Re: Inertial Navigation ???

From:         westin* (Stephen H. Westin)
Date:         13 Mar 2000 12:42:27 -0500
Organization: Cornell University Program of Computer Graphics
References:   1
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Ed McBride <> writes:

> I am a consulting engineer in Colorado Springs with a client who wants
> to track a few objects using on-board accelerometers and gyroscopes
> that communicate with a central processor. The objects are confined to
> an area of roughly 25 meters square, and a height of no more than 5
> meters above ground.  It is necessary to know the location of each
> object within about 0.1 m, over a time period of a half hour or so.
> The objects can move at speeds up to 10 m/s, and can experience
> accelerations up to 2-3 g (20-30 m/s^2).  The objects can also rotate
> at angular velocieies up to a few rev/s. (10-15 rad/s).  The cost of
> the system cannot exceed something like $2,000 per object.


Well, your problem sounds like typical motion capture for computer
animation. You might want to look at Polhemus's electromagnetic
tracking systems. See <>. Logitech used to
market a 3D mouse based on ultrasonic tracking technology, but that
seems to have been dropped. As someone else pointed out, optical
tracking might wind up as the way to go. The University of North
Carolina has a high-precision optical tracker, the HiBall, that might
work. See

I understand that inertial navigation might not do your job.
Phase-integrating differential GPS would (accuracy ~1 cm), but
probably costs too much and is less effective at orientation. Ordinary
differential GPS might be cheap enough, but I understand is only
accurate to within ~1 m.

-Stephen H. Westin
Any information or opinions in this message are mine: they do not
represent the position of Cornell University or any of its sponsors.