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TAI's multi-sensor fusion technology is accelerating the development of accurate MEMS sensor-based inertial navigation in situations where GPS does not operate reliably (GPS-denied environments). TAI has demonstrated that one inertial device per axis is not sufficient to produce low drift errors for long term accuracy needed for GPS-denied applications. TAI's technology uses arrays of off-the-shelf MEMS inertial sensors to create an inertial measurement unit (IMU) suitable for inertial navigation systems (INS) that require only occasional GPS updates. Compared to fiber optics gyros, properly combined MEMS gyro arrays are lower cost, fit into smaller volume, use less power and have equal or better performance. The patents TAI holds address this development for both gyro and accelerometer arrays. Existing inertial measurement units based on such array combinations, the backbone of TAI's inertial navigation system (INS) design, have demonstrated approximately 100 times lower sensor drift error to support very accurate angular rates, very accurate position measurements, and very low angle error for long durations. TAI's newest, fourth generation, product occupies small volume, has low weight, and consumes little power. The complete assembly can be potted in a protective sheath to form a rugged standalone product. An external exoskeleton case protects the electronic assembly for munitions and UAV applications. TAI's IMU/INS will provide the user with accurate real-time navigation information in difficult situations where GPS is not reliable. The key to such accurate performance is to achieve low sensor drift errors. The INS responds to quick movements without introducing delays while sharply reducing sensor drift errors that result in significant navigation errors. Discussed in the paper are physical characteristics of the IMU, an overview of the system design, TAI's systematic approach to drift reduction and some early results of applying a sigma point Kalman fil- er to sustain low gyro drift.
Date of Conference: 23-26 April 2012