Aerospace Engineering Department
BS in Aerospace Engineering
A multi-phase experiment was conducted at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA, to design a low-cost inertial measurement unit composed of a 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope. Utilizing the growing microprocessor software environment, a 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope simulated 6 degrees of freedom orientation sensing through sensor fusion. By analyzing a simple complimentary filter and a more complex Kalman filter, the outputs of each sensor were combined and took advantage of the benefits of both sensors to improved results. Gyroscopic drift was removed in the pitch and roll axes using the Kalman filter for both static and dynamic scenarios. The addition of computationally lean onboard sensor fusion algorithms in microcontroller software like the Arduino allows for low-cost hardware implementations of multiple sensors for use in aerospace applications.