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Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1872; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061872

Satellite Launcher Navigation with One Versus Three IMUs: Sensor Positioning and Data Fusion Model Analysis

1
Département de Génie Électrique et de Génie Informatique, Université Laval, 1065 Avenue de la Médecine, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
2
Defence Research and Development Canada, 2459 Route de la Bravoure, Québec, QC G3J 1X5, Canada
3
Département de Génie Électrique, École de Technologie Supérieure, 1100 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H3C 1K3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Using multiple IMUs allows both their distribution along vehicle structures and a reliance on integration methods, which is not possible with a single IMU. This paper addresses the issue of relying on three IMUs instead of only one of a higher quality in the context of a satellite launcher. The impact of the IMU positions was tested by comparing collocated IMUs against IMUs installed in the head of each launcher stage. For multi-IMU configurations, three integration methods were tested: all IMUs fused in a single INS, multiple INSs fused in a stacked filter, and multiple INSs fused in a stacked filter with geometrical constraints. All navigation solutions were aided by a three-axis attitude reference sensor and were tested with and without a GPS receiver. The results show that distributing IMUs along the launcher structure does not improve navigation performances compared to having them collocated. The fusion of multiple IMUs in one INS provides equivalent results as one IMU. However, fusing multiple INSs greatly reduces estimation errors. Performances are further improved with the addition of geometrical constraints. During long GPS outages, relative velocity and position constraints should not be exploited, as they may lead to filter divergence. View Full-Text
Keywords: INS; GPS; attitude reference sensor; navigation; data fusion; sensors positioning INS; GPS; attitude reference sensor; navigation; data fusion; sensors positioning
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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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Beaudoin, Y.; Desbiens, A.; Gagnon, E.; Landry, R., Jr. Satellite Launcher Navigation with One Versus Three IMUs: Sensor Positioning and Data Fusion Model Analysis. Sensors 2018, 18, 1872.

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