitwise OR to enable multiple message streams). - GPGGA = 0x01 - GPGLL = 0x02 - GPGSA = 0x04 - GPRMC = 0x08 * ~NMEA_ports (int, default: 0x00) - bitmask to enable NMEA message on serial ports (bitwise OR to enable both ports) - Ser0 (USB/H4-4) = 0x01 - Ser1 (H6-5) = 0x02


  • single_axis_mag_cal (std_srvs/Trigger)
    • Put INS into single axis magnetometer calibration mode. This is typically used if the uINS is rigidly mounted to a heavy vehicle that will not undergo large roll or pitch motions, such as a car. After this call, the uINS must perform a single orbit around one axis (i.g. drive in a circle) to calibrate the magnetometer more info
  • multi_axis_mag_cal (std_srvs/Trigger)
    • Put INS into multi axis magnetometer calibration mode. This is typically used if the uINS is not mounted to a vehicle, or a lightweight vehicle such as a drone. Simply rotate the uINS around all axes until the light on the uINS turns blue more info
  • firmware_update (inertial_sense_ros/FirmwareUpdate)
    • Updates firmware to the .hex file supplied (use absolute filenames)
  • set_refLLA_current (std_srvs/Trigger)
    • Takes the current estimated position and sets it as the refLLA. Use this to set a base position after a survey, or to zero out the ins topic.1
  • set_refLLA_value (std_srvs/Trigger)
    • Sets refLLA to the values passed as service arguments of type float64[3]. Use this to set refLLA to a known value.


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