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A vector-based gyro-free inertial navigation system by integrating existing accelerometer network in a passenger vehicle

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2 Author(s)
Ying Kun Peng ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Waterloo Univ., Ont., Canada ; M. F. Golnaraghi

Modern automotive electronic control and safety systems, including air-bags, anti-lock brakes, anti-skid systems, adaptive suspension, and yaw control, rely extensively on inertial sensors. Currently, each of these sub-systems uses its own set of sensors, the majority of which are low-cost accelerometers. Recent developments in MEMS accelerometers have increased the performance limits of mass-produced accelerometers far beyond traditional automotive requirements; this growth trend in performance will soon allow the implementation of a gyro-free inertial navigation system (GF-INS) in an automobile, utilizing its existing accelerometer network. We propose, in addition to short-term aid to GPS navigation, a GF-INS can also serve in lieu of more expensive and less reliable angular rate gyros in vehicle moment controls and inclinometers in anti-theft systems. This work presents a modified generalized GF-INS algorithm based on four or more vector (triaxial) accelerometers. Historically, GF-INS techniques require strategically-placed accelerometers for a stable solution, hence inhibiting practical implementations; the vector-based GF-INS allows much more flexible system configurations and is more computationally efficient. An advanced attitude estimation technique is presented, utilizing coupled angular velocity terms that emerged as a result of the intrinsic misalignment of real vector accelerometers; this technique is void of singularity problems encountered by many prior researchers and is particularly useful when error due to the integration of angular accelerations is prominent, such as in low-speed systems or long-duration navigations. Furthermore, an initial calibration method for the vector-based GF-INS is presented. In the experimental setup, four vector accelerometers, based on Analog Devices accelerometers, are assembled into a portable, one cubic-foot, rigid structure, and the data is compared with that of a precision optical position tracking system. Finally, the feasibility of a GF-INS implementation in an automobile is assessed based on experimental results.

Published in:

Position Location and Navigation Symposium, 2004. PLANS 2004

Date of Conference:

26-29 April 2004