Comparison of MEMS-based and FOG-based IMUs to determine sensor pose on an unmanned aircraft system

Deepak Gautam, Arko Lucieer, Zbyněk Malenovský, Christopher Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Small-sized unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are restricted to use only lightweight microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based inertial measurement units (IMUs) due to their limited payload capacity. Still, some UAS-based geospatial remote sensing applications, such as airborne spectroscopy or laser scanning, require high accuracy pose (position and orientation) determination of the onboard sensor payload. This study presents ground-based experiments investigating the pose accuracy of two MEMS-based IMUs: the single-antenna MTi-G-700 (Xsens, Enschede, Netherlands) and the dual-antenna/dual-frequency Spatial Dual IMU (Advanced Navigation, Sydney, Australia)/global navigation satellite system (GNSS). A tightly coupled and postprocessed pose solution from a fiberoptic gyroscope (FOG)-based NovAtel synchronized position attitude navigation (SPAN) IMU (NovAtel, Calgary, Canada) served as a reference to evaluate the performance of the two IMUs under investigation. Results revealed a better position solution for the Spatial Dual, and the MTi-G-700 achieved a better roll/pitch accuracy. Most importantly, the heading solution from the dual-antenna configuration of the Spatial Dual was found to be more stable than the heading obtained with the reference SPAN IMU.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04017009
JournalJournal of Surveying Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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