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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 698;

Improving Observability of an Inertial System by Rotary Motions of an IMU

1,* , 2
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610051, China
School of Geomatics, Liaoning Technical University, Fuxin 123000, China
Department of Geomatics Engineering, the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inertial Sensors and Systems 2016)
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It has been identified that the inertial system is not a completely observable system in the absence of maneuvers. Although the velocity errors and the accelerometer bias in the vertical direction can be solely observable, other error states, including the attitude errors, the accelerometer biases in the east and north directions, and the gyro biases, are just jointly observable states with velocity measurements, which degrades the estimation accuracy of these error states. This paper proposes an innovative method to improve the system observability for a Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System (MEMS)-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) in the absence of maneuvers by rotary motions of the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). Three IMU rotation schemes, namely IMU continuous rotation about the X, Y and Z axes are employed. The observability is analyzed for the rotating system with a control-theoretic approach, and tests are also conducted based on a turntable to verify the improvements on the system observability by IMU rotations. Both theoretical analysis and the results indicate that the system observability is improved by proposed IMU rotations, the roll and pitch errors, the accelerometer biases in the east and north directions, the gyro biases become observable states in the absence of vehicle maneuvers. Although the azimuth error is still unobservable, the enhanced estimability of the gyro bias in the vertical direction can effectively mitigate the azimuth error accumulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: inertial navigation system; MEMS IMU; observability; rotary motions inertial navigation system; MEMS IMU; observability; rotary motions

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Du, S.; Sun, W.; Gao, Y. Improving Observability of an Inertial System by Rotary Motions of an IMU. Sensors 2017, 17, 698.

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