Heading Sensor

An earth's magnetic field sensor, a Compass or its electrical equivalent, the magnetic fluxgate, that provides the Heading information from which the Autopilot computes steering commands. The Heading Sensor is central to the control of your Autopilot. Autopilot performance and, in many systems, Radar and Chart Plotter performance, will depend more on Heading sensor accuracy than on any other system component.

 

The best steering algorithms cannot compensate for an unstable and/or inaccurate Heading reference. Heading sensors vary between manufacturers and differ depending on the intended application and vessel. More recently for improved accuracy, Heading sensors have incorporated solid-state accelerometers and rate gyros for better performance in rough and in particular following seas.


Simrad RC42 Rate Gyro Heading Sensor

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