a1 (University of Calgary, Canada)
Navigation involves the integration of methodologies and systems for estimating the time varying position and attitude of moving objects. Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) and the Global Positioning System (GPS) are among the most widely used navigation systems. The use of cost effective MEMS based inertial sensors has made GPS/INS integrated navigation systems more affordable. However MEMS sensors suffer from various errors that have to be calibrated and compensated to get acceptable navigation results. Moreover the performance characteristics of these sensors are highly dependent on the environmental conditions such as temperature variations. Hence there is a need for the development of accurate, reliable and efficient thermal models to reduce the effect of these errors that can potentially degrade the system performance. In this paper, the Allan variance method is used to characterize the noise in the MEMS sensors. A six-position calibration method is applied to estimate the deterministic sensor errors such as bias, scale factor, and non-orthogonality. An efficient thermal variation model is proposed and the effectiveness of the proposed calibration methods is investigated through a kinematic van test using integrated GPS and MEMS-based inertial measurement unit (IMU).