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Electronics 2017, 6(1), 15; doi:10.3390/electronics6010015

Coupled GPS/MEMS IMU Attitude Determination of Small UAVs with COTS

Chair of Aerospace Information Technology, Julius-Maximillians-Universität Würzburg, Josef-Martin-Weg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Systems/Vehicles (UAS/V) and Drones)
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This paper proposes an attitude determination system for small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) with a weight limit of 5 kg and a small footprint of 0.5m x 0.5 m. The system is realized by coupling single-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) code and carrier-phase measurements with the data acquired from a Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) using consumer-grade Components-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) only. The sensor fusion is accomplished using two Extended Kalman Filters (EKF) that are coupled by exchanging information about the currently estimated baseline. With a baseline of 48 cm, the static heading accuracy of the proposed system is comparable to the one of a commercial single-frequency GPS heading system with an accuracy of approximately 0.25°/m. Flight testing shows that the proposed system is able to obtain a reliable and stable GPS heading estimation without an aiding magnetometer. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; attitude determination; Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS); GPS; Real-time Kinematics (RTK); MEMS IMU; magnetometer UAV; attitude determination; Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS); GPS; Real-time Kinematics (RTK); MEMS IMU; magnetometer

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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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Strohmeier, M.; Montenegro, S. Coupled GPS/MEMS IMU Attitude Determination of Small UAVs with COTS. Electronics 2017, 6, 15.

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