22 May 2015 A suborbital IMU test mission
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Abstract
This paper presents work conducted in preparation for a suborbital test flight to test an inertial measurement unit’s (IMU’s) ability to serve as a position determination mechanism in a GPS-denied environment. Because the IMU could potentially be used at several points during flight, it is not guaranteed that a GPS fix can be used to reset the IMU after the stresses of launch. Due to this, the specific goal of this work is to characterize whether a rocket launch disrupts the IMU-based position knowledge to the extent that it is unusable. This paper discusses preparations for a sub-orbital launch mission to this end. It include a description of the hardware and software used. A discussion of the data logging mechanism and the onboard and post-flight processing which is required to compare the GPS fixes and IMU-generated positions is also presented. Finally, the utility of an IMU capable of maintaining position awareness during launch is discussed.
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Adam Lawman, Jeremy Straub, Scott Kerlin, "A suborbital IMU test mission", Proc. SPIE 9469, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications VIII, 94690H (22 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177611; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2177611
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