Microelectromechanical Systems Inertial Measurement Unit as an Attitude and Heading Reference System

Francisco Javier Salcedo Ortega, University of Texas at El Paso


Microelectromechanical systems inertial measurement units (MEMS IMU) are an accessible technology that can be used as an attitude and heading reference system (AHRS); they are low cost and functional enough to be used in many Inertial Navigation Systems (INS). However, the gyroscope component on the IMU tends to severely drift over time without the use of filtering or other navigation systems reference such as a Global Positioning System (GPS) device. This thesis is focused on working with a variety of IMUs to describe the accuracy, precision, and error propagation. It also works as an introductory guide to the world of IMUs and filtering, thus, methods for detecting noise components and key factors for selection of IMU’s are described. Additionally, educational laboratory workshops that can be implemented on a classroom environment will be presented. Three different models of IMU’s with different degrees of freedom (DOF) were used on the testing: MPU-6050(10 DOF), MPU-6050 (6 DOF) and ALTIMU-10 V5 (10 DOF). The tests were focused mainly on measuring the performance of the gyroscope and accelerometer components with the addition of different filters used. In addition to the implementation of several codes for the visualization of the results. The results show conclusive evidence that the filters and algorithms significantly improve the outputs the sensor. Not only reducing the individual noise factors that affect each sensor, but enhancing their abilities as well. With the filters applied, the sensors are able to provide an adequate AHRS.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Salcedo Ortega, Francisco Javier, "Microelectromechanical Systems Inertial Measurement Unit as an Attitude and Heading Reference System" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10685990.