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, Adam Lawman, Jeremy Straub, Jeremy Straub, Scott Kerlin, 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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