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Correction published on 20 June 2012, see Sensors 2012, 12(6), 8437.

Open AccessArticle
Sensors 2011, 11(12), 11390-11414;

Use of Earth’s Magnetic Field for Mitigating Gyroscope Errors Regardless of Magnetic Perturbation

Department of Geomatics Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 October 2011 / Revised: 21 November 2011 / Accepted: 22 November 2011 / Published: 30 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2329 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


Most portable systems like smart-phones are equipped with low cost consumer grade sensors, making them useful as Pedestrian Navigation Systems (PNS). Measurements of these sensors are severely contaminated by errors caused due to instrumentation and environmental issues rendering the unaided navigation solution with these sensors of limited use. The overall navigation error budget associated with pedestrian navigation can be categorized into position/displacement errors and attitude/orientation errors. Most of the research is conducted for tackling and reducing the displacement errors, which either utilize Pedestrian Dead Reckoning (PDR) or special constraints like Zero velocity UPdaTes (ZUPT) and Zero Angular Rate Updates (ZARU). This article targets the orientation/attitude errors encountered in pedestrian navigation and develops a novel sensor fusion technique to utilize the Earth’s magnetic field, even perturbed, for attitude and rate gyroscope error estimation in pedestrian navigation environments where it is assumed that Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) navigation is denied. As the Earth’s magnetic field undergoes severe degradations in pedestrian navigation environments, a novel Quasi-Static magnetic Field (QSF) based attitude and angular rate error estimation technique is developed to effectively use magnetic measurements in highly perturbed environments. The QSF scheme is then used for generating the desired measurements for the proposed Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) based attitude estimator. Results indicate that the QSF measurements are capable of effectively estimating attitude and gyroscope errors, reducing the overall navigation error budget by over 80% in urban canyon environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: pedestrian navigation; orientation estimation; quasi-static magnetic field pedestrian navigation; orientation estimation; quasi-static magnetic field
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Afzal, M.H.; Renaudin, V.; Lachapelle, G. Use of Earth’s Magnetic Field for Mitigating Gyroscope Errors Regardless of Magnetic Perturbation. Sensors 2011, 11, 11390-11414.

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