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Sensors 2018, 18(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010158

A Novel Attitude Determination System Aided by Polarization Sensor

Key Laboratory for Micro/Nano Technology and System of Liaoning Province, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
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Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Smart Sensors for Control Systems)
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Abstract

This paper aims to develop a novel attitude determination system aided by polarization sensor. An improved heading angle function is derived using the perpendicular relationship between directions of E-vector of linearly polarized light and solar vector in the atmospheric polarization distribution model. The Extended Kalman filter (EKF) with quaternion differential equation as a dynamic model is applied to fuse the data from sensors. The covariance functions of filter process and measurement noises are deduced in detail. The indoor and outdoor tests are conducted to verify the validity and feasibility of proposed attitude determination system. The test results showed that polarization sensor is not affected by magnetic field, thus the proposed system can work properly in environments containing the magnetic interference. The results also showed that proposed system has higher measurement accuracy than common attitude determination system and can provide precise parameters for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flight control. The main contribution of this paper is implementation of the EKF for incorporating the self-developed polarization sensor into the conventional attitude determination system. The real-world experiment with the quad-rotor proved that proposed system can work in a magnetic interference environment and provide sufficient accuracy in attitude determination for autonomous navigation of vehicle. View Full-Text
Keywords: polarization sensor; quad-rotor UAV; E-vector direction; solar vector polarization sensor; quad-rotor UAV; E-vector direction; solar vector
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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. (CC BY 4.0).
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Zhi, W.; Chu, J.; Li, J.; Wang, Y. A Novel Attitude Determination System Aided by Polarization Sensor. Sensors 2018, 18, 158.

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