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Sensors 2015, 15(4), 9156-9178;

Inertial Pocket Navigation System: Unaided 3D Positioning

German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Communications and Navigation, Oberpfaffenhofen, 82234 Wessling, Germany
Academic Editors: Kourosh Khoshelham and Sisi Zlatanova
Received: 4 March 2015 / Revised: 3 April 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Indoor Mapping and Navigation)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1093 KB, uploaded 17 April 2015]


Inertial navigation systems use dead-reckoning to estimate the pedestrian’s position. There are two types of pedestrian dead-reckoning, the strapdown algorithm and the step-and-heading approach. Unlike the strapdown algorithm, which consists of the double integration of the three orthogonal accelerometer readings, the step-and-heading approach lacks the vertical displacement estimation. We propose the first step-and-heading approach based on unaided inertial data solving 3D positioning. We present a step detector for steps up and down and a novel vertical displacement estimator. Our navigation system uses the sensor introduced in the front pocket of the trousers, a likely location of a smartphone. The proposed algorithms are based on the opening angle of the leg or pitch angle. We analyzed our step detector and compared it with the state-of-the-art, as well as our already proposed step length estimator. Lastly, we assessed our vertical displacement estimator in a real-world scenario. We found that our algorithms outperform the literature step and heading algorithms and solve 3D positioning using unaided inertial data. Additionally, we found that with the pitch angle, five activities are distinguishable: standing, sitting, walking, walking up stairs and walking down stairs. This information complements the pedestrian location and is of interest for applications, such as elderly care. View Full-Text
Keywords: step length; step detector; attitude; pedestrian; dead reckoning; orientation; pitch; vertical displacement; activity step length; step detector; attitude; pedestrian; dead reckoning; orientation; pitch; vertical displacement; activity
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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Munoz Diaz, E. Inertial Pocket Navigation System: Unaided 3D Positioning. Sensors 2015, 15, 9156-9178.

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