Skip to Main Content
This paper proposes a Kalman filter-based attitude (i.e., roll and pitch) estimation algorithm using an inertial sensor composed of a triaxial accelerometer and a triaxial gyroscope. In particular, the proposed algorithm has been developed for accurate attitude estimation during dynamic conditions, in which external acceleration is present. Although external acceleration is the main source of the attitude estimation error and despite the need for its accurate estimation in many applications, this problem that can be critical for the attitude estimation has not been addressed explicitly in the literature. Accordingly, this paper addresses the combined estimation problem of the attitude and external acceleration. Experimental tests were conducted to verify the performance of the proposed algorithm in various dynamic condition settings and to provide further insight into the variations in the estimation accuracy. Furthermore, two different approaches for dealing with the estimation problem during dynamic conditions were compared, i.e., threshold-based switching approach versus acceleration model-based approach. Based on an external acceleration model, the proposed algorithm was capable of estimating accurate attitudes and external accelerations for short accelerated periods, showing its high effectiveness during short-term fast dynamic conditions. Contrariwise, when the testing condition involved prolonged high external accelerations, the proposed algorithm exhibited gradually increasing errors. However, as soon as the condition returned to static or quasi-static conditions, the algorithm was able to stabilize the estimation error, regaining its high estimation accuracy.