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VNS01 - Visual Navigation System

The Visual Navigation System (VNS01) provides accurate navigational information, ensuring mission success in situations where GNSS signals may be unavailable, unreliable, or compromised. VNS01 offers a critical solution for all kinds of operations, enhancing the capabilities of NATO Category I and II Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operating in GNSS-denied environments. This innovative system enables precise positioning and autonomy, improving UAS operations in challenging and hostile environments, ultimately increasing mission effectiveness and overall situational awareness for the operator.

The VNS01 features an onboard camera that captures images throughout the flight, enabling the creation of an internal map for use when GNSS is unavailable. This map aids in correcting accumulated navigational drift during dead reckoning. Utilising a combination of visual odometry (VO) and pattern recognition (PR) techniques, the VNS01 integrates with the other onboard sensors to provide the Flight Control Computer (FCC) with precise positioning data in the absence of GNSS signals.

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Improves GNSS-Denied Navigation in GNSS-contested Environments
Improves GNSS-Denied Navigation in GNSS-contested Environments

Achieves improved mission success with the Visual Navigation System (VNS01), delivering precise positioning and autonomy in GNSS-denied environments. Featuring an onboard camera that generates an internal map, the VNS01 achieves zero navigational drift when pattern recognition techniques find a match from the internal memory maps. When flying in unmapped areas and relying on visual odometry, the VNS01 maintains an impressively low drift of about 10 meters per minute, ensuring consistent navigation.

Visual Odometry Techniques for Dead Reckoning Navigation in Unknown Flight Areas

The Visual Navigation System combines “visual odometry” (VO) techniques and “template matching” with the rest of the sensors onboard the aircraft to ensure that the absolute position, orientation and relative movement of the aircraft over the ground is calculated with astonishing accuracy.

Ultra-compact, Excellent for Lightweight UAVs

Due to its small size and weight, the VNS01 can be installed in small and medium-sized UAS, enabling them to benefit from this ground breaking system without sacrificing autonomy or payload capacity. The compact and lightweight device, specifically designed for NATO Category I and II UAS, is provided as an optional peripheral to the main Flight Control System. 


No Maps Required

The VNS01 constructs its own maps. With a valid GNSS signal, the VNS01 captures real-time images with its onboard camera and creates unique maps, storing them in its internal memory for use in the event of GNSS signal loss.

Easy Installation

Reduced dimensions, lightweight, and integrated design for easy installation in unmanned aerial platforms. No complex electrical installations are required due to its simple wiring.

Low Power Consumption

Conceived for every type of platform and performance, with different autonomies. Low battery consumption to optimise performance.

Operations that require all or part of a mission to be conducted without access to GNSS data are becoming increasingly common. In certain situations, the GNSS signal might encounter disruptions, or the mission may require that the flight is initiated without a GNSS signal from the onset. UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía's Flight Control Solutions are designed to tolerate GNSS failures and can function in Dead-Reckoning mode without compromising flight safety. However, a prolonged lack of GNSS data can result in significant navigational drift, and this is where the Visual Navigation System offers a critical advantage.

The VNS01, when used alongside the VECTOR range of flight control systems, effectively addresses this issue by utilising data that is independent of the GNSS constellation and more accurate, and more accurate than inertial navigation systems based on MEMS technologies, which, due to size, power consumption, and weight constraints, are those installed in this kind of aircraft. The unit's onboard computer processes images captured by the integrated camera, identifying patterns (using pattern recognition techniques) and movement (via visual odometry techniques) across the terrain below. This allows the FCS to correct any absolute errors and maintain positional accuracy for extended periods of time. Due to its small size and weight, the VNS01 can be installed in small and medium-sized UAS, enabling them to benefit from this groundbreaking system without sacrificing autonomy or payload capacity. This innovative capability is likely to attract attention from manufacturers and end-users of NATO Category I and II UAS. The compact and lightweight device, offered as an optional peripheral to the main Flight Control System (FCS), facilitates the safe and efficient navigation of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in GNSS-denied environments.

Standard AHRS-INS (3rd party)
100 m/min
UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía POLAR AD-AHRS
< 35 m/min
Visual Odometry
< 10 m/min
Pattern Recognition
No Drift
Size (mm, H x W x L)
100 gr
Enclosure Material
Grade 6082 Aluminium Alloy
IP Rating
Designed to conform with IP67
Up to 90% RH, non-condensing
Internal Memory
5 GB
Temperature Range
-30ºC to +85ºC
Altitude Range
Supply (unregulated)
9V to 36V DC
Power Consumption
5 W @ 12VDC
CAN 2.0 B
1 (up to 1Mbps)
Serial Comm
1 x RS-232 (up to 250kbps)
100 Base Tx Channel according to IEEE 802.3 standard


The VNS01 Kit includes the connector and wiring needed to connect the Visual Navigation System to the VECTOR family. The kit includes the following:

  • VNS01 installation Kit: 8P Binder ref: 77 3408 0000 20008-0200
  • VNS01 VECTOR Advanced feature license 
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UAV Navigation is a privately-owned company that has specialized in the design of flight control solutions for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) since 2004. It is used by a variety of Tier 1 aerospace manufacturers in a wide range of UAV - also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or 'drones'. These include high-performance tactical unmanned planes, aerial targets, mini-UAVs and helicopters.