Static Calibration of Tactical Grade Inertial Measurement Units

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Ohio State University. Division of Geodetic Science

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The demand for precise positioning grows up parallel to the advances in production of the geolocation instruments. Today, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is the most common positioning system in use because of its being very precise, convenient and cheap. However, when working in such areas that the external references (e.g. GPS satellites) are not available, a system that does not require information from any external source of information is required. Especially, these kinds of systems necessitate in detection of unexploded ordnances (UXO) buried in forestry areas, where precise position information is vital for removing them. The Inertial Navigation System (INS) operates in any environment and does not depended on any external source of information. It can operate alone or as an integrated system with GPS. However, the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor outputs include some errors which can cause very large positioning errors. These errors can significantly be reduced by using calibration methods. The most accurate calibration methods are performed in laboratories and they require very precise instruments. However, the most significant IMU errors, biases and scale factor errors, change from turn on to turn on of the IMU and therefore they need to be estimated before every mission. The Multi-Position Calibration Method developed by Shin (2002) is a good example which is cost efficient and it can be applied in the field without use of any external calibration instrument. The method requires numerous IMU attitude measurements and use the gravity magnitude and Earth rotation rate as reference for calibration. The performance of the Multi-Position Calibration Method was tested by using a cart based geolocation system which includes 2 tactical grade IMUs, Honeywell HG1700 and HG1900. The calibration test was conducted in a parking lot of Ohio State University on 06 June 2010. The calibration estimations have shown that the navigation accuracy could be improved by up to 19.8% for the HG1700 and 17.8% for the HG1900. However, the results were not consistent among each other and in some cases decrease in the positioning accuracy was yielded.


The research that led to this report was partially supported by a contract from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), contract number, W912HQ-08-C- 0044.
This report was also presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Science Degree to the Graduate School of the Ohio State University.