Problems With Inertial Sensors

Due to the manufacturing process, the data measured by the inertial sensor usually has a certain error. The first error is offset error, that is, the gyroscope and accelerometer will have non-zero data output even when there is no rotation or acceleration. To get the displacement data, we need to integrate the output of the accelerometer twice. After two integrations, even a small offset error will be amplified. As time progresses, the displacement error will continue to accumulate, eventually resulting in that we can no longer track the position of the unmanned vehicle. The second error is proportional error, the ratio between the measured output and the change in the detected input. Similar to the offset error, after two integrations, the displacement error caused by it will continue to accumulate over time. The third type of error is the background white noise. If it is not corrected, we will no longer be able to track the position of the unmanned vehicle.

In order to correct these errors, we must calibrate the inertial sensor, find out the offset error, the proportional error, and then use the calibration parameters to correct the original data of the inertial sensor. The complication is that the error of the inertial sensor also changes with temperature. Even if we calibrate well, over time, the displacement error will continue to accumulate, so it is difficult for us to use inertial sensors alone to locate unmanned vehicles.

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