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Sensors 2011, 11(7), 6771-6798; doi:10.3390/s110706771
Article

Data Fusion Algorithms for Multiple Inertial Measurement Units

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Received: 10 May 2011 / Revised: 13 June 2011 / Accepted: 15 June 2011 / Published: 29 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Sensors)

Abstract

A single low cost inertial measurement unit (IMU) is often used in conjunction with GPS to increase the accuracy and improve the availability of the navigation solution for a pedestrian navigation system. This paper develops several fusion algorithms for using multiple IMUs to enhance performance. In particular, this research seeks to understand the benefits and detriments of each fusion method in the context of pedestrian navigation. Three fusion methods are proposed. First, all raw IMU measurements are mapped onto a common frame (i.e., a virtual frame) and processed in a typical combined GPS-IMU Kalman filter. Second, a large stacked filter is constructed of several IMUs. This filter construction allows for relative information between the IMUs to be used as updates. Third, a federated filter is used to process each IMU as a local filter. The output of each local filter is shared with a master filter, which in turn, shares information back with the local filters. The construction of each filter is discussed and improvements are made to the virtual IMU (VIMU) architecture, which is the most commonly used architecture in the literature. Since accuracy and availability are the most important characteristics of a pedestrian navigation system, the analysis of each filter’s performance focuses on these two parameters. Data was collected in two environments, one where GPS signals are moderately attenuated and another where signals are severely attenuated. Accuracy is shown as a function of architecture and the number of IMUs used.
Keywords: INS; sensor fusion; federated filter; pedestrian navigation INS; sensor fusion; federated filter; pedestrian navigation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Bancroft, J.B.; Lachapelle, G. Data Fusion Algorithms for Multiple Inertial Measurement Units. Sensors 2011, 11, 6771-6798.

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