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Measuring the trajectory of a rigid body in space is commonly done using an inertial measurement unit composed of one triaxial accelerometer and one triaxial gyroscope. When the rigid body undergoes high accelerations, it is often preferable to resort to an array of accelerometers rather than the traditional accelerometer-gyroscope combination, an approach that is now common in crashworthiness and other biomechanics applications. In this paper, we present an algorithm for the estimation of the rigid-body angular velocity from the centripetal components of the accelerations measured by the array of accelerometers. The proposed algorithm and the others available in the literature were benchmarked using the accelerometer array octahedral constellation of twelve accelerometers. In the reported testing conditions, the proposed method is slightly more robust than any other based on centripetal-acceleration measurements.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2011