Dead reckoning is the process of calculating one’s current position by using a previously determined position and advancing that position based upon estimated speeds factoring in other variables. Dead reckoning can give very good information on position, but it is subject to errors due to speed and direction that must be accurately known at all times for position to be determined. For example, if distance is measured by the number of rotations of a wheel, any discrepancy between the actual and assumed diameter, due perhaps to the degree of inflation and wear, will be a source of error. As each estimate of position is relative to the previous one, errors are cumulative. Advances in navigational aids that give accurate information on position, in particular GPS, have made simple dead reckoning by humans uncommon for most purposes. However, in locations where GPS is not reliably available such as underwater, underground or in urban environments dead reckoning is still widely used.
True North’s Revolution Upgrade, Revolution GS and Revolution AV+ compasses are particularly well suited to dead reckoning because they don’t require communication with external references like cell towers or satellites to achieve a high level of accuracy. They are easy to talk to and have a quick connect serial interface that will hook up to a laptop. The Revolution Upgrade, GS and AV+ have on-board hard iron calibration capability. They are rugged, require very little power and have no moving parts. We have weatherproof enclosures if the application requires them.
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