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Sensors 2010, 10(1), 456-474; doi:10.3390/s100100456

Reliability Testing Procedure for MEMS IMUs Applied to Vibrating Environments

*  and
Department of Mechanics, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 December 2009 / Revised: 24 December 2009 / Accepted: 28 December 2009 / Published: 7 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering - 2009)
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The diffusion of micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology applied to navigation systems is rapidly increasing, but currently, there is a lack of knowledge about the reliability of this typology of devices, representing a serious limitation to their use in aerospace vehicles and other fields with medium and high requirements. In this paper, a reliability testing procedure for inertial sensors and inertial measurement units (IMU) based on MEMS for applications in vibrating environments is presented. The sensing performances were evaluated in terms of signal accuracy, systematic errors, and accidental errors; the actual working conditions were simulated by means of an accelerated dynamic excitation. A commercial MEMS-based IMU was analyzed to validate the proposed procedure. The main weaknesses of the system have been localized by providing important information about the relationship between the reliability levels of the system and individual components.
Keywords: IMU; MEMS; navigation systems; reliability; accelerometers; aerospace IMU; MEMS; navigation systems; reliability; accelerometers; aerospace
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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De Pasquale, G.; Somà, A. Reliability Testing Procedure for MEMS IMUs Applied to Vibrating Environments. Sensors 2010, 10, 456-474.

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