inertial guidance


: guidance (as of an aircraft or spacecraft) by means of self-contained automatically controlling devices that respond to inertial forces

called also inertial navigation

Examples of inertial guidance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An Aster 30 missile accelerates to up to 4.5 times the speed of sound in under four seconds, closing towards its target using inertial guidance and radioed-in course adjustments from the battery. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 23 June 2023 For a good measure, StormBreaker also uses jam-resistant GPS and inertial guidance, and can receive course-corrections from other aircraft or ground forces via its two-way Link 16 datalink. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 9 Apr. 2023 In the 1960s, GM tested and manufactured the inertial guidance and navigation systems for the entire Apollo Moon program, including Apollo 11 and the first human landing in 1969. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2021 For example, focused beams of sound could confuse the inertial guidance unit used to control a drone. IEEE Spectrum, 10 Nov. 2022 The rocket’s inertial guidance system would be aligned using a Loran installation on the shore after which point its own self-aligning stable platform keeps the azimuth and vertical directions stable. Amy Shira Teitel, Discover Magazine, 11 Aug. 2017 The computer and its inertial guidance platform were marvels of precision, able to navigate 250,000 miles (about 400,000 kilometers) to the Moon with an error of only a few thousand feet. Frank O’Brien, Ars Technica, 30 Jan. 2020 The missile, a Mark 1, Mod 1, has a manual inertial guidance system, a mobile launcher with a one-sling power velocity on takeoff, and considerable pucker power on impact. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 14 Jan. 2019 More generally, the use of gyros has blossomed into the field of inertial guidance. Frank Wilczek, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inertial guidance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inertial guidance was circa 1948

Dictionary Entries Near inertial guidance

Cite this Entry

“Inertial guidance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

inertial guidance

: guidance (as of an aircraft) by automatic devices that respond to changes in speed or direction
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