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A complementary filter for attitude estimation of a fixed-wing UAV

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5 Author(s)
Euston, M. ; Dept. of Eng., Australian Nat. Univ., Canberra, ACT ; Coote, P. ; Mahony, R. ; Jonghyuk Kim
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This paper considers the question of using a nonlinear complementary filter for attitude estimation of fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) given only measurements from a low-cost inertial measurement unit. A nonlinear complementary filter is proposed that combines accelerometer output for low frequency attitude estimation with integrated gyrometer output for high frequency estimation. The raw accelerometer output includes a component corresponding to airframe acceleration, occurring primarily when the aircraft turns, as well as the gravitational acceleration that is required for the filter. The airframe acceleration is estimated using a simple centripetal force model (based on additional airspeed measurements), augmented by a first order dynamic model for angle-of-attack, and used to obtain estimates of the gravitational direction independent of the airplane manoeuvres. Experimental results are provided on a real-world data set and the performance of the filter is evaluated against the output from a full GPS/INS that was available for the data set.

Published in:

Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2008. IROS 2008. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-26 Sept. 2008

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