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Proceedings Paper

Magnetometer-enhanced personal locator for tunnels and GPS-denied outdoor environments
Author(s): Surat Kwanmuang; Lauro Ojeda; Johann Borenstein
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes recent advances with our earlier developed Personal Dead-reckoning (PDR) system for GPS-denied environments. The PDR system uses a foot-mounted Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that also houses a three axismagnetometer. In earlier work we developed methods for correcting the drift errors in the accelerometers, thereby allowing very accurate measurements of distance traveled. In addition, we developed a powerful heuristic method for correcting heading errors caused by gyro drift. The heuristics exploit the rectilinear features found in almost all manmade structures and therefore limit this technology to indoor use only. Most recently we integrated a three-axis magnetometer with the IMU, using a Kalman Filter. While it is well known that the ubiquitous magnetic disturbances found in most modern buildings render magnetometers almost completely useless indoors, these sensors are nonetheless very effective in pristine outdoor environments as well as in some tunnels and caves. The present paper describes the integrated magnetometer/IMU system and presents detailed experimental results. Specifically, the paper reports results of an objective test conducted by Firefighters of California's CAL-FIRE. In this particular test, two firefighters in full operational gear and one civilian hiked up a two-mile long mountain trail over rocky, sometimes steeply inclined terrain, each wearing one of our magnetometer-enhanced PDR systems but not using any GPS. During the hour-long hike the average position error was about 20 meters and the maximum error was less than 45 meters, which is about 1.4% of distance traveled for all three PDR systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 June 2011
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8019, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense X, 80190O (2 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.885346
Show Author Affiliations
Surat Kwanmuang, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Lauro Ojeda, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Johann Borenstein, Univ. of Michigan (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8019:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense X
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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